Antwerp, 27-29 June 2023

Click here to go to the Antwerp conference webpage.

London, 27-29 March 2023

March 27-29, 2023
Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, London (UK)

Comparative Approaches to 21st-Century Anglophone Holocaust Literature

Convenors: Robert Eaglestone, Daniel Feldman, Sarah Minslow
Venue: Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Participation in the seminar is free of charge, but registration is required. If you are interested in participating, please fill out the online registration form by Wednesday, March 22 at the latest.

Seminar program (preliminary)

Monday, March 27

  • 10-10:15 Welcome
  • 10:15-10:30 Sarah Minslow: Introduction to Anglophone Literature Seminar
  • 10:30-11:45 Session 1
    Barbara Kalla: Not Only Photograph: Object as a Medium of Historical Transmission of Memory in Children's Literature
    Bettine Siertsema: Fictional Representations of Hitler
    Sylwia Karolak: My Dog Lala by Roman Kent — in the Context of the Function of Animal Characters in Children's Literature, the Reality of the Holocaust, and Animal Studies
  • 11:45-12:00 Coffee break
  • 12:00-13:00 Keynote lecture: Sue Vice
  • 13:00-14:00 Lunch break
  • 14:00-15:30 Session 2
    Erga Heller: Places of Memories and Worlds of Post Memories: A Comparative Reading in White Bird and other Young Adult Holocaust Fiction
    Elizabeth Jones: The Holocaust and Perpetrator Narrative in Science Fiction: An Analysis of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game
    Daniel Feldman
  • 15:30-16:00 Coffee break
  • 16:00-17:15 Roundtable discussion of key themes/topics
  • 18:00-19:30 Reception for project team (@ Wiener Holocaust Library)

Tuesday, March 28

  • 10-10:45 Keynote lecture: Erin McGlothlin
  • 10:45-11:00 Coffee break
  • 11:00-12:00 Session 3
    Rebekah Slodounik: Re-Witnessing: The Role of the Second and Third Generations in Twenty-First Century Holocaust Literature
    Michal Ben-Horin: Two Sides of the Story? Holocaust Representation in Jonathan Safran Foer and Ruth Almog
  • 12:00-12:45 Rachel Seiffert, author of A Boy in Winter, in conversation with Bob Eaglestone
  • 12:45-14:00 Lunch break
  • 14:00-15:30 Session 4
    Jordanna Gessler: The Journey: A Look into the Search of Existence for the Second Generation
    Emilie Garrigou-Kempton: Writing the Unknown: Navigating Knowledge, Ignorance, and Forgetting in Third-generation Memoirs
    Helena Duffy: The Communal Genocide in Ukraine and the Poetics of Reconciliation: Daniel Mendelsohn’s The Lost (2006) and Jonathan Littell’s Les Bienveillantes (2006)
    Athena Heavey: ‘All I want is not to die on a day when I went unseen’: Restoration of First-Generation Holocaust Memory through Twenty-First Century Historical Fiction in Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love (2005)
  • 15:30-15:45 Coffee break
  • 15:45-16:30 Keynote lecture: Bryan Cheyette: Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America (2004) from Testimony to Literature
  • 17:00-18:00 Reception w/ Holocaust and Genocide Research Partnership colleagues for project team

Wednesday, March 29

  • 10:00-11:00 Research team meeting to plan for Antwerp
  • 11:00-12:00 Lucy Adlington, author of Red Ribbon, in conversation with Bob Eaglestone
  • 12:00-13:00 Discussion Groups for possible joint publications
  • 13:00-14:30 Lunch & Travel to Imperial War Museum Holocaust Galleries
  • 14:30-16:00 Tour of Galleries

Leuven, 13-15 September 2022


September 13-15, 2022
Faculty of Arts, KU Leuven (Belgium)

Voicing the Silence: New Approaches in Russian and Ukrainian Literature on the Holocaust in the 21st Century

Convenors: Marina Balina, Roman Katsman, Kris Van Heuckelom
Venue: Erasmushuis, Blijde Inkomststraat 21, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

Participation in the seminar is free of charge, but registration is required. If you are interested in participating, please fill out the online registration form by Friday, September 9 at the latest. 

