The Aesthetics of Annihilation: A Brief Screening & Conversation with Ruth Zylberman


Location: Live on Zoom


Ruth Zylberman was born in 1971 in Paris. She is a writer and documentary filmmaker. Her filmography credentials include: Paris-Fantômes (2002) Dissidents (2009), 209 rue Saint-Maur, Paris Xe (2017), 1939, A Last Summer (2019). Her novel, La Direction de l’Absent (2015, Ed. Christian Bourgois) was translated in English (The Department of Missing People, Arcade Publishing), German and Spanish. She recently published 209 rue Saint-Maur, Paris Xe, Autobiographie d’un immeuble (2020, Le Seuil/Arte-Editions).  She curretly resides in Paris, France.

This conversation will feature the discussant, Olivier Morel, Joint Associate Professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Notre Dame, and be moderated by Ernesto Verdeja, Associate Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies, and Ricky Herbst, Cinema Program Director at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

A French and American scholar and filmmaker, Olivier Morel is the director of several feature-length nonfiction films (documentaries) and the author of essays including one graphic novel with the artist and writer Maël. His academic work, as well as his films, highlight the importance of creation and the arts (music, literature, cinema, photography) in the perception of historical events. He is a joint associate professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

Ernesto Verdeja is Associate Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies at Notre Dame. His research focuses on the causes and prevention of genocide and mass atrocities, as well as on political reconciliation and transitional justice. Ernesto also frequently consults on mass atrocities prevention and early warning with governments and human rights organizations.

Ricky Herbst serves as the Cinema Program Director at the University of Notre Dame. His initiatives include Learning Beyond the Classics (a community film education program) offered within the Browning Cinema as well as various series and festivals highlighting gender, race, labor, class, and queer issues. His scholarship has focused on the interrelation of law, entertainment, and criminology.

Literatures of Annihilation, Exile, and Resistance, launched by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, is a research collective and lecture series co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and housed at the newly launched Initiative on Race and Resilience, directed by Mark Sanders, Professor of English and Africana Studies. The series focuses on contemporary literature, film, and visual art that has been shaped by revolutionary and resistance movements, decolonization, migration, class and economic warfare, communal and state-sanctioned violence, and human rights violations. We aim to theorize new modes of contemporary literary and artistic resistance across national borders and to amplify the voices of scholars, artists, and writers of color whose lived experience is instrumental in forging new alliances across formal, linguistic and national boundaries.