The representation of trauma in the oeuvre of Marcel Möring

Nienke van Leverink

The representation of trauma in the oeuvre of Marcel Möring

Universiteit Leiden 2019-2023 | Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Yra van Dijk en Dr. Esther Op de Beek

This research will provide a textual analysis of the oeuvre of second generation writer Marcel Möring, with a focus on the representation of trauma in the context of the Shoah. Through the years, Möring’s fiction has become more experimental and transgressive. His texts circle around a void that just can’t seem to be expressed in words. Through close reading, I will examine how this ‘unrepresentability’ tries to find its way out and expresses itself through different layers of the text, like the disruption of time, intertextuality and magic realism. It is my aim to position this oeuvre in the broader spectrum of Shoah literature and postmemory.

The sense of place in site-specific performances (with a focus on Pahlavi II architecture)

The never-ending conflict between tradition and modernity has a determinative place in Iranians’ memory. Therefore, the problem of identity and the sense of suspension are the two shared themes in Iranian architectural studies and Iranian cinema (since the forties). Since architecture has always been one of the main footmarks of modernity in Iran, it has always played a crucial role in Iranian cinema as well. Tehran, with its history of different conflicting modernization plans, has hosted the majority of Iranian cinema, as the representative of modernity in Iran. The lack of a cohesive plan to preserve the contemporary architectural heritage in different political periods has created an identity crisis in Tehran’s architectural memory. On the other hand, Iranian contemporary architecture has a significant role in Iranian contemporary theatre, especially in site-specific performances. This project will focus on the role of the audience’s cinematic memory of Iranian contemporary architecture in perceiving the sense of place in site-specific case studies. This project will also focus on the performances’ agency in the process of amplifying and stimulating the spectator’s cinematic memory.

The End of Days: The Doomsday Clock, chronology, and scale

Ian Kenny

The End of Days: The Doomsday Clock, chronology, and scale
Amsterdam 2020-2024 | Supervisors: Niall Martin and Boris Noordenbos

This thesis asks how far “mythological thinking” can assist in the peculiar challenges presented in the Anthropocene. Can myths provide a conceptual and imaginative resource in understanding phenomena to which factual discourse appears inadequate? How might we comprehend the scales and timelines involved in anthropogenic climate change, and how might mythological thinking help translate those problematics to a recognizable scale? Mythological thinking provides the framework necessary to make the mediation of the Anthropocene understandable. I will develop mythological thinking in regard to various timely objects that bid us to engage with the Anthropocene to a variety of ends as a sort of “bricolage”, including a contemporary video game, indigenous art, parasocial interactions, and speculative fiction.

Marking Memory on a Plate: Food Narratives from the Middle East

Erica Moukarzel, Marking Memory on a Plate: Food Narratives from the Middle East  | Supervisors: Esther Peeren and Noa Roei

This project investigates food in relation to sensory belonging within the context of the Middle East. It explores how food comes to shape identities and their sense of place, transmitted through affective and embodied narratives. Focusing on the Middle Eastern plate, the project draws out the intersections of food with language, colonization, gender, and nostalgia, and the ways these concepts come to be inscribed in their specific cultural contexts. Furthermore, the project underscores cultural ties between one place and another, as it bridges the in-betweens of food’s spatial entanglements, disassembling places and their respective borders. Finally, the project aims to map out a new interdisciplinary approach to (Middle Eastern) cuisine as a narrative that emphasizes on stories of common heritage, tied together by migratory routes and political interjections.

Food and its related narratives, rituals and components, from ingredients, to recipes, to ways of cooking, serving and eating, carry a double record: first as field recordings of the environment – be it natural or political – and second as historical documents of events and technological developments. The results are passionate narratives of survival, triumph, grief, celebration, forgiveness and strife, marks of protest and resistance to conditions natural and human-made. These narratives, in all their forms, are at the core of this project. By focusing on narrative, the project aims to address the complications of colonial pasts, displacement, and globalization through a double focus on objects that represent dishes and foods (cooking books, cooking shows, etc.), as well as on the components of the dishes in and of themselves. This second focus – my archeological investigation of the material ingredients of the said dishes – is based on my  understanding of the plate itself as a narrative that is often ignored but that can, when carefully attended to, offer important insights to the broader narratives that envelop it.

Imagining the US Rural – Genres, Interventions, Feelings

Tjalling R. Valdés Olmos | Supervisors: Esther Peeren and Jaap Kooijman | Imagining the US Rural – Genres, Interventions, Feelings

My project examines what aspects of 21st-century US rural life become in/visible in prominent rural imaginations, and what politics these imaginations support. More specifically I look at these questions from a decolonial, feminist, and critical race studies perspective, asking how certain genres make particular aspects of rural life il/legible and in/visible within the context of the longue durée of globalization. The project is further informed by a theoretical and conceptual framework focusing on the chronotope, spectrality, and affect.