Seminar program*

13 September 2022

10:00 – 10:10 – Welcome by Liesbet Heyvaert, Dean of the Faculty of Arts

10:10 – 10:30 – Introduction by the organizers

Session I (chair – Matthias Schwartz, Zentrum für Literaturforschung, Berlin, Germany)

10:30 – 11:00 – Marina Balina, Illinois Wesleyan University, USA.
Red Star, Yellow Star: How to Write About the Holocaust in Russian

11:00 – 11:30 – Roman Katsman, Bar-Ilan University, Israel.
Poetics of the Russian Holocaust Literature in the 21st Century

11:30 – 12:00 – Anja Tippner, University of Hamburg, Germany.
Translating (during) the Shoah: Liudmila Ulitskaia’s novel Daniel Stein, Interpreter

12:00 – 12:45 – Discussion

12:45 – 14:30 – Lunch

14:30 – 16:30 – Consortium meeting (planned publications, follow-up projects) (LETT 00.18)

Session II
(chair – Roman Katsman, Bar-Ilan University, Israel)

17:00 – 19:00 – Citadel over the Abyss: meeting with writer and historian Elena Makarova (Israel)

Introduction by Roman Katsman
Freedom in Captivity and Captivity in Freedom: public lecture by Elena Makarova
Interview by Peter Vermeersch (Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven)

19:00 – 21:00 – Conference dinner

14 September 2022

Session III (chair – Irena Barbara Kalla, University of Wroclaw, Poland)

10:30 – 11:00: Marina Balina, Illinois Wesleyan University, USA.
Representations of the Holocaust in Russian Children’s Literature Today

11:00 – 11:30 – Ol’ga Bukhina, translator and children’s author, USA.
Translating Holocaust History for the Young Generation in Russia. From the Translator’s Notebook

11:30 – 11:40 – Halyna Kornieieva, KU Leuven, Belgium.
Education of Tolerance among Ukrainians, Poles and Jews on the Pages of Children's Publications of Western Ukraine in 1919-1939

11:40 – 12:15 – Discussion

12:15 – 13:30 – Lunch

Session IV
(chair – Kris Van Heuckelom, KU Leuven, Belgium)

13:30 – 14:00 – Yulia Il’chuk, Stanford University, USA.
From "Shield Memory" to "Multidirectional Memory" of the Holocaust in Post-Euromaidan Ukrainian Literature

14:00 – 14:30 – Ostap Kin, editor and co-translator, USA.
The Holocaust in Ukrainian Poetry

14:30 – 15:00 – Mateusz Świetlicki, University of Wroclaw, Poland.
Survivors, Oppressors, Implicated Subjects, and Entangled Bystanders: Ukraine and the Holocaust in Historical Fiction for Children and Young Adults

15:00 – 15:30 – Discussion

15:30 – 16:00 – Coffee break

Session V
(chair – Bettine Siertsema, Free University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

16:00 – 16:30 — Sławomir Jacek Żurek, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin.
Interviewing as Intergenerational Bond-Building: A Comparative Reading of Elena Makarova’s Ways of Growing Up: Erna Furman, 1926-2002 and Mikołaj Grynberg’s Ocaleni z XX wieku

16:30 – 17:00 – Sarah Minslow, California State University, USA.
Negotiating Identities Intertwined with Legacies of the Shoah in Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated and Arnon Grunberg's The Jewish Messiah

17:00 – 17:30 – Discussion

17:30 – 18:00 – Coffee break

CETRA Roundtable (chair and moderator – Pieter Boulogne, KU Leuven, Belgium)

18:00 – 19:30 – Translating the Holocaust (with the participation of Ol’ga Bukhina, Yulia Il’chuk, Mateusz Świetlicki and Anja Tippner)

19:30 – 21:00 – Conference dinner

15 September 2022

10:00  – 11:00 – Planning of the next seminar (London, March 2023) and of the concluding international conference (Antwerp, July 2023) (LETT 00.18)

11:00 – 12:00 – Transfer to Mechelen

13:00 – 15:00 – Guided visit to Kazerne Dossin

* Unless otherwise indicated all sessions and meetings will take place in the Justus Lipsiuszaal on the 8th floor of the Erasmushuis (LETT 08.16).

Berlin, 9-10 March 2022

CoHLIT-21 German Seminar / March 9-10, 2022
Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin

The CoHLIT-21 seminar on contemporary German-language literature and the Holocaust will take place in a hybrid format. Participation in the seminar is free of charge, but registration is required. If you are interested in participating (either in person or via Zoom), please send an e-mail to by Friday, March 4 at the latest.

