Listening Contrapuntally to Witness Testimonies of Terezín
Professor Amy Wlodarski (Musicologist, Dickinson College) will be speaking for the Music and Sound Studies Colloquium on February 5, co-sponsored by UMN’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
Abstract: Over the past forty years narratives about musical Terezín—the “model camp” designed by the Nazis to obscure the reality of their genocidal motives to international observers—have focused heavily on music’s redemptive and beneficial role as described by witnesses in postwar testimonial records. Borrowing from the ideas of postcolonial scholar Edward Said, musicologist Amy Lynn Wlodarski proposes the need for a more contrapuntal form of listening that would allow us to understand better how the power of past historiographies limits our contemporary listening and has created conditions for the possible silencing of alternative memories. Referencing archival materials related to the documentary Goethe and Ghetto (1996), Wlodarski shares how her own contrapuntal listening revealed opportunities for scholarly self-reflection, listening beyond the dominant discourse of the film, and analytical critique of the film’s content.