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Kella, Elizabeth
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Publications (10 of 25) Show all publications
Kella, E. (2018). Matrophobia and Uncanny Kinship: Eva Hoffman’s The Secret. Humanities, 7(4), Article ID 122.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Matrophobia and Uncanny Kinship: Eva Hoffman’s The Secret
2018 (English)In: Humanities, ISSN 2076-0787, Vol. 7, no 4, article id 122Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Eva Hoffman, known primarily for her autobiography of exile, Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language (1989), is also the author of a work of Gothic science fiction, set in the future. The Secret: A Fable for our Time (2001) is narrated by a human clone, whose discovery that she is the “monstrous” cloned offspring of a single mother emerges with growing discomfort at the uncanny similarities and tight bonds between her and her mother. This article places Hoffman’s use of the uncanny in relation to her understanding of Holocaust history and the condition of the postmemory generation. Relying on Freud’s definition of the uncanny as being “both very alien and deeply familiar,” she insists that “the second generation has grown up with the uncanny.” In The Secret, growing up with the uncanny leads to matrophobia, a strong dread of becoming one’s mother. This article draws on theoretical work by Adrienne Rich and Deborah D. Rogers to argue that the novel brings to “the matrophobic Gothic” specific insights into the uncanniness of second-generation experiences of kinship, particularly kinship between survivor mothers and their daughters.

Keywords
postmemory; matrophobic gothic; gothic science fiction; memory; mother-daughter relations; Holocaust history; second generation; survivor mothers; daughters of survivors, gotik, minne, mor-dotter relationer, andra generation, förintelsen
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-36796 (URN)10.3390/h7040122 (DOI)2015/3.1./1364 (Local ID)2015/3.1./1364 (Archive number)2015/3.1./1364 (OAI)
Projects
Remembering Poland and Eastern Europe: Nostalgia, Memory and Affect in Diasporic Women's Writing
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 2015/3.1./1364
Available from: 2018-11-21 Created: 2018-11-21 Last updated: 2018-11-21Bibliographically approved
Kella, E. (2018). Postmemory and Copresence in Lisa Appignanesi and Emilia Degenius: Life Writing of the Polish Diaspora. In: Regian Rudaityte (Ed.), History, Memory and Nostalgia in Literature and Culture: (pp. 136-156). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Postmemory and Copresence in Lisa Appignanesi and Emilia Degenius: Life Writing of the Polish Diaspora
2018 (English)In: History, Memory and Nostalgia in Literature and Culture / [ed] Regian Rudaityte, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018, p. 136-156Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018
Keywords
second generation, autobiography, family memoir, diaspora, testimony, witnessing, empathy, Swedish literature
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-34943 (URN)2015/3.1./1364 (Local ID)978-1-5275-0876-7 (ISBN)2015/3.1./1364 (Archive number)2015/3.1./1364 (OAI)
Projects
Remembering Poland and Eastern Europe: Nostalgia, Memory, and Affect in Diasporic Women’s Writing
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Available from: 2018-05-04 Created: 2018-05-04 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved
Kella, E. (2018). Review of Gymnich, Marion, Barbara Puschmann-Nalenz, Gerold Sedlmayr, and Dirk Vanderbeke (eds.) 2018. The Orphan in Fiction and Comics Since the 19th Century. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. [Review]. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 17(2), 243-246
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Review of Gymnich, Marion, Barbara Puschmann-Nalenz, Gerold Sedlmayr, and Dirk Vanderbeke (eds.) 2018. The Orphan in Fiction and Comics Since the 19th Century. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
2018 (English)In: Nordic Journal of English Studies, ISSN 1654-6970, E-ISSN 1654-6970, Vol. 17, no 2, p. 243-246Article, book review (Other academic) Published
Keywords
childhood studies, functional orphan, British literature, Victorian literature, Postcolonial literature, American literature, comics, graphic novels
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-37147 (URN)
Available from: 2019-01-02 Created: 2019-01-02 Last updated: 2019-01-03Bibliographically approved
Kella, E. (2018). Review of Mark Shackleton, ed. International Adoption in North American Literature and Culture: Transnational, Transracial, and Transcultural Narratives [Review]. American Studies in Scandinavia, 50(1), 181-184
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Review of Mark Shackleton, ed. International Adoption in North American Literature and Culture: Transnational, Transracial, and Transcultural Narratives
2018 (English)In: American Studies in Scandinavia, ISSN 0044-8060, Vol. 50, no 1, p. 181-184Article, book review (Other academic) Published
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-34931 (URN)000431283900016 ()
Available from: 2018-05-04 Created: 2018-05-04 Last updated: 2018-05-25Bibliographically approved
Kella, L. (2017). Matrophobia and Uncanny Kinship: Eva Hoffman's The Secret. In: : . Paper presented at The Uncanny in Language, Literature and Culture International Conference arranged by the London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and the Interdisciplinary Research Foundation, 19 August 2017, London..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Matrophobia and Uncanny Kinship: Eva Hoffman's The Secret
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Eva Hoffman is not known for her speculations about the future, but for her engagement with the past. Her autobiography, Lost in Translation (1989), accounts for her personal history as a post-war Polish emigrant to Canada and the US, and her major works of non-fiction examine different aspects of Eastern European and Jewish history. Hoffman repeatedly connects the experiences of the postmemory generation (Hirsch), of children of Holocaust survivors such as herself, with the uncanny. As she explains, “this is . . . the second generation’s difficulty: that it has inherited not experiences, but its shadows. The uncanny, in Freud’s formulation, is the sensation of something that is both very alien and deeply familiar, something that only the unconscious knows. If so, then the second generation has grown up with the uncanny” (ASK 66).

