I am on research leave during the spring 2017 semester and thrilled to be able to spend three months working in the archive of German Literature (Deutsches Literaturarchiv) in the very quaint Marbach am Neckar.
My current project is focused on H.G. Adler (Prague, 1910 – London, 1988), a survivor of the Theresienstadt “ghetto”, Auschwitz, and other National Socialist concentration camps, who became a pioneer in the now well-established field of Holocaust Studies but was nearly forgotten as an author of poetry and prose. Drawing on Adler’s estate, one of the largest in the archive here, this project seeks to reconsider and recontextualize both his scholarly and literary work from three interrelated perspectives: biography, literary history, and disciplinary history. The project will highlight how Adler’s works and correspondence directly engage with the epistemological, aesthetic, and ethical challenges to write both literature and scholarship ‘after Auschwitz’. The broader goal of the project is to reevaluate the claims and aims of historiography, the history of the Holocaust in particular, to show how (hi)stories function both as a survival strategy and a form of therapy in attempts to overcome the past.
I am very grateful to the archive, not only for funding this project with a C.H. Beck Stipendium but also for all of the practical and intellectual support – this is a simply fantastic place to work!