Organization: Michal Ben-Horin, Vivian Liska, Matthias Schwartz, Kris Van Heuckelom
Click here to download the seminar poster (PDF).

Wednesday, March 9

11:00 – 13:00 Opening Session / Chair: Michal Ben-Horin

11:00-11:30 Greetings
11:00 Dr. Matthias Schwartz (Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung)
11:10 Prof. Vivian Liska (University of Antwerp)
11:20 Prof. Sławomir Jacek Zurek (John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin)

11:30 Managing the Present: German-Language Holocaust Literature Beyond the Memory Paradigm // Silke Horstkotte (Universität Leipzig)

12:30 Discussion

13:00 Break (Lunch)

14:00-16:00 Session 1 / Chair: Kris Van Heuckelom

14:00 Enkelliteratur. Third Generation Holocaust Literature // Luisa Banki (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)

14:30 How to Leave the Tormenting Past Behind? Self-Confidence in Recent Jewish Literature from Germany and Poland // Elisa-Maria Hiemer (Herder-Institut für historische Ostmitteleuropaforschung, Marburg)

15:00 Complicity at a Distance: Commemorating Problematic Involvement in Perpetration // Juliane Prade-Weiss (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

15:30 Discussion

16:00 Break (Coffee)

16:30-18:00 Session 2 / Chair: Daniel Feldman

16:30 After the Silence. The Holocaust in Early 21st Century Austrian-Jewish Literature // Vivian Liska (University of Antwerp)

17:00 Horrendous Homecomings: Jenny Erpenbeck's Visitation and Ruth Almog's Stranger in Paradise // Michal Ben-Horin (Bar-Ilan University)

17:30 Discussion

Thursday, March 10

10:00-12:00 Session 3 / Chair: Matthias Schwartz

10:00 Precarious Continuities Reading the Afterlife of Fascism: Benjamin, Arendt, Jelinek // Rebecca Haubrich (Dalhousie University)

10:30 The Affirmation of Exile in Contemporary German-Jewish Literature: A Reading of Maxim Biller, Olga Grjasnowa, and Mati Shemoelof // Amir Engel (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

11:00 Messianic Time and the Shoah: Pre-War Warnings of a Catastrophe. A Comparative Analysis of Maxim Biller’s Im Kopf von Bruno Schulz and Piotr Szewc’s Zagłada // Sławomir Jacek Zurek (John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin)

11:30 Discussion

12:00 Break (Lunch)

13:00-15:00 Session 4 / Chair: Marina Balina

13:00 Repercussions of the Past: Children's and Young Adult Literature on the Holocaust in Germany // Hadassah Stichnothe (Universität Bremen)

14:00 Beni and his Grandma. A Children’s Book Series about Everyday Jewish Life in Germany // Eva Lezzi (Berlin)

14:30 Discussion

15:00 Break (Coffee)

15:30-17:00 Session 5 / Chair: Irena Barbara Kalla

15:30 Smuggling and Suitcases. Comparing Selected Images from 28 Days and Mr. Benjamin’s Suitcase of Secrets to Dutch and Polish Works // Kaat Buelens

16:00 A Preliminary Comparative Review of American-English Holocaust Literature Published Since 2000 // Sarah Minslow (California State University)

16:30 Discussion

17:00-17:30 Closing Session

Click here to download the Call for Papers.

Israel (online), 7-8 December 2021

Organization: Prof. Roman Katsman (Bar-Ilan University)
Dr. Erga Heller (Kaye Academic College of Education)

Tuesday 7 December 2021

  • 16:00 – 16:25 (UTC +2) Greetings // chair: Erga Heller
    16:00 Prof. Shmuel Refael (Dean, Faculty of Jewish Studies, Bar Ilan University)
    16:10 Dr. Vered Tohar (Head, Department of Literature of the Jewish People Bar Ilan University)
    16:20 Prof. Sławomir Jacek Żurek (John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin)

  • 16:30 – 18:30 (UTC +2) Children’s Literature #1: Dreamtime // chair: Irena Barbara Kalla
    16:30 Orlev Reading Korczak: The Influence of King Matt on The Island on Bird Street // Daniel Feldman (Bar Ilan University)
    17:00 Hiding Places and Playgrounds in Israeli Picture books about the Holocaust // Erga Heller (Kaye Academic College of Education)
    17:30 Objects as Agents of Memory: A Study of Nava Semel's Holocaust Narratives for Children and Young Adults // Smadar Falk-Peretz (David Yellin College of Education & Orot Israel College of Education)
    18:00 Discussion (30 min.)

