Narrating Everyday Life Under Occupation


Comparative Literature / World Literatures (non-European Languages)

Paola Gambarota (Rutgers University)

Hiromi Kaneda (Pepperdine University)

What happens to paradigms of Alltagsgeschichte when cultural historians reconstruct the everyday life of a city under a military occupation? How does the concept of the Everyday, which implies a world of repetition and habits, work, when describing a context shaped by daily adjustments and incessant negotiations? Can one define patterns of behavior in a liminal space in which daily experience is informed neither fully by the violent exceptionality of war nor by the predictability of ‘normality’? The interaction among different cultures and languages in the occupied zone engenders daily encounters that inevitably make all actors, locals and ‘foreigners,’ more aware of their own mores and beliefs. How have occupations impacted group identities?

These are some of the questions that this panel wishes to address by discussing specific aspects (e.g., language, food, lodging, entertainment) of the everyday life in occupied cities as presented in both fictional and non-fictional texts.

This panel discusses reconstructions and representations of everyday life under occupation, addressing methodological questions as well as the impact of occupations on group identities.