New Perspectives on Holocaust Memory

Posted by er134 at May 03, 2013 12:00 PM |
Representations of the Holocaust in Italian culture to be examined at the 2013 Aubrey Newman Lecture at University of Leicester on Wednesday 8 May

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 3 May 2013

The role of memory in the shaping of national identity will be highlighted at a public lecture on the portrayal of the Holocaust in Italy.

Robert Gordon, Professor of Modern Italian Culture at the University of Cambridge, will give the 8th Aubrey Newman Lecture, jointly organised by the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the School of Modern Languages at the University of Leicester. The talk is entitled ‘Grey Zones and Good Italians: The Holocaust and National Character’ and is free and open to the public.

The spread of cultural knowledge and understanding about the Holocaust has been shaped by many, often oblique and indirect factors. Conversely, the Holocaust has itself shaped and influenced, in unpredictable ways, the collective identities of European nations and cultures.

This lecture uses Italy as a case study and looks at how certain ideas of national character in Italy have intersected with discussion about the Holocaust over the postwar era, in ways that have both highlighted and troubled shared assumptions about the legacies of war, Fascism and indeed the Holocaust itself.

The current deputy director of the Stanley Burton Centre, Dr Fransiska Louwagie from the School of Modern Languages, said: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Gordon as speaker for the 8th annual Aubrey Newman lecture. He is a leading specialist on the work of Primo Levi and on the memory of the Holocaust in Italy. His lecture will promote our understanding of fascist Italy and provide insight into different patterns of response to the Holocaust in Italy today.”

Professor Gordon has published widely on 20th-century Italian literature, cinema and cultural history. He is the author or editor of several books on the work of Primo Levi, including Primo Levi's Ordinary Virtues, Auschwitz Report, and The Cambridge Companion to Primo Levi. He is co-editor of Culture, Censorship and the State in 20th-Century Italy and the author of The Holocaust in Italian Culture 1944-2010, published in 2012.

His work on cinema includes the books Pasolini. Forms of Subjectivity and Bicycle Thieves, DVD and blu-ray audio commentaries on Pasolini's Teorema and Bicycle Thieves, and articles and essays on Holocaust cinema, early film and literature, 'Hollywood on the Tiber', and censorship.

The Aubrey Newman lecture 2013 ‘Grey Zones and Good Italians: The Holocaust and National Character’ will take place on Wednesday 8 May 2013 in KE LT3 (Ken Edwards Building Lecture Theatre 3), University of Leicester,  at 5.30pm.

For more information, please contact Dr Simona Storchi on or Dr Fransiska Louwagie


Notes to editors:

For further information please contact Dr Simona Storchi on or Dr Fransiska Louwagie

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