A panel discussion featuring Marjorie Argosín and Margaux Fitoussi, moderated by Katharine Trostel and Amanda Sharick

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The Venice Ghetto: A Memory Space that Travels asks important questions about what lessons the Venice Ghetto might carry for the twenty-first century. How do we resist thinking about the Ghetto as a static site and instead embrace it as a dynamic place of cultural interchange? How do we work toward preserving the physical space while simultaneously embracing the ongoing process of collective memory making? Memory, just like the environment, functions within a fragile ecosystem. And in the context of Venice, the indiscriminate pursuit of instant gratification and profit has jeopardized both, unleashing natural catastrophe and creating an uncertain future for the city.

This session will offer a deep dive into the creative work inspired by the Venice Ghetto’s 500th anniversary and its legacy as a touchstone of memory for scholars, novelists, poets, and filmmakers. Following a brief overview of the role of artwork in The Venice Ghetto: A Memory Space that Travels, the collection’s editors will moderate a discussion with two contributing artists.. Marjorie Agosín will share original writing and poetry produced from within and inspired by the site of the Venice Ghetto and will reflect upon her time there as a writer-in-residence. Margaux Fitoussi will explore the impact of the Venice Ghetto on the making of the film EL HARA, as it circulates in the memory of the late theorist Albert Memmi, and how it has inspired her work as a visual anthropologist.

Marjorie Agosín teaches Spanish at Wellesley College, where she holds the title of Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities. She is an award-winning poet, memorialist, novelist, and scholar. Agosín has received important awards for her literary career and also for her human rights activism, among them the Gabriela Mistral Medal of Honor and the American Library Association’s Pura Belpré Awardand the.

Born in Paris, France, and raised in California, Margaux Fitoussi is a visual anthropologist. Her work has screened at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York, Director’s Note, Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme in Paris, Cultural Pinacothèque in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin. Before beginning her doctorate at Columbia University, she studied religion at Harvard University and history at UC Berkeley. She lives between Tunis and New York, and her art practice and research focus on migration, temporality, and urbanism.

Amanda K. Sharick received her PhD in English from the University of California, Riverside. She specializes in late nineteenth-century British and related literatures, Victorian media and visual culture, Jewish studies, gender studies, and immigrant literature. Her research project traces the transatlantic networks of Anglo and American Jewish women writers from 1880 to 1923. A founding member of the Venice Ghetto Collaboration, Sharick is currently the associate director of Harvard University’s Graduate Commons Program.

Katharine G. Trostel completed her PhD in literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is assistant professor and chair of English and the humanities at Ursuline College in Ohio. She is cofounder of the Venice Ghetto Collaboration and coauthor (with Amanda K. Sharick and Erica Smeltzer) of the chapter “Reading-in-Place and Thick Mapping the Venice Ghetto at 500” in Doing Memory Research: New Methods and Approaches (Palgrave, 2019).