About us / Staff

Liz Kella

Liz Kella

Associate Professor

Senior Lecturer

School of Culture and Education

Co-ordinator for English within Teacher Education for Upper Secondary School

Contact information

Liz Kella
Senior Lecturer
Alfred Nobels allé 7
Södertörns Högskola
Flemingsberg
Phone: +46 8 608 4529
Fax: +46 8 608 4640
PB 211 Primus
Publications

In: History, Memory and Nostalgia in Literature and Culture. Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018. 136-156.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2018

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
English

Research area for doctoral studies

-

American Studies in Scandinavia 2018, 50 (1): 181-184.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2018

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
English

Research area for doctoral studies

-

In: . : .

Eva Hoffman is not known for her speculations about the future, but for her engagement with the past. Her autobiography, Lost in Translation (1989), accounts for her personal history as a post-war Polish emigrant to Canada and the US, and her major works of non-fiction examine different aspects of Eastern European and Jewish history. Hoffman repeatedly connects the experiences of the postmemory generation (Hirsch), of children of Holocaust survivors such as herself, with the uncanny. As she explains, “this is . . . the second generation’s difficulty: that it has inherited not experiences, but its shadows. The uncanny, in Freud’s formulation, is the sensation of something that is both very alien and deeply familiar, something that only the unconscious knows. If so, then the second generation has grown up with the uncanny” (ASK 66).This paper explores the uncanny in Hoffman’s little known work of Gothic science fiction (Wasson and Alder), The Secret: A Fable for our Time (2001). The protagonist, Iris, retrospectively narrates her coming-of-age from the vantage of the not-too-distant future of 2025. In The Secret, cloning is a practicable but somewhat disparaged mode of human reproduction, and Iris, the narrator, is the “monstrous” cloned offspring of her single mother. As Iris grows into adulthood, the uncanny similarities and tight bonds between her and her mother lead Iris to develop matrophobia, a strong dread of becoming her mother (Sukenick, Rich). Hoffman’s novel can thus be understood in terms of “the matrophobic Gothic” (Rogers), but, I argue, it also modifies this genre by bringing to it insights into the uncanniness of second-generation experiences of mother-daughter kinship.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2017

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
English

Research area for doctoral studies

-

In: . : .

The concept of postmemory has been advanced to account for some of the ways that the strong cultural and individual memories of trauma survivors impact on members of the next generation: their children. According to Marianne Hirsch (1997, 2012), post-memory generations have a special tie to history, which they “remember” through emotional and imaginative investment in the memories of others, whose stories, photographs, and day-to-day actions impart a strong sense of the life-changing, often life-threatening, circumstances they have lived through.In this paper, I explore the relevance and possible limitations of the concept of postmemory for two auto/biographical works written by women of the Polish diaspora: Losing the Dead (2006) by Lisa Appignanesi and Åka Skridskor I Warszawa (Ice-skating in Warsaw) (2014) by Emilia Degenius. Born about 10 years apart (1946 and 1955), the two writers have some similarities, including Jewish backgrounds, parental and personal experiences of anti-Semitism, and emigration from post-war Poland with subsequent fraught relations to the Polish language. Appignanesi, writing in English, has become a cultural commentator and author with an interest in memory and psychoanalysis. Degenius immigrated alone to Sweden in 1972, where she joined her sister, and she has become a practicing psychoanalyst and author of two autobiographical works in Swedish.The narratives of these women writers of the Polish diaspora straddle genres of autobiography, biography, family history, fiction, and memoir. In each account, the relationship to parental figures is of central importance. They each have double narrative strands, one that reconstructs the childhood past through the excavation of memory, and one that figures the adult narrator’s attempts to understand the past through return journeys to Poland, documentation, and interaction. I examine the texts’ formal and thematic characteristics in relation to postmemory.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2016

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
English

Research area for doctoral studies

-

Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 2015, 50 (2-3): 7-20.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2015

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
English

Research area for doctoral studies

-

American Studies in Scandinavia 2015, 47 (2): 5-27.

This article examines the appropriation and redirection of the Gothic in two contemporary Native-centered feature films that concern a history that can be said to haunt many Native North American communities today: the history of Indian boarding schools. Georgina Lightning's Older than America (2008) and Kevin Willmott's The Only Good Indian (2009) make use of Gothic conventions and the figures of the ghost and the vampire to visually relate the history and horrors of Indian boarding schools. Each of these Native-centered films displays a cinematic desire to decenter Eurocentric histories and to counter mainstream American genres with histories and forms of importance to Native North American peoples. Willmott's film critiques mythologies of the West and frontier heroism, and Lightning attempts to sensitive non-Native viewers to contemporary Native North American concerns while also asserting visual sovereignty and affiming spiritual values. 

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2015

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
English

Research area for doctoral studies

Critical and Cultural Theory

Tidskrift för Genusvetenskap 2015, 35 (4): 11-32.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Maria Holmgren Troy

Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2015

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
English

Research area for doctoral studies

-

In: . : .

