THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
HER DIARIES AND LETTERS
THE ETTY HILLESUM RESEARCH CENTRE
MIDDELBURG, THE NETHERLANDS
10 – 12 september 2018
The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum (1914-1943), edited by Prof. Dr. Klaas A. D. Smelik, have a special place among the Jewish-Dutch testimonies of the Shoah. They contain not only a description of the Dutch transit camp Westerbork during the Nazi occupation, but they also reflect Etty Hillesum’s important, albeit unfortunately interrupted existential search—a search that was of an ethical, philosophical, spiritual and literary nature. Since the first publication of an excerpt of her diaries in 1981, her writings have been translated into eighteen languages and have received worldwide attention. Furthermore, her thoughts have inspired hundreds of thousands of readers.
The aim of the Third International Etty Hillesum Conference 2018 is to invite Etty Hillesum scholars from all over the world to exchange valuable insights and to discuss problems that arise when studying Etty Hillesum’s legacy. It is a unique and privileged opportunity to meet other colleagues in the field and to learn from their work, as well as to make use of the facilities of the Etty Hillesum Research Centre in Middelburg. The conference will bring wider publicity and media coverage to Etty Hillesum, her diaries and letters, her vision and life. The conference is open to everyone interested in Etty Hillesum and her writings.
The Third Etty Hillesum Conference 2018 presents four central themes:
A. ETTY HILLESUM’S SOURCES OF INSPIRATION
B. ETTY HILLESUM AND KINDRED SPIRITS
C. THE NATURE OF ETYY HILLESUM’S WRITINGS
D. ETY HILLESUM, HER LIFE AND MESSAGE
The conference is being organized by the Etty Hillesum Research Centre in Middelburg, The Netherlands (EHOC, website: http://ehoc.nl), in close cooperation with the University College Roosevelt (UCR, website: http://www.ucr.nl).
THE CONFERENCE BOARD
Prof. Dr. Emilio Baccarini (Università degli Studi Tor Vegata, Rome, Italy)
Prof. Dr. Albert Clement (University College Roosevelt, Middelburg, The Netherlands)
Prof. Dr. Maria Essunger (Uppsala University, Sweden)
Prof. Dr. William C. McDonough (St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA)
Prof. Dr. Klaas Smelik (Etty Hillesum Research Centre, Middelburg, The Netherlands)
Drs. Julie Benschop-Plokker
Drs. Lotte Bergen
Mr. Gerrit Van Oord
Liaison officer for speakers: Drs. Caroline Diepeveen
The conference has been supported by the Etty Hillesum Stichting Amsterdam, University College Roosevelt Middelburg, the Province of Zeeland, Familiefonds Hurgronje.
Collection Jewish Historical Museum Amsterdam
MONDAY, 10 SEPTEMBER 2018
09.00 – 10.00 hr.: Registration in the Burgerzaal
Prelude performed by Ms. Jacqueline van der Zee
10.00 – 12.30 hr.: Morning session in the Burgerzaal
Chairperson: Prof. Dr. Albert Clement (UCR Middelburg)
10.00 – 10.10 hr.: Opening of the conference by the King’s Commissioner, Han Polman
10.10 – 10.20 hr.: Word of welcome by Prof. Dr. Bert van den Brink (Dean UCR, Middelburg, The Netherlands)
10.20 – 11.10 hr.: Paper by Prof. Dr. Klaas A.D. Smelik (Director Etty Hillesum Research Centre, Middelburg, The Netherlands) in cooperation with Dr. Nancy Mykoff (UCR, Middelburg, The Netherlands), “‘My Beloved Desk, the Best Place on this Earth’: Etty Hillesum Says Goodbye to her Familiar Surroundings”
11.10 – 11.30 hr.: Coffee break in the Burgerzaal
11.30 – 12.00 hr.: Paper by Dr. Ria van den Brandt (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands), “A Little Gandhi: Etty Hillesum’s Sources of Non-Violent Resistance in Her Booklet ‘Levenkunst’ Revisited”
