On the surface, Rutu Modan’s "The Property" and Nora Krug’s "Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home" are two very different graphic novels. Modan’s fictional book follows a grandmother and granddaughter as they fly from Israel to Warsaw on a quest to find out what happened to the family’s “property” after World War II. Nora Krug’s visual memoir—a combination of comics, archival documents, and sketches—features Krug, a German artist now married to an American Jew, who narrates her journey as she tracks her family’s past to find out more about her relatives’ involvement in Nazi Germany. Despite these differing plots and perspectives, both visual works powerfully evoke some of the most important questions about the Holocaust and other 20th and 21st century atrocities. What roles do the next generations play in thinking through horrific events? What might it look like to adequately address the past, including untold, and often unknown, histories? This talk by Tahneer Oksman will address these and other issues as they are explored through the flexible and capacious medium of comics.
The Great Jewish Books Lecture Series gives learners of all ages the opportunity to delve into great works of Jewish literature with top scholars in the field. Each month, a speaker presents a virtual talk focusing on an author or work, followed by a Q&A with the audience. These talks span a wide variety of literary subjects, presenting works written in many languages from classic Yiddish texts to contemporary Jewish American writing.
The Great Jewish Books Lecture Series is made possible with the generous support of the Salkind Family Foundation in memory of Marilyn Salkind.