  • 18:45 – 20:30 (UTC +2) Children’s Literature #2: Toys and Ice Cream // chair : Daniel Feldman
    18:45 At the Intersection of Literature and Material Culture: Toys of the Holocaust Survivors as a Source of Toy Narratives in Children's Literature // Irena Barbara Kalla (University of Wroclaw)
    19:15Francesco Tirelli's Ice Cream Shop - Family Story, Creation, and Personal Journey // Tamar Meir (Givat Washington College of Education & the author of Francesco Tirelli's Ice Cream Shop)
    19:45 At the End of the Tunnel: Light and Darkness in Text and Image in Francesco Tirelli’s Ice Cream Store and The War Within These Walls // Kaat Buelens (Uniwersytet Wrocławski/KU Leuven)
    20:15 Discussion (30 min.)

  • 21:00 – 22:30 (UTC +2) Children’s Literature #3: Reception & Translation // chair: Roman Katsman
    21:00 Polish reception of Batsheva Dagan's books for children // Sylwia Karolak (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan)
    21:30 Hebrew Children' Literature on Holocaust in Russia Today: Readers, Publishers, and Translators // Marina Balina (Illinois Wesleyan University)
    22:00 Discussion (30 min.)

Wednesday 8 December 2021

  • 14:15 – 15:45 (UTC +2) Fictionalized Life Stories & the Holocaust // chair : Kris Van Heuckelom (KU Leuven)
    14:15 The Story of a Life: Aharon Appelfeld's Representation of the Holocaust // Michal Ben Horin (Bar Ilan University)
    14:45 ‘There is no escape’: the Creation of a ‘Survivor’ in contemporary Israeli Holocaust Novels // Erga Heller (Kaye Academic College of Education)
    15:15 Discussion (30 min.)

  • 16:00 – 18:00 (UTC +2) Representations of Victimary // chair : Michal Ben Horin
    16:00 Overcoming the Victimary and Postmemorial Paradigm in Etgar Keret’s Holocaust Stories // Roman Katsman (Bar Ilan University)
    16:30 Blurring the lines: three novels on the shades of grey between victim and perpetrator // Bettine Siertsema (Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam)
    17:00 Confronting the Holocaust in 21st-century Israeli Graphic Novels // Pnina Rosenberg (Technion)
    17:30 Discussion (30 min.)

  • 18:30 – 20:00 (UTC +2) Nava Semel’s And the Rat Laughed // Chair: Erga Heller
    18:30 "Where's the little girl? What little girl? Was there ever a little girl?": on transgenerational emotional memory of trauma in Nava Semel's And the Rat Laughed // Naama Reshef (Kaye Academic College of Education)
    19:00 “The Jewish Child in Polish Hiding Place. Children, Adults and Animals in And the Rat Laughed by Nava Semel and God’s Horse by Wilhelm Dichter // Sławomir Jacek Żurek (John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin)
    19:30 Discussion (30 min.)

  • 20:15 – 20:30 (UTC +2) Final Remarks // Roman Katsman, Erga Heller

  • 20:30 – 21:00 (UTC +2) About Berlin Seminar, March 2022 // Sławomir Jacek Żurek, Kris Van Heuckelom

Lublin, 29-30 September 2021

CoHLIT-21 #PL Seminar 
Lublin 29–30 September 2021
“Grodzka Gate – Theatre NN” Center

Click here to download the seminar poster (PDF).


