Michael Karpf

Shortbio

  • seit 2019 Kollegiat am DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 2227 „Identität und Erbe“ an der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
  • 2019 Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Institut für Sozialarbeit und Sozialpädagogik e.V. in Frankfurt am Main
  • 2018–2019 Programm zur Promotionsvorbereitung am Max-Weber-Kolleg der Universität Erfurt
  • 2017–2019 Lehrbeauftragter am Arbeitsbereich Allgemeine und Theoretische Soziologie an der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
  • 2014–2017 Master Gesellschaftstheorie an der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
  • 2010–2014 Bachelor Sozialwissenschaften an der Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Contact

Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Fakultät Architektur und Urbanistik
DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 2227 „Identität und Erbe“
D-99421 Weimar

Sitz: Prellerhaus | 3. OG | Raum 303
Geschwister-Scholl-Str. 6 | D-99423 Weimar
michael.peter.karpf[at]uni-weimar.de

After the witness. On Memory Work in László Nemes Jeles’ Film SAUL FIA

The project explores how societies in the 21st century remember the National Socialist past and conceptualize historical images of this past. For this purpose, the examination of the end of personal witnessing of the Holocaust is focused through the medium of popular historical film. This transformation can be understood as a transition from a communicative to a cultural mode of social remembering, in which film plays an important role in conveying individual historical consciousness and culturally circulating images of the past. Following considerations of a cinematic sociology (filmische Soziologie), film is conceived not only as a research subject, but also as a publicly circulating approach to understand the ongoing historical-cultural transformation. In this sense, filmmakers do not simply depict historical reality in film, but use the medium to engage in their own examination of relevant social issues and debates through their own modeled conception of a historical world. The historical film is therefore not only an access to the historical images of the remembrance culture in the present, but at the same time an independent mode of historical and sociological thinking.

Based on László Nemes Jeles’ film SAUL FIA (HUN 2015), the question of the significance of testimonial tradition for a subsequent reconstruction of the historical event is traced back to the present of the extermination of European Jews in Auschwitz-Birkenau in the summer of 1944. In its depiction of the ›Sonderkommando‹, the film addresses both, the historical attempt of the National Socialists to make personal witnessing impossible and the resistant acts of the prisoners to bear witness to that event in spite of all. In this way, the filmmaker takes up the question of the possibilities and limits of a retrospective visualization of this historical moment, which, with the death of the last living witnesses, poses itself in a completely different way for contemporary remembrance culture. SAUL FIA can therefore be understood as a cinematic examination of Holocaust witnessing at the end of the ›era of the witness‹ (Annette Wieviorka), which re-addresses the question of the representability of the Holocaust, the ongoing transformation of remembrance culture, and the loss of personal witnesses as living sources and moral authorities for dealing with the extermination of the European Jews. Accordingly, the dissertation project investigates the functioning of the visualization of the past in its cinematic form as an engagement with the historical-cultural formation of the present and its challenges.


Current Publications

Afterimages. Natural Space and Memoryscapes of the Holocaust in Georges Didi-Huberman’s Bark. In: Janine Fubel/Alexandra Klei/Annika Wienert (Hrsg.): Raum und Holocaustforschung. Eine transdisziplinäre Einführung. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter (in preparation).

Rezension zu: Elizabeth Ward. East German Film and the Holocaust. New York/Oxford: Berghahn 2021. In: MEDIENwissenschaft. Rezensionen | Reviews 2021 (4). Marburg: Schüren.

Tagungsbericht: Der Intellektuelle, die Erinnerung und die Stadt. Maurice Halbwachs im Spiegel des 21. Jahrhundert, 15.10.2021 – 17.10.2021 Weimar. In: H-Soz-Kult.

Zeugenschaft darstellen. Un-/Möglichkeiten der Darstellung des Holocaust in SAUL FIA. In: nach dem film 19 (Schwerpunkt: Mit Film denken und handeln). Online verfügbar unter: https://www.nachdemfilm.de/index.php/issues/text/zeugenschaft-darstellen (Stand: 20.10.2021). 

Wie kommt eine Gesellschaft zu ihren Bildern? Oder: Zur bildhaften Konstruktion gesellschaftlicher Wirklichkeit. In: IMAGE. Zeitschrift für interdisziplinäre Bildwissenschaft 34, 2021, S. 38–59.

Rezension zu: Rasmus Greiner. Histospheres. Zur Theorie und Praxis des Geschichtsfilms. Berlin: Bertz + Fischer. In: MEDIENwissenschaft. Rezensionen | Reviews 2021 (2). Marburg: Schüren, 2021, S. 191–192.