This paper explores the uncanny in Hoffman’s little known work of Gothic science fiction (Wasson and Alder), The Secret: A Fable for our Time (2001). The protagonist, Iris, retrospectively narrates her coming-of-age from the vantage of the not-too-distant future of 2025. In The Secret, cloning is a practicable but somewhat disparaged mode of human reproduction, and Iris, the narrator, is the “monstrous” cloned offspring of her single mother. As Iris grows into adulthood, the uncanny similarities and tight bonds between her and her mother lead Iris to develop matrophobia, a strong dread of becoming her mother (Sukenick, Rich). Hoffman’s novel can thus be understood in terms of “the matrophobic Gothic” (Rogers), but, I argue, it also modifies this genre by bringing to it insights into the uncanniness of second-generation experiences of mother-daughter kinship.

Keywords
Hoffman, uncanny, science fiction, clone, post-war fiction
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33406 (URN)
Conference
The Uncanny in Language, Literature and Culture International Conference arranged by the London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and the Interdisciplinary Research Foundation, 19 August 2017, London.
Projects
Remembering Poland and Eastern Europe: Nostalgia, Memory, and Affect in Diasporic Women’s Writing.
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, ÖSSnr 2015/3.1./1364
Available from: 2017-09-15 Created: 2017-09-15 Last updated: 2018-01-30Bibliographically approved
Kella, E. (2016). Discovering the Past? Memory, Postmemory, and Affect in Autobiographies by Emilia Degenius and Lisa Appignanesi. In: : . Paper presented at "Excavating Lives," International Association for Biography and Autobiography, World Conference. University of Cyprus, May 26-29, 2016..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Discovering the Past? Memory, Postmemory, and Affect in Autobiographies by Emilia Degenius and Lisa Appignanesi
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The concept of postmemory has been advanced to account for some of the ways that the strong cultural and individual memories of trauma survivors impact on members of the next generation: their children. According to Marianne Hirsch (1997, 2012), post-memory generations have a special tie to history, which they “remember” through emotional and imaginative investment in the memories of others, whose stories, photographs, and day-to-day actions impart a strong sense of the life-changing, often life-threatening, circumstances they have lived through.

In this paper, I explore the relevance and possible limitations of the concept of postmemory for two auto/biographical works written by women of the Polish diaspora: Losing the Dead (2006) by Lisa Appignanesi and Åka Skridskor I Warszawa (Ice-skating in Warsaw) (2014) by Emilia Degenius. Born about 10 years apart (1946 and 1955), the two writers have some similarities, including Jewish backgrounds, parental and personal experiences of anti-Semitism, and emigration from post-war Poland with subsequent fraught relations to the Polish language. Appignanesi, writing in English, has become a cultural commentator and author with an interest in memory and psychoanalysis. Degenius immigrated alone to Sweden in 1972, where she joined her sister, and she has become a practicing psychoanalyst and author of two autobiographical works in Swedish.

The narratives of these women writers of the Polish diaspora straddle genres of autobiography, biography, family history, fiction, and memoir. In each account, the relationship to parental figures is of central importance. They each have double narrative strands, one that reconstructs the childhood past through the excavation of memory, and one that figures the adult narrator’s attempts to understand the past through return journeys to Poland, documentation, and interaction. I examine the texts’ formal and thematic characteristics in relation to postmemory.

Keywords
postmemory, exile, migration, immigration, Polish diaspora
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30258 (URN)
Conference
"Excavating Lives," International Association for Biography and Autobiography, World Conference. University of Cyprus, May 26-29, 2016.
Projects
Södertörn Sabbatical
Available from: 2016-06-10 Created: 2016-06-10 Last updated: 2016-06-16Bibliographically approved
Kella, E. (2015). Affect and Nostalgia in Eva Hoffman’s Lost in Translation. Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, 50(2-3), 7-20
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Affect and Nostalgia in Eva Hoffman’s Lost in Translation
2015 (English)In: Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, ISSN 0081-6272, E-ISSN 2082-5102, Vol. 50, no 2-3, p. 7-20Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
De Gruyter, 2015
Keywords
autobiography, nostalgia, migration, immigration, exile, affect, lyric
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-29125 (URN)10.1515/stap-2015-0020 (DOI)2-s2.0-84955296790 (Scopus ID)
Note

The author wishes to thank the Gertrude and Ivar Philipson Foundation for research support.

