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Joanna K. Stimmel

With the increasing medialization of cultural memory regarding

World War II and the Holocaust, cinematic texts become significant

components of our remembrance. Not only videotaped witness testimonies

but also documentaries and fictional films make up the growing

body of visual material that tells of the wartime past and the way

we remember it. Today, the great majority of the filmmakers depicting

the Holocaust on screen—as well as their audiences—belong to

the so-called second and third generations. Born too late to have witnessed

the murder of Europe’s Jews, these film directors nonetheless

declare a very strong personal connection to the past they never

knew. Their renditions of this past is, as Marianne Hirsch argues,

driven by the “postmemory,” a type of memory in which the connection

to its object or source is mediated not through recollection

but rather through imagination and creation.

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Eszter B. Gantner

The persecution, flight and murder of European Jews in the first half of the twentieth century and the profound social and political transformations that decisively affected European cities in the final decade of the 20th century have radically altered urban 'Jewish landscapes'. New stakeholders and institutions emerged with their own networks, goals and interests, and have constructed, staged and marketed 'Jewish culture' anew. The resultant Jewish spaces are being constituted in an urban space located at the intersection of ethnic representation, collective memory, and drawing on an imagined material culture, which includes architectural, physical and digital spaces (e.g. synagogues, Jewish quarters). This Europe-wide process is closely related to the delicate politics of memory and to discourses on the authenticity of cities. This article analyses how the image of 'Jewishness' plays an increasingly important role in the marketing of historical authenticity that cities and their tourism affiliates are undertaking.

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Comic Art and Commitment

An Interview with Morvandiau

Ann Miller and Morvandiau

This interview with political cartoonist and comics artist Morvandiau focuses mainly on his 2007 comic book D'Algérie. After the murder in 1994 of his Uncle Jean, a père blanc ['white father'] in Tizi Ouzou, along with three of his fellow priests, followed by the failed suicide of his father, a Pied-noir, eight years later, Morvandiau decided to carry out research into his family and its links with France's colonial adventure. Through the resources of the comic art medium, he was able to give form to a story which is both personal and public (Figures 1-2). The subtle and sober portrayal of his search for identity is contextualised by a highly absorbing panorama of political events. In the interview, he explains some of the aesthetic choices that he made, and discusses the challenges of working from documentary material, and how he drew on the resources of the medium to tackle issues of individual and collective identity.

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Jablonka et la question du sujet en sciences sociales

Le cas de Laëtitia ou la fin des hommes

Nathan Bracher

With its compelling portrait of a young woman who was savagely murdered after having endured various forms of male violence throughout her life, Ivan Jablonka’s Laëtitia ou la fin des hommes also provides a stark depiction of French society and politics in the second decade of the twentyfirst century. In deconstructing the sensationalism of the conventional crime story, the researcher-narrator seeks to draw as near as possible to the vivacious, yet fragile young woman while at the same time viewing her life in relation to various sociological and historical contexts defining its parameters. Jablonka’s own singular investment in the investigation and narration of Laëtitia thus poses the question of subjectivity in the social sciences. Recalling the landmark stances of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Emmanuel Lévinas, this article argues that Jablonka’s insistence on the explicit intervention of the researcher-narrator offers an epistemological gain and more precise knowledge.

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Claudia Mitchell and Jacqueline Reid-Walsh

We take the title of our editorial introduction to this themed issue of Girlhood Studies from Sandrina de Finney’s lead article in which she explores “alternative conceptualizations of trauma, place, and girlhood that might enact a more critical, politicized girlhood studies.” Contributions to this issue offer what the guest editors refer to as a re-description of girls in crisis. In so doing not only do they offer challenges to definitions of crisis, they also deepen our understanding of what transformative practices might look like. From a consideration of Indigenous girlhood in Canada to a study of country girls in Australia, from work on YouTube to Holloback! and other social media platforms to girls’ digital representations of their own safety, and from changes in newspaper discourse about murdered girls to a consideration of work done with incarcerated girls, we are invited to re-think this notion of girls-in-crisis, and its significance.

