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Title: The seeping and creeping of haunted memory : tracing the concentrationary in post-war cinema
Author: Hannavy Cousen, Benjamin James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 1059
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis aims to establish a foundation for investigating, in post-war cinema, occurrences, traces and evocations of what concentration camp survivor David Rousset named the 'concentrationary universe' - which is distinct from sites of genocidal extermination. An eclectic archive of mostly British films are case studies for the exposure of a concentrationary imaginary as both a narrative element and feature of the image track. In order to trace the ways in which the hypothetical concentrationary imaginary might operate, the citational, indexical, and amnesiac 'orders' of concentrationary image are identified. 'Concentrationary seep' and 'creep' are proposed as terms describing mechanisms by which these images inhabit, infiltrate and emerge upon the surface of films which often have never been considered in any relationship to concentration camps. The thesis forms part of the AHRC Research Project Concentrationary Memories: The Politics of Representation, directed by Griselda Pollock and Max Silverman. The project makes a distinction from established critical discourse around 'holocaust memory'. Concentrationary memory is vigilant against the menace of what Jacques Lacan in 1949 called 'concentrationary forms of the social bond', of which 'concentrationary images' are symptoms. The cultural failure otanxious memory is addressed by plotting how elements of what was initiated in Nazi laboratories of human destruction, have become a cultural reservoir. Informed by witnesses such as Rousset and the psychoanalytical theory of Lacan, I also engage with the work of thinkers like Giorgio Agamben and Klaus Theweleit in uncovering often surprising concentrationary resonances. The films are 'played off' against such critically 'aware' cultural interventions as Alain Resnais' Night and Fog. By building an archive from traces, hauntings, and surfacings, theoretical and methodological foundations are created for analysing a concentrationary imaginary in popular cinema. Between cinema and cultural memory studies, the thesis aims to contribute to cultural analysis of concentrationary legacies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available