Available from: 2016-01-14 Created: 2016-01-14 Last updated: 2018-07-06Bibliographically approved
Kella, E. (2015). Affect and Nostalgia in Life-Writing of the Polish Diaspora. In: : . Paper presented at The Aesthetics and Politics of Contemporary Women's Life-Writing in Canada and the US: Multicultural Perspectives.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Affect and Nostalgia in Life-Writing of the Polish Diaspora
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper examines the affective landscapes of Poland, Canada, and the US in Eva Hoffman’s autobiographical account of her immigrant/exilic life in Lost in Translation (1989). Hoffman’s reputation as a writer and intellectual was launched with this autobiography. Hoffman left Poland for Vancouver with her Jewish family in 1959, when she was 13, and lived there until college in the US, where she made her career. She lives today primarily in London. Hoffman’s autobiography is divided into three parts, dealing first with Poland, then Canada, then the US. 

Hoffman's text explicitly thematizes nostalgia. Hoffman affirms her nostalgia for her Polish childhood with a postmodern awareness. Though Lost in Translation has been celebrated for its self-reflexivity and its treatment of the links between language and subjectivity, some scholars have been highly critical of the “nostalgic” view of Poland. Hoffman's work is clearly invested in the dynamics and the affect of remembering and forgetting particular times and particular places. In this paper, I examine Hoffman's understandings of nostalgia, and of the affective landscapes with which she engages. Poland, Canada, and the US have powerful associations, but I focus on primarily on Poland and Canada, emphasizing the overlooked importance of Hoffman's Canadian years.  I am particularly interested in exploring how affect—defined roughly as “something that moves, that triggers reactions, forces, or intensities . . ., simultaneously engaging the mind and body, reason and emotions” (Berberich, Campbell and Hudson 314), and including the affect of nostalgia—is represented and textually communicated with readers. Thus, I look at the effects of Hoffman’s privileging of lyricism as a mode and mood for life-writing.

Keywords
emotion, exile, migration, Eva Hoffman
National Category
Specific Literatures
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-26643 (URN)
Conference
The Aesthetics and Politics of Contemporary Women's Life-Writing in Canada and the US: Multicultural Perspectives
Available from: 2015-03-18 Created: 2015-03-18 Last updated: 2015-03-18Bibliographically approved
Kella, L., Holmgren Troy, M. & Wahlström Henriksson, H. (2015). Bilda familj: Om föräldralösa barn, släktskap och nationsskapande i samtida amerikanska romaner. Tidskrift för Genusvetenskap, 35(4), 11-32
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bilda familj: Om föräldralösa barn, släktskap och nationsskapande i samtida amerikanska romaner
2015 (Swedish)In: Tidskrift för Genusvetenskap, ISSN 1654-5443, E-ISSN 2001-1377, Vol. 35, no 4, p. 11-32Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Specific Literatures
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-26753 (URN)
Available from: 2015-03-28 Created: 2015-03-28 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
Kella, E. (2015). Indian Boarding School Gothic in "Older than America" and "The Only Good Indian". American Studies in Scandinavia, 47(2), 5-27
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Indian Boarding School Gothic in "Older than America" and "The Only Good Indian"
2015 (English)In: American Studies in Scandinavia, ISSN 0044-8060, Vol. 47, no 2, p. 5-27Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines the appropriation and redirection of the Gothic in two contemporary Native-centered feature films that concern a history that can be said to haunt many Native North American communities today: the history of Indian boarding schools. Georgina Lightning's Older than America (2008) and Kevin Willmott's The Only Good Indian (2009) make use of Gothic conventions and the figures of the ghost and the vampire to visually relate the history and horrors of Indian boarding schools. Each of these Native-centered films displays a cinematic desire to decenter Eurocentric histories and to counter mainstream American genres with histories and forms of importance to Native North American peoples. Willmott's film critiques mythologies of the West and frontier heroism, and Lightning attempts to sensitive non-Native viewers to contemporary Native North American concerns while also asserting visual sovereignty and affiming spiritual values. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Odense: , 2015
Keywords
indigenous film, visual sovereignty, Georgina Lightning, Kevin Willmott, gothic
National Category
Studies on Film Cultural Studies
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-28698 (URN)000364606600002 ()
Available from: 2015-11-06 Created: 2015-11-06 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
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