Friday, January 29, 2021
Virtual Seminar via Zoom, Register for Link
GERMAN STUDIES SEMINAR
Lives in Boxes: Belongings on Journeys of Displacement, Sheer Ganor
German Jews who sought to escape Nazi persecution and violence encountered a thorough campaign of dispossession as they prepared for their emigration. Many of these migrants nevertheless managed (often covertly) to transport a wide array of objects that became embedded in their experience of displacement. This paper studies this wave of forced migration through its material culture. It explores how household items, professional tools, heirloom possessions and trivial trinkets served a variety of functions in the everyday lives of the displaced, and explains how the meanings and utilities of these objects flexibly shifted in response to cataclysmic changes.