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

  • Author / Creator
    Shewchuk, Sarah J.G.
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Irene Sywenky (Comparative Literature and Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
    • Dr. Christian Riegel (English)
    • Dr. Massimo Verdicchio (Comparative Literature and Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
    • Dr. Patricia Demers (Comparative Literature and English and Film Studies)
    • Dr. John-Paul Himka (History and Classics)