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Reclaiming the “Ruins of Memory”: Gender, Agency, and Imagination in Stories of the Shoah

March 23, 2022 @ 11:00 am

Image Description: The event image is the sculpture wall of the Gleis 17/Track 17 memorial in Berlin.

In recounting the past, Holocaust survivors deliberately or unconsciously craft the stories they recount about the Shoah. Whether through literature, memoirs, or testimony, survivors shape stories about the past while signaling what remains unsaid. Deferred memories – stories told many decades after the events occurred – often address issues that survivors did not dare or could not bear to recount earlier. Looking at these deferred stories through the lens of gender, we will explore how survivors craft accounts that insist on reclaiming, owning, and interpreting what the writer Ida Fink called “the ruins of memory,” often against the grain and in tension with academic interpretation.

Sara R. Horowitz is a Professor of Comparative Literature and Humanities at York University, Canada. She is the author of the award-winning Voicing the Void: Muteness and Memory in Holocaust Fiction (SUNY 1997) and most recently authored Shadows in the City of Light: Paris in Post-War French Jewish Writing (SUNY 2021). She is the editor or co-editor of several prizewinning books and served as chief editor for the Azrieli Holocaust Memoirs Series I and II (Azrieli Foundation-Centre for Jewish Studies 2007, 2009).

RSVP today

Lunch by RSVP only after the lecture


USC Main Campus
Doheny Memorial Library, Room 240
ZOOM link available upon reservation

COVID-19 Health and Safety

All attendees accessing USC campus must:

  • Wear a medical grade mask (surgical, N95, KN95, or KF94), vaccinated or unvaccinated. Attendees who do not have medical grade masks may obtain one when entering campus at the main entry gates.
  • Complete Trojan Check, USC's daily wellness assessment, prior to entering campus on the day of their visit.
  • Show proof of vaccination and photo ID to enter campus. Either a physical CDC-issued vaccine card or a digital copy will be accepted. As an alternative, guests may show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event.

Event Protocol

Masks should be worn at all times. Please note that no food or drink is allowed in Doheny Memorial Library.
Anyone refusing to comply with mask requirements is subject to removal from the event.

If you are feeling unwell day-of, please join us online! All attendees will be emailed the Zoom link upon registration.


Start: March 23, 2022 / 11:00 AM
Where: USC Main Campus , Los Angeles
USC Main Campus
Los Angeles United States