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Grant number: FA-58063-14

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Sonali Thakkar
University of Chicago (Chicago, IL 60637-5418)

Race, Religion, and Holocaust Memory in the Literature of Postwar European Diasporic Communities

My book examines the significance of Holocaust memory to the literature and culture of postwar Europe's new racialized diasporic communities, comprising labor migrants and former colonial subjects. Through analysis of Anglophone, Francophone, and German-language works, I argue that writers addressing diasporic culture in this period see Europe's violence against the Jews as a paradigm for the limits of diasporic life and the possibility of cohabitation in contemporary Europe. I thus contribute to the emergent field of transnational and comparative studies of Holocaust memory but with several innovations: deploying theories of affect and affiliation drawn from queer and gender studies to interpret the identification with Jewishness that some of my authors express, analyzing race comparatively to show how religious difference disrupts the notion of race as skin color, and incorporating work about the colonized or Arab Jew rather than establishing "Jewish" and "colonized" as binary terms.

Project fields:
Comparative Literature; Jewish Studies; Literature, Other

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2014 – 6/30/2015