Religious Studies and Theology, Vol 35, No 1 (2016)

Why I No Longer Work with Holocaust Literature

Lydia Kokkola
Issued Date: 19 Aug 2016

Abstract


This vividly written reflection on research content, dissemination of knowledge, the researcher’s selfhood and ethical choices at a career point at which the author’s work is highly recognized and speaking invitations abound is a personal account of her decision to leave the field of Holocaust studies. Kokkola explains how she used elements from her own life story to find the empathy needed to engage with the research material, whilst highlighting the dangers of drawing such parallels. She concludes by exposing how the Holocaust has been leveraged for political and economic purposes to negate the other genocides and to promote a simplified view of saviour nations and idealized victims.

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DOI: 10.1558/rsth.31633

References


Bettelheim, Bruno. 1991 [1960]. The Informed Heart: A Study of the Psychological Consequences of Living Under Extreme Fear and Terror. London: Penguin.


Bosmajian, Hamida. 2002. Sparing the Child: Grief and the Unspeakable in Youth Literature about Nazism and the Holocaust. London and New York: Routledge.


Finkelstein, Norman G. 2003. The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the exploitation of Jewish suffering. New York: Verso.


Gangi, Jane. 2014. Genocide in Contemporary Children’s and Young Adult Literature: Cambodia to Darfur. London and New York: Routledge.


Kertzer, Adrienne. 2002. My Mother’s Voice: Children, Literature, and the Holocaust. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview.


Kokkola, Lydia. 2003. Representing the Holocaust in Children’s Literature. London and New York: Routledge.


Shavit, Zohar. 2005. A Past without Shadow: Constructing the Past in German Books for Children. London and New York: Routledge. http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203334553


Smith, Anna Marie. 1994. “The Imaginary Inclusion of the Assimilable ‘Good Homosexual:’ The British New Right’s Representations of Sexuality and Race.” Diacritics 24(2/3): 58–70. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/465164


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