  • 09.00-9.30 Opening ceremony 
  • 09.30-10.30 Holocaust and Legitimate Cultures in Poland after 1989
    Prof. Przemysław Czapliński (Poland) 
  • 10.30-11.00 Discussion 
  • 11.00-11.30 Coffee break 
  • 11.30-12.30 Blurring the Holocaust. Recent Polish Literature for Children and Young Adults
    Prof. Małgorzata Wójcik-Dudek (Poland) 
  • 12.30-13.00 Discussion 
  • 13.00-14.30 Lunch time 
  • 14.30-15.30 Tour in “Grodzka Gate – Theatre NN” Center 
  • 15.30-16.00 Coffee break 
  • 16.00-17.00 Ghetto as a Place of Growing up and Extermination in the Newest Polish Language Narrations for Children and Young Adults
    Dr. Sylwia Karolak (Poland) 
  • 17.00-17.30 Discussion 
  • 17.30-18.30 21st-Century Polish Literature and the Holocaust. From History to Artefacts
    Prof. Sławomir Jacek Żurek (Poland) 
  • 18.30-19.00 Discussion 
  • 19.30-20.00 Tales from the night – monodrama (Witold Dąbrowski – actor of Theatre NN) 
  • 20.00 Gala Dinner and meeting with two authors of Polish literature for children and young adults: Renata Piątkowska and Marcin Szczygielski
    moderator: Dr. Sylwia Karolak 

30 SEPTEMBER 2021 

  • 09.00-9.30 Narratives of Return in Contemporary Fiction about the Holocaust
    Prof. Kris Van Heuckelom (Belgium)
  • 09.30-10.00 Boys in the Ghetto – a Comparative Reading of Ark of Time by Marcin Szczygielski and The Island on Bird Street by Uri Orlev
    Dr. Erga Heller (Israel)
  • 10.00-10.30 Discussion
  • 10.30-11.00 Coffee break
  • 11.00-11.30 Compare the Incomparable. Dutch, Flemish and Polish Children’s Literature about the Holocaust
    Prof. Barbara Irena Kalla (Poland)
  • 11.30-12.00 Holocaust Childhood as History and Story: Anita Lobel’s No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War and Marcin Szczygielski's Ark of Time
    Prof. Marina Balina (US)
  • 12.00-12.30 Discussion
  • 12.30-14.00 Lunch time
  • 14.00-16.00 Tour in the Jewish City in Lublin
  • 16.00-16.30 Coffee break
  • 16.30-18.00 Comparative discussion on literature for children and young adults
    moderator: dr. Sylwia Karolak
  • 18.00-19.30 Comparative discussion on literature for adults
    moderator: prof. Sławomir Jacek Żurek
  • 20.00 Gala Dinner and meeting with two authors of literature for adults: Magdalena Tulli and Tadeusz Słobodzianek
    moderator: prof. Sławomir Jacek Żurek

For participations who will stay on Friday (01/10/2021) at 9.00 – a tour to the State Museum at Majdanek and Shabbat supper.

Belgium (online), 3-4 February 2021


February 3-4, KU Leuven (Belgium) & online

: Barbara Kalla, Kaat Buelens, Kris Van Heuckelom

February 3
(introductory session)

  • 2:00pm    Opening by the organizers and welcome by Vivian Liska (consortium leader, IJS)
  • 2:10pm    Introduction round (consortium partners & team members)
  • 2:30pm    On the necessity of researching the newest Holocaust literature (after 2000)
                    Sławomir Żurek
  • 3:00pm    Managing bibliographical data in ZOTERO
                    Kaat Buelens
  • 3:30pm    Coffee break

(focus on #NL, part 1)

  • 4:00pm    Arnon Grunberg: Back and forth between grotesque and tradition
                    Bettine Siertsema (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
  • 5:00pm    Frozen in sorrow: Winterijs by Peter van Gestel
                    Vanessa Joosen (Universiteit Antwerpen)
  • 6:00pm    Coffee break
  • 6:30pm    Additional questions & discussion
  • 7:00pm    Closing

February 4

(focus on #NL, part 2)

  • 2:00pm    'Especially for today's young people, to keep them from forgetting, too.' Contemporary Dutch and Flemish children's literature about the Holocaust
                    Barbara Kalla
  • 2:30pm    Mystery and alterity. Managing cultural and generational distance in recent Flemish writings about the Holocaust
                    Kris Van Heuckelom
  • 3:00pm    Show, don't tell? Expressing emotion through illustrations and text in Aline Sax's and Caryl Strzelecki's The War Within These Walls
                    Kaat Buelens
  • 3:30pm    Questions & discussion
  • 4:00pm    Coffee break

(comparative part)

  • 4:30pm    Comparative discussion, part 1 (adult literature)
  • 5:15pm    Comparative discussion, part 2 (children's and young adult literature)
  • 6:00pm    Coffee break
  • 6:15pm    Practical and organizational matters (Jan Morrens, IJS)
  • 6:30pm    Closing & planning of the next seminar