"Trauma, History, and Temporality in Holocaust Writing"
Professor Jonathan Druker is director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Illinois State University, where he is also associate professor of Italian and coordinator of the Italian section. He earned his PhD in Italian literature from the University of California at Berkeley. While in residence at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Professor Druker conducted research for his project, “Trauma, History, and Temporality in Holocaust Writing.”
Professor Druker is the author of Primo Levi and Humanism after Auschwitz: Posthumanist Reflections (Palgrave, 2009). His recent essays include: “‘What Would I Have Done?’: Using The Drowned and the Saved to Confront Moral Ambiguity,” in Approaches to Teaching the Works of Primo Levi (2014 ); and “Victims and Executioners in Wiesel’s Dawn: A Levinasian Reading,” in Elie Wiesel: Jewish, Literary, and Moral Perspectives (2013). His recent presentations include: “Trauma and Post-Holocaust Subjectivity in Agamben’s Quel che resta di Auschwitz,” at the 2014 Modern Language Association Convention; and “Primo Levi, Jean Améry and the Uses of Trauma,” at the 2013 American Association of Italian Studies Annual Conference.
During his Joyce and Arthur Schechter Fellowship at the Mandel Center, Professor Druker worked on a book project exploring the complex relationship between traumatic memories, the perception of time, and historical narrative as represented in survivor memoirs and Holocaust fiction. He drew on trauma theory, the philosophy of history, and the techniques of literary studies to analyze works by Tadeusz Borowski, Jean Améry, Charlotte Delbo, Cynthia Ozick, Bernhard Schlink, and Primo Levi.
Professor Jonathan Druker was in residence at the Mandel Center from September 1 to November 30, 2014.