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Session Overview
RS08_01a_H: Vera Zolberg: Memory and the Arts
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Volker Kirchberg, Leuphana University of Lueneburg
Location: HA.2.7
HAROKOPIO University 70 El. Venizelou Street 17671 Athens, Greece Building: A, Level: 2.

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Vera Zolberg's Creativity and Contributions to International Sociological Networks

Jan {Janet} Lee Ann Marontate

Simon Fraser University, Canada

The proposed paper celebrates some of Vera Zolberg's creative contributions to the theoretical foundations of sociology of the arts and culture, with particular attention to her formative influence on networks of international scholars working on projects related to the field of memory studies. Vera Zolberg's formative influence nurtured and mentored a diverse group of researchers, supporting and enhancing their collaborative work and fostered the formation of enduring international networks of collaborators.

The aura of museums as modern cathedrals of the sacred

Siobhan Kattago

University of Tartu, Estonia

The historian Jay Winter argues that memorials and history museums are modern cathedrals in which individuals publicly reflect on sacred themes such as death, suffering, sacrifice and violence. They are, as he notes, ‘modern cathedrals’ which express 'a reconfiguration of the sacred'. At the same time, Vera Zolberg reflects on history museums as sites of social structure and theatres of spectacle. Although the growing interest in memorials, war monuments, history museums and former concentration camps sites can be understood as attempts to reflect and learn from the past, there is also a sense that rituals of commemoration might just as easily slip into choreographed routine. If Jay Winter calls our attention to the juxtaposition of the sacred and the profane in a memorial, Vera Zolberg’s work on museums and the arts directs our gaze to the aura of objects such as the Enola Gay to frame how we see and understand the world.

Vera Zolberg: Her Way

Graciela Miriam Trajtenberg

The Academic college of Tel Aviv Yaffo, Israel

On Tuesday, November 15, 2016, Prof. Vera Zolberg had passed away. I at first only knew her as an author but over the time, I revealed that she was both: an academic model and a wonderful person. My first encounter with her was trough her book Constructing a Sociology of the Arts. Along with the sociology of the arts, she had other special fields of inquiry: the sociology of culture and the study of collective memory. Her outstanding academic qualities were embodied in each of them.

I met her for the first time many years ago in a Conference held in Barcelona and then few months later in Exeter. The first morning in Exeter, I was having breakfast in the hotel's restaurant when Vera came in and naturally asked if she can sit with me. I was astonished! I barely could answer yes. However, over the time, I have learned that, that was her way: Vera's gift for friendship. Her way was an unusual mixture of rigorous academic work and goodwill. We were nurtured by her presence in our life and her way will continue illuminating our present and future.

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