Inspired by USC Libraries’ Exile Studies Collections, which include the papers of German-Jewish novelist Lion Feuchtwanger, the USC Max Kade Institute for Austrian – German – Swiss Studies and the USC Libraries present a lecture series discussing historical and contemporary issues surrounding Exile and Resistance.
This series brings together scholars and artists for ongoing interdisciplinary talks about recent research, films/documentaries, and artistic pieces that focus on the subjects of exile and resistance in historical as well as contemporary contexts and in a multitude of geographical regions.
The century stretching from the end of World War I to the present has seen an explosion in mobility and migration. The post-World War I order – persistent outbreaks of violence, and shifting European and Middle Eastern borders and boundaries – created what Hannah Arendt called “the problem of the stateless people.” The rise of the Nazis and other fascist movements in the 1930s led to a groundswell of emigrants and exiles, and both the Nazis’ genocidal war and post-World War II upheavals and persecutions further exacerbated the crises. In the past decade, the number of forcibly displaced persons has exceeded those of the years around World War II. If the European migrant crisis has served as the main sounding board for current discourses around migration, it is far from the only epicenter of global migration.
What can the history of forced displacement teach us about the current moment? How, in turn, does a history of the present alter our understanding of the past? And given the persistence of the problem of statelessness, is “crisis” the best framework to speak of migrants and refugees? Indeed the multidirectional patterns of so-called economic migration, too, intersect with the histories of imperialism, nationalism, and fascism in often-unpredictable ways, putting pressure on prevailing notions of “forced” versus “voluntary” displacement.
With a broad historical and geographic lens, the Exile and Resistance lecture series examines the overlapping trajectories of exile, migration, and statelessness over the last century, shedding light on experiences and representations of displacement, loss, and persecution and highlighting sites of political and cultural resistance. The series will bring together scholars, artists, and activists for ongoing interdisciplinary presentations and discussions around recent research, films / documentaries, and artistic pieces that focus on the subjects of exile and resistance in historical as well as contemporary contexts and in a multitude of geographical regions.
Inspired by USC Libraries’ exile studies collections, which include the papers of German-Jewish novelist Lion Feuchtwanger, Exile and Resistance is the result of a joint partnership between USC Libraries, USC’s Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies, and USC Dornsife’s Department of French and Italian.