On December 5, in McKeldin Library 6137, the University of Maryland Libraries will host a daylong symposium on “Books, Libraries, and Modern War,” featuring speakers from the University of Maryland and elsewhere.
The symposium is open to the public and is free, but please register by sending an e-mail message to Eric Lindquist at [log in to unmask]
The symposium is part of the university’s “A Semester on War and the Representation of War,” a series of academic courses, lectures, panel discussions, performances, and special events.
The effects of war on books and libraries are complex and various. Especially in modern times, books and libraries have suffered profoundly from war. The destruction of the university library in Leuven/Louvain in 1914 and the National Library of Bosnia in Sarajevo in 1992 are familiar examples. War has also usually produced disruptions, sometimes severe, in the publishing industries of countries engaged in it. On the other hand, wartime conditions often stimulate reading and enhance demand for books, and publishing somehow usually continues even in unfavorable circumstances. Moreover, war itself is a common subject of books, and every modern war has produced a flood of novels, memoirs, and scholarly and popular accounts, a flood that usually begins even before the fighting has ceased. Wars destroy libraries but they also fill libraries. In this daylong symposium, scholars consider how, in various parts of the world, from World War I to the present, war has both destroyed books and libraries and created them.
9:15-9:30: Welcome and introduction
Desider Vikor, Dean of the University of Maryland Libraries
9:30-10:30: Keynote Address
Patricia Kennedy Grimsted (Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University, and International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam), title to be announced
10:30-11:30: World War I
Eric Lindquist (University of Maryland Libraries), "Two Libraries and the Great War"
Michael Olmert (English Department, University of Maryland), "'Nevermind the Pity. Poetry is in the Printing Too': The Great War and the Special Case of Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918)"
11:30-11:45: Coffee break
11:45-12:45: World War II and Books and Publishing in East Asia
Zhang Zhiqiang (Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University), "Struggle for Culture: Chinese Publishing Houses and Libraries during the War with Japan"
Eiko Sakaguchi (University of Maryland Libraries), "Censorship and Publication: The Japanese Publishing Industry after World War II"
12:45-2:15: Lunch break (lunch will not be provided, but the nearby student union has a food court, and there are other restaurants on campus as well)
2:15-3:45: World War II in Europe and the Holocaust
Steven Luckert (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum), "The War on Books: Nazi and Allied Policies towards Politically Undesirable Literature in Germany"
Robert Waite (Office of Special Investigations, United States Department of Justice), "Books as Casualties of War: The Nazi Looting of Jewish Libraries and Post-War Restitution"
Michlean Amir (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum), "Books as Memorials: The Creation of Yizkor Books to Commemorate the Victims of the Holocaust"
3:45-4:00: Coffee break
4:00-5:30: The Later Twentieth Century and Beyond
Nevenka Zdravkovska (University of Maryland Libraries), "Culture and the War of the 1990s in the Balkans"
Peter Wien (History Department, University of Maryland), title to be announced
Irene Munster (Inter American Development Bank), "Dirty Lasting Memories: Argentine Publishing in a Time of Repression"
A reception will follow
For directions to the University of Maryland, see http://www.cvs.umd.edu/visit/directions.html
For parking information and campus map, see
The organizers are grateful for the support of the University of Maryland Libraries, the Friends of the Libraries, and the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies.
For further information, e-mail Eric Lindquist ([log in to unmask]) or Yelena Luckert ([log in to unmask]).