2019 Wellek Library Lectures: Georges Didi-Huberman

"HOW TRY TELL? A short journey in the papers of the Warsaw Ghetto"

May 28th, 29th, and 30th
Humanities Gateway 1030, 4-6pm (reception to follow first lecture)

"HOW TRY TELL? A short journey in the papers of Warsaw Ghetto"
Georges Didi-Huberman (École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

In the secretly and communally constituted archive, centered on Emanuel Ringelblum and gathered in the Warsaw Ghetto between 1939 and 1943, will be found around thirty-five thousand pages of stories, statistics, eyewitness accounts, poems, popular songs, children’s assignments from clandestine schools, and letters tossed from cattle cars on the way to Treblinka… These documents constitute an essential source for the history of the Shoah, and have thus been rightfully studied as such.

But also in this archive is a corpus of photographs that, hitherto, no one has truly considered. These lectures will be something along the lines of a “photo-narrative” of a recent trip to Warsaw, delving into the ghetto’s archives, intended to bring a first look at these images in relation to the texts that they accompanied.

On the theoretical plane, there is the question of the style that a writing of history—faced with the sparse and often enigmatic nature of these documents—might take. How, that is, to transmit an experience? And how to do so betwixt and between images and words?