Department of German and Russian
Harry H. Kahn Memorial Lecture to Explore Women's Experience of the Holocaust
- By Lee Ann Cox
The 21st Harry H. Kahn Memorial Lecture, "Gender, Witness and Remembrance in Ruth Klüger's Still Alive and Judy Chicago's Holocaust Project," will be Monday, April 19 at 4 p.m. in Memorial Lounge, Waterman. Kathrin Bower, associate professor of German and chair of modern literatures and cultures at the University of Richmond, will deliver the address.
Bower will focus on women's experiences during and after the Holocaust and offer a feminist critique of patriarchal forces in history that link Ruth Klüger's memoir Still Alive and Judy Chicago's art exhibition The Holocaust Project. While Klüger draws on the authenticity of her own experiences as a persecuted Jew in Vienna and a child survivor of a series of concentration camps, Chicago's association with the Holocaust is based on research, reflection and a Jewish self-understanding with affinities to the victims as well as the ethical mission of tikkun ("mending the world"). Professor Bower explores the ways in which these two women seek to write female experience back into history and examines the complexity of the terms "witness" and "remembrance" in the context of Holocaust representation as the event recedes ever further into the past.
Bower received her undergraduate degree from UVM in 1986, majoring in German and psychology; she earned her doctorate in German literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1994.