12.00 – 12.30 hr.: Paper by Prof. Dr. Emilio Baccarini (Università degli Studi Tor Vegata, Rome, Italy), “La vie comme une tâche”
12.30 – 13.30 hr.: Lunch break
13.30 – 17.40 hr.: Afternoon session 1 in the Burgerzaal
Theme: Etty Hillesum and Kindred Spirits
Chairperson: Prof. Dr. Maria Essunger (Uppsala University, Sweden)
13.30 – 14.00 hr.: Paper by Prof. Dr. Pierre Bühler (Zürich University, Switzerland), “Les soucis des païens: la lecture de Matthieu 6,25-34 chez Søren Kierkegaard et Etty Hillesum”
14.10 – 14.40 hr.: Paper by Dr. Patricia Couto (Lisbon University, Portugal), “Wandering Beyond Words: Clarice Lispector and Etty Hillesum”
14.50 – 15.20 hr.: Paper by Dr. Ulrich Lincoln (Wolfsburg, Germany), “The Mystery of Encounter: Poetry and Faith After Auschwitz in the Work of Paul Celan and Etty Hillesum”
15.20 – 15.50 hr.: Tea break in the Burgerzaal
15.50 – 16.20 hr.: Paper by Dr. Denise de Costa (’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands), “Etty Hillesum and Charlotte Salomon: Pregnancy as Theme in Their Lives and Works”
16.30 – 17.00 hr.: Paper by Laura Fasani MA (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy), “Etty Hillesum and Simone Weil Against Force: A Similar Look at Reality”
17.10 – 17.40 hr.: Paper by Prof. Dr. Fernando Arriero Peranton (Facultad de Teología del Norte de España, Spain), “A ‘Staretz’ in Westerbork: The connections between Slavic Orthodoxy and the spirituality of Etty Hillesum”
13.30 – 17.40 hr.: Afternoon session 2 in the Raadzaal
Theme: Etty Hillesum’s Sources of Inspiration
Chairperson: Dr. Ria van den Brandt (Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands)
13.30 – 14.00 hr.: Paper by Nancy J.P. Anderson (St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA), “The Undercurrent of Music in the Burgeoning Spirituality of Etty Hillesum”
14.10 – 14.40 hr.: Paper by Dr. Maribeth Kallemeyn (Salem, Massachusetts, USA), “A Story of Individuation in the Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum: A Jungian Perspective”
14.50 – 15.20 hr.: Paper by Dr. Maria Gabriella Nocita (Angelicum University of Rome), “Feeding the Soul: Etty Hillesum’s Pedagogical and Spiritual Path”
15.20 – 15.50 hr.: Tea break in the Burgerzaal
15.50 – 16.20 hr.: Paper by Dr. John Cartner (The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Australia), “Dialogising Life Amidst a Culture of Death: Etty Hillesum, Her Literary Companions and Nazi Reductionism”
16.30 – 17.00 hr.: Paper by Dr. William Peña Esquivel (Pontifical Javeriana University, Bogotá, Colombia), “Am I Really a Woman? A Question about Female Identity in Etty Hillesum”
17.10 – 17.40 hr.: Paper by Lucrezia Zanardi (University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Dortmund, Germany), “Present Traces of a Past Existence: A Photographic Research”
18.30– 19.15 hr.: Vernissage of the exhibition by Lucrezia Zanardi, “Present Traces of a Past Existence: A Photographic Research” in Sjakie’s Galerie, Vlasmarkt 51, Middelburg.
By means of photography, the exhibition focuses on Etty Hillesum’s written descriptions, rhythms and suggestions, trying to rediscover her gaze upon reality. The photographer follows the new present story of Etty Hillesum’s journey, looking for the present traces of a past existence which is even now tangible. Including refreshments.
19.30– 22.00 hr.: Evening program in the Filmzaal of the Provinciehuis, Abdijplein 6, Middelburg
19.30-20.00 hr.: Welcome with coffee or tea
20.00 – 21.15 hr: Theatre performance of “Blazing Harmonies”, written by Stephen Cherry (Dean of King’s College, Cambridge UK) and played by Rosie Hilal (Etty) and Stephen Cherry (narrator). Accompanying music played by cellist Jeroen van Meyel.
