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Regarding the Pain of Women: Questions of Gender and the Arts of Holocaust Memory

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020


My Title, a variation on Susan Sontag's regarding the pain of others, is meant as an homage to sontag and as an extension of her searing critique of war photography and its reflexive objectification of suffering, its conversion of victims into objets d'art. But why, in particular, the pain of women Holocaust victims here? Because we have finally begun to amass a large and profound critical literature on gender and the Holocaust, which, alongside Sontag's work on photography, might help us look at how and why the public gaze of photographers, curators, historians, and museumgoers continues to turn women into objects of memory, idealized casts of perfect suffering and victimization, and even emblems of larger Jewish suffering during the Holocaust.

Theories and Methodologies
Copyright © Modern Language Association of America, 2009

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