Professor Saul Friedländer holds the “1939” Club Chair in Holocaust Studies at UCLA, the first such chair at a public University in the United States. Friedländer is one of the world’s premier historians in the field of Holocaust Studies. He is the recipient of a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant, and his book The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade Association, the most prestigious award of this kind in Germany.
Twenty years ago, Friedländer asked a number of historians and theorists to reflect on whether or not the Holocaust-as-event posed ethical or aesthetic limits to its representation in fiction or non-fiction. The resulting volume, Probing the Limits of Representation (Harvard University Press, 1992), had an impact far beyond the circle of Holocaust scholars and, over time, has assumed the contours of a ‘classic’ in history and theory. Our conference is envisioned as a “sequel,” but with the intention of bringing together an intergenerational dialogue between scholars in history, film and media studies, geography, architectural history, and literary studies as well as artists, authors, architects, and filmmakers.
The conference celebrates Professor Friedländer’s extraordinary life and career by addressing the politics and ethics of Holocaust culture in a manner appropriate to the current scholarly-cultural moment marked by the globalization and digitalization of knowledge.