Events & Lectures

Monday, May 4, 2015

Translating the Holocaust: H.G. Adler As Writer and Scholar

Bard Hall, Bard College Campus  4:00 pm
Sponsored by the Hannah Arendt Center, The Bard Translation Initiative, Jewish Studies, German Studies, and Human Rights Project.

H.G. Adler (1910-1988) felt it important to employ every means available to him to grapple with the Holocaust, and the question of how we do so as readers and thinkers is one that still resonates with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps in the spring of 1945. The author of  Theresienstadt 1941-1945 - The Face of a Coerced Community, published in 1955 and forthcoming in English from Cambridge University Press, he was one of the earliest scholars to write extensively on the Shoah and was a pioneer of Holocaust Studies. Adler, however, did not stop with scholarship, choosing as well to write six novels about his experience in Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and two other camps. Three of them, Panorama, The Journey, and The Wall, form a trilogy that covers the lead up to, immersion within, and survival of the camps, and are now available in English translation from Random House.

This event will offer a unique opportunity to consider the intersection of both the scholarly and artistic work of a major thinker and writer who is just becoming known in English. Jeremy Adler, the author's son and Professor of German at King's College London, will offer a keynote address on what it means to see his father's scholarship, fiction, and poetry at last gaining worldwide attention. Amy Lowenhaar, editor of the Theresienstadt book, will speak on the significance of Adler's  scholarship, followed by Belinda Cooper and Peter Filkins, the translators of Adler's scholarship and fiction, respectively, who will discuss the challenges posed by Adler's multiple voices and genres. Professors Roger Berkowitz, Cecile Kuznitz and Wyatt Mason will serve as respondents and will lead the question and answer session to follow. There will also be a performance of Viktor Ullmann's song settings of two poems by Adler, which were composed in Theresienstadt, performed by tenor Rufus Müller accompanied by Laurence Wallach.

Schedule4:00pm Introduction by Peter Filkins
4:05pm Keynote, Jeremy Adler
4:15pm Panel, H.G. Adler as scholar and writer - Amy Lowenhaar & Jeremy Adler (Roger Berkowitz, moderator)
 - Immer Inmitten and Vor der Ewigkeit (Rufus Müller and Laurence Wallach)
4:40 Remarks by Bill T. Jones on Analogy/Dora: Tramontane
4:50pm Panel, Translating H.G. Adler - Belinda Cooper & Peter Filkins
5:10pm Respondents: Wyatt Mason & Cecil Kuznitz
5:25pm - 5:45pm Q&A

May 4th, 2015 at 4pm
Location: Bard Hall
Free and Open to the Public

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