Thursday, February 7, 2019
Irène Némirovsky was a Russian Jewish immigrant to France who achieved a brilliant career as a novelist during the 1930s but was deported as a “foreign Jew” in 1942 and died in Auschwitz. Like many deported "foreign Jews" in France during the war, she was forgotten for many years. Her two daughters, who survived the war as hidden children, were instrumental in reviving their mother’s name. Némirovky became famous in 2004, when her posthumous book "Suite Française" was published and became an international bestseller. Susan Rubin Suleiman, professor of French literature and comparative literature at Harvard University and author of "The Némirovsky Question: The Life, Death, and Legacy of a Jewish Writer in 20th Century France," will discuss Némirovsky’s life and works in the context of modern European history and literature.
Susan Rubin Suleiman was born in Budapest and emigrated to the U.S. as a child with her parents. She has been a professor of French literature and comparative literature at Harvard University since 1981. Her books include “Authoritarian Fictions: The Ideological Novel as a Literary Genre” (1983); “Subversive Intent: Gender, Politics, and the Avant-Garde” (1990); “Crises of Memory and the Second World War” (2006); and the mémoire “Budapest Diary: In Search of the Motherbook” (1996). Her latest book is “The Némirovsky Question: The Life, Death, and Legacy of a Jewish Writer in 20th Century France” (2016).
Suleiman has won many honors, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute, and the Central European University. In 1990, she received the Radcliffe Medal for Distinguished Achievement, and in 1992 she was decorated by the French Government as an Officer of the Order of Academic Palms (Palmes Académiques). In April 2018 she was awarded France’s highest honor, the Légion d’Honneur.
Professor Suleiman’s talk is co-sponsored by the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at Claremont McKenna College and the French Studies Department at Scripps College.
Neil Maher, professor of environmental and political history at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University, will explore the interrelationship between the space race to the moon and the grassroots struggles of the 1960s era, including, in particular, those of the civil rights, environmental, and feminist movements.
Neil M. Maher is a professor of history at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University at Newark, where he teaches American environmental and political history. He has published articles in many academic journals including Social History, Environmental History, the Western Historical Quarterly, and most recently, Modern American History. His first book, “Nature’s New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement” (Oxford University Press, 2008), received the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Book Award for the best monograph in conservation history.
Maher’s most recent book, “Apollo in the Age of Aquarius” (Harvard University Press, 2017), examines the interrelationship between the space race and the grassroots political struggles of the 1960s era, including the civil rights, anti-Vietnam war, environmental, feminist, counterculture, and conservative movements. The book was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title (2017) and a Bloomberg View Must Read Book (2017), and recently received the Eugene M. Emme best book award from the American Astronautical Society (2017).
Professor Maher will deliver the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies' 2019 Lerner Lecture in the 1960s in our Time.