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Simon Wiesenthal Lecture
Rebecca Jinks: Representing Genocide. The Holocaust as Paradigm?
   

Thursday, 15. February 2018, 18:30 - 20:00

Dachfoyer des Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchivs, 1010 Wien, Minoritenplatz 1

 

This lecture will explore the ways in which representations of the Holocaust have influenced how other genocides are understood and represented in the West. It will take as examples the four canonical cases of genocide in the twentieth century – Armenia, Cambodia, Bosnia, and Rwanda – and explore how they have been represented in film, literature, photography, and memorialisation. It will argue that most ‘mainstream’ representations of genocide largely replicate the mainstream representational framework of the Holocaust – including the way in which the latter resists recognising the rationality, instrumentality, and normality of genocide, preferring instead to present genocide as an aberrant, exceptional event in human history. The lecture will conclude by discussing a contrasting series of more nuanced, engaged representations of genocide: These tend to revolve around precisely ordinariness of genocide and the structures and situations common to human society which can become the crucible for genocidal violence.

Rebecca Jinks is a historian of comparative genocide and humanitarianism. She completed her doctoral degree in 2013 at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she is a Lecturer in the Department of History. Currently, she is working on a project encompassing gender, humanitarianism, and photography in the aftermath of the Armenian genocide. This research project is part of a broader monograph on the social history of humanitarianism after the First World War.

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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:

 

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