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Distributed for Museum Tusculanum Press


Memory, Representation, and the Media in Question

Distributed for Museum Tusculanum Press


Memory, Representation, and the Media in Question

Witness presents a new body of work in the field by an international cast of scholars who engage with a complex set of questions concerning notions of witnessing and attestation in twentieth- and twenty-first century Western culture. Providing insight into this vital yet relatively unexplored concept –and the wide range of media and subject areas to which it lends itself – the volume not only establishes links with existing, currently canonical contributions to witness literature – from Primo Levi through Victor Klemperer to Imre Kertész – but also goes on to provide a set of analyses of exemplary and very recent literary works in that area. Furthermore, Witness extends and changes the previous scholarly tendency to focus strongly on historical evidence and the witness’s vocalization of true remembrance so as to include difficult theoretical and interpretative questions posed by studies today of traumatic experience, amnesia, visual culture, new media, and technology. The book includes contributions from the acclaimed Romanian-German author Herta Müller, Nobel laureate of literature 2009, and Cathy Caruth, the internationally recognized scholar in trauma studies.

420 pages

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

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Table of Contents


      Ulrik Ekman

Addressing the Witness

Welcome: Witness

      Ulrik Ekman

I. Witnessing in Contemporary Literature

Witnessing the Loss and Trauma of History in Antanas Škema’s “Isaac”

      Victoria Carlemalm

War, Subjectivity, and the Notion of Witnessing in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Novel “A Pale View of Hills”

      Dorothee Birke

When We Don’t Speak, We Become Unbearable, and When We Do, We Make Fools of Ourselves. Can Literature Bear Witness?

      Herta Müller

Attestation and Representation in German Pop Literature

      Sofie Nielsen

 II. Memorization

Memory’s Perspective in Ian McEwan’s “Enduring Love”

      Michael Basseler

Anamnesis: Poetics of Shelving

      Rubén de la Nuez

Hieroglyph of an Epoch: A Metaphor of Memory in the Works of the Austrian-Jewish Writer and Psychoanalyst Anna Maria Jokl

      Nikola Herweg

Memorial Cultures and Literary Studies: Concepts and Functions of Memory as a Challenge to Research on Witnessing

      Ansgar Nünning

III. Postcolonial Identity Formations

Women’s Travel Writing of the Black Atlantic and the Cultural Memory of Slavery. Ellen Ombre’s “Wie goed bedoelt”

      Sarah De Mul

Witnesses, Collective Memory, and British National Identity

      Vera Nünning

IV. Traumatic Experience

The Amnesiac Flashback: Theories, Fiction, and Trauma

      Kerstin Bergman

History as False Witness: Trauma, Politics, and War

      Cathy Caruth

Torture during the Algerian War of Liberation: The Perpetrator with a Human Face in Maïssa Bey’s “Entendez-vous dans les montagnes…”

      Désirée Schyns

The Transformation of Memories: The Witness as a Survivor and as a Suffering Victim

      Annette Storeide

V. Making Images

What Counts as True? Pictures and Fiction in W.G. Sebald

      Seth Kim-Cohen

The Russian Avant-Garde in memoriam

      Charlotte Greve

Witnessing the “Road Kill”: Police Photographs in Art

      Ricarda Vidal

VI. Moving Images

“Memory is Treachery”: Witnessing, Memory, and Unreliable Narration in Christopher Nolan’s Film “Memento”

      Eva Laass

The Unseen of the Real: Or, Evidential Efficacy from Muybridge to “The Matrix”

      Eivind Røssaak

The Event and Its Record: Witnessing and Media Re-Presentations

      Susanne Ø. Sæther

VII. Monument/Ruin

Concrete Thought and the Narrative Wall: Graffiti – Monument and Ruin

      Louise Höjer

The Subject of Immigration

      Nick Lambrianou

Expanding Field(s) of Witnessing

      Aaslaug Vaa

VIII. Art, Aesthetics, Critique, and the Intellectual

Representing Evil. A Comment on the Intellectual and Artistic Use of Pictures from the War on Terrorism

      Henrik Holm

The Blinded Eyewitness

      Rasmus Øhlenschlæger Madsen

An Art After: Testimony in Christian Boltanski

      Jacob Lund Pedersen

IX. Visual Culture I – Staging


      Steven Connor

Witnessing the Catastrophe: The Media-Specific Staging of 9/11 in Monica Ali’s “Brick Lane” and Spike Lee’s “25th Hour”

      Stefanie Hoth

Staging the Hybrid – Some Considerations Regarding Contingent Art Forms and the Expert Witness

      Morten Søndergaard

Witnessing at War: The Belligerent Gaze

      Mikkel Bruun Zangenberg

X. Visual Culture II – Body, Performance, Drama

Limits in Suspension: On “Memoria” by Bill Viola

      Alena Alexandrova

Spectatorship in the Theatre: Negotiations between the Audience as Witness and the Performer as Confessor in the Theatre of “Forced Entertainment”

      Janine Hauthal

Solid Sea: Performing the Witness in the Work of Multiplicity

      Camilla Jalving

XI. Listening – Voice, Sound, Noise, and Silence

Witnessing and Mediation of the Hindenburg Event in Andreas Ammer and FM Einheit’s Radio Play “Crashign Aeroplanes” (2001)

      Bodil Børset

The Aesthetic Zero: A Condition for the Witnessing of Art-Situations

      Mia Göran

Fighting the Spectres Haunting Europe – Wolfgang Koeppen’s Radio Essay “A Fragment of the Bull’s Skin” as a Case Study of Witnessing Fascism and the Memory of the Spanish Civil War in West-German Mass Media

      Ansgar Warner

XII. Echographies – TV

Through the Eyes of Witnesses and the Media: Refracted Perceptions of the Holocaust in the War Crimes Trials of the 1960s

      Nina Burkhardt

History, Media, and Memory – Three Discourses in Dispute?

      Thomas Elsaesser

Technical Testimony: (Audio-)Visual Media as Witness

      Guido Isekenmeier

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