24.11. Lecture about Comics and Holocaust Testimony

Friday, 24 November at 12.00–13.30, Guest Lecture about Comics and Holocaust Testimony

University of Turku, Arcanum, A270

Brett E. Sterling: Holocaust Testimony in Word and Image: The Comics Anthology But I Live (2022)

In the 2022 anthology But I Live, an international team of scholars paired artists from Canada, Germany, and Israel with four child survivors of the Holocaust to create comics based on the survivors’ lived experiences. Rather than merely illustrating these experiences, the artists collaborated directly with survivors to co-create their history in works that navigate memory, witnessing, and commemoration. Through a comparative analysis of each comic, this talk explores how the co-creation of these narratives between artist and survivor constitutes a form of collaborative testimony, while asking how the artists’ formal interventions attempt to create something new and distinct from verbal or textual testimony.

About the lecturer:

Brett E. Sterling is Associate Professor of German at the University of Arkansas. His research and teaching interests include the intersection of literature and political engagement, diversity and multiculturalism in German-speaking Europe, German-language comics, and the works of Austrian exile author Hermann Broch. He has published and presented widely on German-language comics, including the work of Jens Harder, Nicolas Mahler, Barbara Yelin, Ulli Lust, and Birgit Weyhe. With international colleagues, he founded and served as co-organizer of the Comics Studies Network in the German Studies Association. His first book, Hermann Broch and Mass Hysteria: Theory and Representation in the Age of Extremes (Camden House, 2022), was awarded the 2023 Radomír Luža Prize for Best Manuscript in Austrian/Czechoslovak Studies in the World War II era by the American Friends of the Documentation Center of Austrian Resistance and the German Studies Association. His current book project, Contemporary German-language Comics: A History, is under contract with The Ohio State University Press.