21.30 – 22.00 hr.: Presentation of the documentary film: “Two friends tell their stories about Etty Hillesum: Johanna Smelik & Hanneke Starreveld” (production MetzAVmedia, Welsum, The Netherlands).
TUESDAY, 11 SEPTEMBER 2018
09.30 – 12.00 hr.: Morning session in the Burgerzaal
Chairperson: Prof. Dr. William C. McDonough (St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA)
09.30 – 10.00 hr.: Paper by Prof. Dr. Maria Essunger (Uppsala University, Sweden), “Verbalize, Vocalize, Visualize: Creative Death and Performative Writing in the Testimonies of Etty Hillesum and Primo Levi”
10.00 – 10.30 hr.: Paper by Prof. Dr. Maria Luísa Ribeiro Ferreira (Lisbon University, Portugal), “A Powerless God – Etty Hillesum and Dietrich Bonhoeffer”
10.30 – 11.00 hr.: Coffee break in the Burgerzaal
11.00 – 11.30 hr.: Paper by Revd. Canon Patrick Woodhouse (Rimpton Yeovil, UK), “‘That Passage Spent a Difficult Morning With Me…’ The Struggle of Etty Hillesum to go on Seeing Differently”
11.30 – 12.00 hr.: Paper by Dr. Stephen Cherry (Dean of King’s College, Cambridge UK), “Hope and Love – the Perspectives of Julian of Norwich and Etty Hillesum”
12.00 – 13.30 hr.: Lunch break
13.30 – 17.00 hr.: Afternoon session 3 in the Burgerzaal
Theme: The Nature of Etty Hillesum’s Writings
Chairperson: Mr. Drs. Geert Lekkerkerker (Etty Hillesum Foundation, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
13.30 – 14.00 hr.: Paper by Drs. Judith Koelemeijer (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), “Getting Closer to Etty: The Dilemmas of a Biographer”
14.10 – 14.40 hr.: Paper by Thalia Gur Klein (Winchester University, UK), “Everyday Items as a Silent Testimony to Human Suffering as Well as Empathy and Resilience in Etty Hillesum’s Diaries”
14.50 – 15.20 hr.: Paper by Dr. Marja Clement (Amsterdam University), “The Girl Who Could Not Kneel: Etty Hillesum and the Turn Inward”
15.20 – 15.50 hr.: Tea break in the Burgerzaal
15.50 – 16.20 hr.: Paper by Sara Gomel, BA (La Sapienzia University, Rome, Italy), “The images of the inner world in Etty Hillesum’s diary: From an enclosing to a dis-closure of the self.”
16.30 – 17.00 hr.: Paper by Bernard H. Penney, MA (Pittsboro, North Carolina, USA), “Cosmic Life Lessons from Etty Hillesum and Leonie Snatager”
13.30 – 17.40 hr.: Afternoon session 4 in the Raadzaal
Theme: Etty Hillesum, Her Life and Message
Chairperson: Dr. Bettine Siertsema (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
13.30 – 14.00 hr.: Paper by Prof. Dr. Jurjen Wiersma (FPG, Brussels, Belgium), “In Search of Interconnectedness: Care Ethics Focus of Etty Hillesum’s Engagement”
14.10 – 14.40 hr.: Paper by Gerrit Van Oord (EHOC Italy), “Etty Hillesum in the Boot: The Steadily Growth of Italian Readers and Writers Inspired by Her Diaries and Letters”
14.50 – 15.20 hr.: Paper by Prof. Dr. Barbara Morrill (California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, USA), “‘The Contours of These Times’: Etty Hillesum as Chronicler of Love Transcending Evil in Her Time, For Our Time, For All Times”
15.20 – 15.50 hr.: Tea break in the Burgerzaal
15.50 – 16.20 hr.: Paper by Drs. Alexandra Nagel (Eindhoven, The Netherlands), “Etty Hillesum’s Hand Analysis: The Prologue to Her Diaries”
16.30 – 17.00 hr.: Paper by Dr. Rosana Navarro (Pontifical Javeriana University Bogotá, Colombia), “Suffering, silence and wisdom in Etty Hillesum”
17.10 – 17.40 hr.: Paper by Milagros G. Quintela Mathison (University of Mysticism, Ávila, Spain), “The Experience of the Presence in Teresa of Avila and Etty Hillesum”
19.00 hr.: Dinner in Eetkamer Likkepot, Nieuwe Kerkgang 1, Middelburg (for speakers only)
WEDNESDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 2018
09.30 – 13.00 hr.: Morning session in the Burgerzaal
Chairperson: Revd. Canon Patrick Woodhouse (Rimpton Yeovil, UK)
