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Jagoda Budzik

Third-Generation Polish-Jewish Israeli Authors and Their Identity Struggles

In this presentation, Jagoda Budzik will analyze the variety of attitudes shown by Israeli writers and artists towards their categorization as the “third generation,” which has been continuously imposed on them, mostly for biographical reasons. Although the representation of Israeli authors’ confrontation with Holocaust memory in terms of post-Holocaust generations is deeply rooted in the specific nature of their experience, it can be perceived as oppressive because of its monolithic character. Therefore, the attitudes that will be discussed range from acceptance to questioning the very usefulness of the term “generation.” Some of the artists try to renegotiate the boundaries of the generational category they continue to be described by, while others look for ways to redefine it on other grounds besides biographical, or outside the specific Jewish context. These strategies will be illustrated with literary works that are inseparably linked to Poland, whether in relation to the Shoah and its memory, or in relation to the memory of Jewish life on Polish lands for centuries. Poland becomes a place that allows authors to explore the constant interaction between collective and individual memory, between the Israeli national perspective and Polish landscapes, between an author and the space, and finally, between the category of the third generation and its representatives.

Jagoda Budzik is a PhD candidate in Polish and classical philology at Adam Mickiewicz University, holding degrees in Hebrew and theatre studies from the same university. She also studied at Tel Aviv University in 2014-15. Ms. Budzik is a recipient of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education’s Diamond Grant (2014) for the project “Eretz Sham – The Land Over There. Formation of the Images of Poland in Literary and Non-literary Cultural Texts about the Holocaust by Israeli Authors of the Third Generation.” She was recently awarded The Clifford and Mary Corbridge Trust scholarship at the University of Cambridge (2016). Her research interests focus on the issues of collective memory, Israeli literature, theatre, and visual arts in light of the Holocaust discourse. Her work combines elements drawn from three major disciplines: literature, memory studies, and cultural studies.