Carol L. Bernstein
Research Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Bryn Mawr College(USA)
Resident at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:June and July 2012
Research topic at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:»Cultural Memory, Trauma, Performance«
During the past few years, a major part of my research has focused upon the relations between cultural memory and performance, especially as memory is treated in different forms of dance (in national traditions, in the historical experiences of groups that are represented in the work of individual choreographers) and in films. Thus the work of the Cambodian National Dance Theater, consigned to oblivion by the Khmer Rouge, was revived shortly after the latter’s defeat by the combined memories of members of the troupe. Dances related to the experience of African Americans, choreographed by Bill T. Jones and Ralph Lemon, convey their memories and histories. In film, Alain Resnais’s Hiroshima Mon Amour represents, enacts and conveys memories of World War II in both Occupied France and Hiroshima. I have written about these works in two essays. One in the Journal of Research Practice (an online journal), seeks to provide a theoretical frame for relating dance and memory. The second, »Performing Cultural Memory,« has been translated into Spanish and published in La Balsa de la Medusa (Madrid). rnrnWith a focus upon other performances in dance and film, I plan to return to unresolved questions and new issues: speaking or writing what is unsaid in dance, or making a narrative out of unresolved and unspoken traumas; appropriating the historical experience of a group into a necessarily different contemporary context; in a contrary way, or as an aesthetic counterpoint, appropriating or assuming the experiences of others (one’s predecessors in a group) as one’s own. (Carol L. Bernstein) Carol Bernstein follows an invitation of Rainer Forst (Professor of Political Theory at Goethe Univeversity and speaker of the Cluster of Excellence »The formation of normative orders« at Goethe University). Her stay at the Institute is supported by the Alfons und Gertrud Kassel-Foundation.
Scholarly profile of Carol L. Bernstein
Main areas of research:Romantic and Victorian literature and literary theory, Walter Benjamin, Cultural Memory
- »Escenifar la memoria cultural« (engl.:»Performing Cultural Memory«), in: La Balsa de la Medusa (Madrid), 3 (2) (2010), S. 49-64.
- »Beyond the Archive: Cultural Memory in Dance and Theater«, in: Journal of Research Practice, Bd. 3, 2 (2007).
- »Semprun and the Experience of Radical Evil«, in: Pragmatism, critique, judgment – essays for Richard J. Bernstein, edited by Seyla Benhabib and Nancy Fraser; Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press 2004.
- The Celebration of Scandal: Toward the Sublime in Victorian Urban Fiction. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press 1991.
- Precarious Enchantment: A Reading of Meredith's Poetry. Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press 1979.