09.30 – 10.00 hr.: Paper by Dr. Marc P. Lalonde (Concordia University, Montreal, Canada), “Mad Midrash in the Diary of Etty Hillesum”
10.00 – 10.30 hr.: Paper by Drs. Lotte Bergen (Etty Hillesum Research Centre, Middelburg, The Netherlands), “Etty Hillesum & Albert Konrad Gemmeker: A Twofold Analysis of the Perpetration of the Westerbork Commander”
10.30 – 11.00 hr.: Paper by Dr. Bettine Siertsema (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands), “New Light on Etty Hillesum’s Stay in Westerbork by Ies Spetter, a Colleague of Hers at the Jewish Council”
11.00 – 11.30 hr.: Coffee break in the Burgerzaal
11.30 – 12.00 hr.: Paper by Prof. Dr. William C. McDonough (St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA), “Can religion help heal a world broken by trauma?: Etty Hillesum as our ancestor in the qahal goyim”
12.00 – 12.30 hr.: Paper by Prof. Dr. Maria Clara Lucchetti Bingemer (University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), “In the Shadows of the Past: A Witness of the Future”
12.30 – 13.00 hr.: Conclusion of the conference by the Mayor of Middelburg, Mr. Harald Bergmann.
PLACE OF MEETING
The Roosevelt Conference Center
University College Roosevelt
Lange Noordstraat 1, NL-4331 CB, Middelburg, The Netherlands
Directions to University College Roosevelt by train:
There are twice-hourly services to and from the direction of Roosendaal (50 minutes), and an hourly service to and from Rotterdam (1.5 hours) and to and from Amsterdam (2.5 hours). The railway station is a ten-minute walk from the main University College Roosevelt building. For further information, see the NS website or the public transport website.
Directions to University College Roosevelt by car:
University College Roosevelt is located in the centre of Middelburg. The city is easily accessible by car or train. If coming by car from the direction of Antwerp, Roosendaal or Rotterdam, please follow the signs for Vlissingen on the A58. Take Afslag 39 (exit 39) for Middelburg and drive onwards on the N57. Please follow the Centrum signs further.
PARKING IN MIDDELBURG
If you come to Middelburg by car, parking is available in one of the parking garages. There are three parking garages close to UCR: Kousteensedijk, Achter De Houttuinen, and Het Groene Woud. From these parking garages, simply follow the signs
Markt / Stadhuis / Roosevelt Academy.
The Roosevelt Conference Center, part of University College Roosevelt and Utrecht University, is housed in one of The Netherlands’ most beautiful buildings: the former city hall of Middelburg built in late gothic-style, located on the central Markt (plaza) in Middelburg. The entrance of the UCR is situated at the back of the building.
We will gather at two locations inside the building:
Contact: Drs. Lotte Bergen, e-mail address: email@example.com
The Etty Hillesum Research Centre has made reservations for the speakers of the conference for a stay at Hotel Arneville, Buitenruststraat 22, 4337 EH Middelburg.
Other participants of the conference are advised to book lodgings at a booking site – there are many opportunities to stay in Middelburg, ranging from a Bed & Breakfast to a boutique hotel.
COSTS AND REGISTRATION CONFERENCE
Registration can be made by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The participation fee for attending the conference (three days) is 50 euros (includes theatre performance and five coffee/tea refreshments). The fee for students is 30 euros. The fee for one day is 25 euros. Students of the UCR can attend the conference free of charge
Payments can be made through deposit to our bank account with IBAN number: NL82INGB0007100593 in the name of the Stichting Etty Hillesum Onderzoekscentrum [BIC: INGBNL2A]. Please add your name and e-mail address. As soon as your payment has been received, you will be sent a confirmation by e-mail.
Entrance UCR: Lange Noordstraat 1 (at the back of the city hall)