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Silence and Voices: Family History and Memorialization in Intergenerational Holocaust Literature Open Access


Other title
Family History
Holocaust Literature
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Shewchuk, Sarah J.G.
Supervisor and department
Dr. Jonathan Hart (Comparative Literature and English and Film Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Irene Sywenky (Comparative Literature and Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Dr. Massimo Verdicchio (Comparative Literature and Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Dr. Christian Riegel (English)
Dr. John-Paul Himka (History and Classics)
Dr. Patricia Demers (Comparative Literature and English and Film Studies)
Comparative Literature

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
As survivors age, soon there will be no living witnesses of the Holocaust. At this turning point in history, my research examines how, and for what purposes, family history has been recorded by members of multiple generations of Jewish families in France, Canada, and the United States. Within an intergenerational continuum, my research compares works in English and French by Irène Némirovsky, Élisabeth Gille, Denise Epstein, Mayer Kirshenblatt and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Simon Schneiderman, Daniel Mendelsohn, and Jonathan Safran Foer in order to assess the various ways in which members of different generations have grappled with the Holocaust and its aftermath, as well as how they have memorialized Holocaust victims, survivors, and their descendents in different textual forms. By situating the works that I have chosen within a larger memorial tradition, examining the changing nature of textual memorialization in the digital age, and assessing the pedagogical role of literary representations of Holocaust family history, my research addresses the implications of intergenerational Holocaust literature for contemporary readers and members of generations that are yet to come.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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