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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

Exile and Dispersion Study Day Event

10:00 - 16:00
27 March 2011
Avenue Campus University of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please email Kirsty McLean at .

Event details

The day will consist of a series of talks by experts from the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/Non-Jewish Relations with opportunities for questions and discussion. The event will present the opportunity to learn about exile as a theme in Jewish life from a variety of perspectives reflecting the expertise of the speakers including as portrayed on television, in music, literature, theology and history.


10.00-10.10     Introduction (Helen Spurling)


10.10-10.55    ‘Finding Refugee Voices' (Prof Tony Kushner)

Refugees from Nazism, especially those who were Jewish, have left the largest archival and autobiographical legacy of any groups of forced migrants in history. This presentation will chart the evolution of their testimony from the 1940s to the present day, incorporating different types of media and with different themes emerging at different moments. 


10.55-11.40    ‘Songs and Survival among Jewish Displaced Persons after the Holocaust' (Dr Shirli Gilbert)

This session will offer a sketch of the lively and diverse musical life that flourished in the Displaced Persons' camps of Europe after the Holocaust, illustrated with some original recordings from the time. The many songs that were sung in these transitional camps offer us insight into how surviving victims understood what had happened to them, and what they thought about the individual and collective future. 


11.40-12.00    Coffee


12.00-12.45    ‘Exile in Jewish Biblical Interpretation' (Dr Helen Spurling)

The concept of exile is first found in the Bible when Jerusalem was sacked by the Babylonians and the majority of the Jewish inhabitants taken to Babylonia. This talk will examine the biblical account of the first exile, and discuss its importance as a theme and motif within subsequent Jewish biblical interpretation. 


12.45-1.45   Lunch


1.45-2.30    ‘Rudolph Cartier's Jewish Journey: From Vienna to the BBC' (Dr James Jordan)

Rudolph Cartier was an Austrian-Jewish refugee from Nazism who forged a new life in Britain from 1935 onwards, playing a pivotal role in the moulding of BBC television's post-war drama output with productions including the Quatermass sci-fi serials and a controversial version of Orwell's 1984. This talk will discuss his journey from Nazism and his subsequent career, looking at several examples of his output which were clearly influenced by his origins. 


2.30-3.15    'Diasporic Consciousness and Jewish American Literature'  (Dr Devorah Baum)

The survival of Jews in the diaspora has often been attributed to the Jewish emphasis on memory and narrative.  In this way Jews have been able to retain a sense of group identity despite their historical dispersion.  This talk will consider the Diaspora as a challenging but also enriching situation, particularly for writers of fiction.  It will conclude by thinking about the creative inspiration of exile for Jewish writers in modern America.


3.15-4.00    Questions over coffee


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