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Posthumous Rescue

The Shafia Young Women as Worthy Victims

Yasmin Jiwani

This article focuses on the coverage of the murders of the young Shafia women. Based on an analysis of the coverage published in The Globe and Mail (July 2009 to March 2012), I argue that the young women were constructed as exceptional and worthy victims of a particularly heinous crime—honor killing—allegedly imported from Afghanistan by the Shafia patriarch. I interrogate the different threads that were interwoven to construct these young women's representations to make them intelligible as girls and young women. Within the coverage, the trope of culture clash anchored in an Orientalist framing worked to consolidate their representations as worthy victims and re-inscribe the national imaginary of Canadian society as egalitarian, tolerant and beyond gender violence. These different maneuvers served to accomplish a kind of posthumous rescue in a domestic context akin to the strategies of rescue implemented by Western powers in the War on Terror to save Afghan women.

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Psychotic Group Text

A Psychoanalytic Inquiry Into the Production of Moral Conscience

James M. Glass

This essay analyzes the psychological dynamic of disintegration anxiety by examining its presence in the tradition of political theory, its role in the development of group norms, and its impact on ideology. The author contends that whereas psychosis in individuals constrains and isolates them, in group settings psychotic behavior unites and energizes its members, relieving the collective of its anxieties. In looking at Nazi Germany, the author discusses the means by which not just the SS but the entire professional, academic, and scientific communities in the dominant group made mass murder possible. Radical insecurities and paranoiagenic phantasies of the group possess a logic and action component that distinguish them from their effect on the individual. Whereas for the individual, delusion is considered dysfunctional and crippling, on the political level, it becomes dynamic public policy. Psychotic group states, then, possess an instrumentality and consequence far different from psychosis in the individual.

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State and Warfare in Mexico

The Case of Ayotzinapa

Alessandro Zagato

More than three years after the murder and kidnapping of students of the Normal Rural School Isidro Burgos of Ayotzinapa on 26 September 2014, a coherent and truthful explanation of what happened still needs to be determined. The logistics and decision-making processes put in place before, during, and after the attack raise questions about the nature of the Mexican state, its institutions, and its order/execution chain, as well as the character of the actors involved. Starting from this paradigmatic case, the aim of this article is to examine the current increase in violence in Mexico. The analysis takes into account the dispersed ‘clusters of power’—actual war machines—that have been developing in a situation of social and political decomposition brought about by a new cycle of capitalist expansion and accumulation.

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Ronald Aronson

By what incredible foresight did the most significant intellectual quarrel of the twentieth century anticipate the major issue of the twenty-first? When Camus and Sartre parted ways in 1952, the main question dividing them was political violence—specifically, that of communism. And as they continued to jibe at each other during the next decade, especially during the war in Algeria, one of the major issues between them became terrorism. The 1957 and 1964 Nobel Laureates were divided sharply over which violence most urgently demanded to be addressed and attacked—the humiliations and oppressions, often masked, that Sartre described as systematically built into daily life under capitalism and colonialism, or the brutal and abstract calculus of murder seen by Camus as built into some of the movements that claimed to liberate people from capitalist and colonial oppression.

The Sartre-Camus conflict remains, fifty years later, philosophically unresolved. And I would argue—against today's conventional wisdom so persistently asserted by Tony Judt—it is also historically unresolved, despite today.

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Kirsten Harjes

In 1997, Hinrich Seeba offered a graduate seminar on Berlin at the University of California, Berkeley. He called it: "Cityscape: Berlin as Cultural Artifact in Literature, Art, Architecture, Academia." It was a true German studies course in its interdisciplinary and cultural anthropological approach to the topic: Berlin, to be analyzed as a "scape," a "view or picture of a scene," subject to the predilections of visual perception in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This course inspired my research on contemporary German history as represented in Berlin's Holocaust memorials. The number and diversity of these memorials has made this city into a laboratory of collective memory. Since the unification of East and West Germany in 1990, memorials in Berlin have become means to shape a new national identity via the history shared by both Germanys. In this article, I explore two particular memorials to show the tension between creating a collective, national identity, and representing the cultural and historical diversity of today's Germany. I compare the Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas (Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe, or "national Holocaust memorial") which opened in central Berlin on May 10, 2005, to the lesser known, privately sponsored, decentralized "stumbling stone" project by artist Gunter Demnig.