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The Urban Topography of Exclusion in Literature and Arts
19 June - 14 Sep. 2023
1012 CG Amsterdam

The Urban Topography of Exclusion in Literature and Arts

Representing Clandestinity in Metropolitan Contexts

This two-day international conference in Amsterdam and Brussels seeks to examine literature and the arts (painting, cinema, music) produced immediately after the rise of Nazism, during World War II, and following the Holocaust in order to challenge the urban topographical dynamics of Nazi anti-Semitism.

A more thorough understanding will be possible by comparing perspectives from various cities in occupied Europe and the Third Reich (Brussels, Amsterdam, The Hague, Paris, Luxembourg, Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Vienna), taking into account the exiled state that the writers and artists experienced after being forced to leave Nazi Germany and seek refuge in neighboring nations, frequently relocating their exile locations. Many of them traveled from one location to another, and these cities were significant in the works and lives of the exiles and refugees who lived there.

The primary goal of this conference is to examine how Nazi persecution in major European cities is depicted in literature and the arts. Specifically, how is the figure of the Jew (as an exile, refugee, etc.) positioned as a persecuted or excluded person in the urban environment subject to the new Nazi urban distribution that affects both public and private space?

Although the conference is primarily focused on the backdrop of Nazi spatial policy, it also sheds new light on other environments of war and tyranny.

The main research topics include but are not limited to:

  • Visibility / invisibility of Jews in urban/public spaces
  • Visibility / invisibility of the body of the one whose life is reduced to clandestinity
  • Body in the marginalized space
  • Spaces of exclusion
  • Closed spaces, open spaces
  • (Co)inhabiting common spaces
  • Other forms of exclusion/marginalization (racial, social) and their manifestation in urban spaces

View the programme for Amsterdam and Brussels

The Urban Topography of Exclusion in Literature and Arts

More information

The conference is held onsite and online. For further information, please contact the organisers:

Arvi Sepp (ULB, CLIC/BCUS): arvi.sepp@vub.be

Atinati Mamatsashvili (ILIAUNI/NIAS): tina_mamatsashvili@iliauni.edu.ge