This paper examines the affective landscapes of Poland, Canada, and the US in Eva Hoffman’s autobiographical account of her immigrant/exilic life in Lost in Translation (1989). Hoffman’s reputation as a writer and intellectual was launched with this autobiography. Hoffman left Poland for Vancouver with her Jewish family in 1959, when she was 13, and lived there until college in the US, where she made her career. She lives today primarily in London. Hoffman’s autobiography is divided into three parts, dealing first with Poland, then Canada, then the US. Hoffman's text explicitly thematizes nostalgia. Hoffman affirms her nostalgia for her Polish childhood with a postmodern awareness. Though Lost in Translation has been celebrated for its self-reflexivity and its treatment of the links between language and subjectivity, some scholars have been highly critical of the “nostalgic” view of Poland. Hoffman's work is clearly invested in the dynamics and the affect of remembering and forgetting particular times and particular places. In this paper, I examine Hoffman's understandings of nostalgia, and of the affective landscapes with which she engages. Poland, Canada, and the US have powerful associations, but I focus on primarily on Poland and Canada, emphasizing the overlooked importance of Hoffman's Canadian years.  I am particularly interested in exploring how affect—defined roughly as “something that moves, that triggers reactions, forces, or intensities . . ., simultaneously engaging the mind and body, reason and emotions” (Berberich, Campbell and Hudson 314), and including the affect of nostalgia—is represented and textually communicated with readers. Thus, I look at the effects of Hoffman’s privileging of lyricism as a mode and mood for life-writing.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2015

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
English

Research area for doctoral studies

-

In: . : .

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2014

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education

-


Research area for doctoral studies

-

In: . : .

This paper compares Eva Hoffman’s representation of Poland and its effect on her immigrant/exilic life in Lost in Translation with Lisa Appignanesi’s representations in Losing the Dead. Their works are published about 10 years apart. While Lost in Translation has been viewed as an important work expressing a postmodern awareness of the links between language and subjectivity, a few scholars have been highly critical of the “nostalgic” view of Poland that Hoffman presents. Losing the Dead, though different tone, is also invested in the dynamics of remembering and forgetting. The author has very few first-hand memories of her childhood in Poland, however, and her work of postmemory thus straddles the borders of biography, family history, and memoir. Svetlana Boym’s discussion of restorative and reflective nostalgia provides an important framework for a comparison of these two works’ representations of Poland. While it is tempting to view Hoffman’s work as an example of restorative nostalgia and Appignanesi’s as an example of reflective nostalgia, I argue that these distinctions are not clear cut, and the representations of Poland in these two works complicate Boym’s typology.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2014

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education

-


Research area for doctoral studies

-

Manchester : Manchester University Press, 2014.

Making Home explores the figure of the orphan child in a broad selection of contemporary US novels by popular and critically acclaimed authors Barbara Kingsolver, Linda Hogan, Leslie Marmon Silko, Marilynne Robinson, Michal Cunningham, Jonathan Safran Foer, John Irving, Kaye Gibbons, Octavia Butler, Jewelle Gomez and Toni Morrison. The orphan child is a continuous presence in US literature, not only in children’s books and nineteenth-century texts, but also in a variety of genres of contemporary fiction for adults. Making Home examines the meanings of this trope in the contexts of American literary history, social history and ideologies of family, race and nation. It argues that contemporary orphan characters function both as links to literary history and as figures around which authors can critique the limits of literary history, family identity and national belonging.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Maria Holmgren Troy

Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2014

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
English

Research area for doctoral studies

-

American Studies in Scandinavia 2013, 45 (1-2): 174-176.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2013

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
English

Research area for doctoral studies

Annat forskningsområde

In: . : .

This paper examines the appropriation and redirection of the Gothic in two contemporary, Native-centered feature films that concern a history that can be said to haunt many Native North American communities today: the history of Indian boarding schools. Georgina Lightning’s Older than America (2008) and Kevin Willmott’s The Only Good Indian (2009) make use of Gothic conventions and the figures of the ghost and the vampire to visually relate the history and horrors of Indian boarding schools. Each of these Native-centered films displays a cinematic desire to decenter Eurocentric histories and to counter mainstream American genres with histories and forms of importance to Native North American peoples. Willmott’s film critiques mythologies of the West and frontier heroism, and Lightning’s attempts to sensitize non-Native viewers to contemporary Native North American concerns while also asserting visual sovereignty and affirming spiritual values. 

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2013

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education

-


Research area for doctoral studies

-

American Studies in Scandinavia 2012, 43 (1): 103-120.

Literary representations of orphanhood immediately activate the question of community through kinship and relation. In simple terms, "orphan" is unthinkable without its opposite family or kin. The language of orphanhood and family has been central to the study of national American literature, but recently indigenous notions of "kinship" have been proposed as key critical tools for examining Native American literature. In readings of Linda Hogan's Solar Storms (1995) and Leslie Marmon Silko's Gardens in the Dunes (1999), I find that attentiveness to kinship focuses inquiry squarely on literary responses to the historical disruption of Native kinship networks, broadly conceived, but also to the state's creation of Indian "orphans" through various forms of child removal. These works employ the motif of the Indian orphan's return to place Native thought and culture in critical relation to Euro-American social, ethical, and environmental practices. While previous scholarship has examined the critiques of Western, colonial cultures in the works of Hogan and Silko, the importance of the orphan figure to these projects has been largely overlooked. The literary orphan, I propose, is a particularly complex site in contemporary Native fiction for narrative interrogations of the limits and possibilities for community.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2012

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
English

Research area for doctoral studies

-

In: . : .

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2011

School/Centre

-

-


Research area for doctoral studies

-

American Studies in Scandinavia 2011, 43 (2): 129-131.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2011

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
English

Research area for doctoral studies

-

In: . : .

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2010

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
Comparative Literature

Research area for doctoral studies

-

Nordic Journal of English Studies 2009, 8 (3): 203-207.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2009

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
English

Research area for doctoral studies

-

American Literary Scholarship 2008, : 524-543.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Thomas Aervold Bjerre

Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2008

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
English

Research area for doctoral studies

-

American Literary Scholarship 2007, : 521-538.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Lene Johannessen

Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2007

School/Centre

School of Culture and Education
English

Research area for doctoral studies

-

American Literary Scholarship 2005, : 511-520.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Lene Johannessen

Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2005

School/Centre

-

-


Research area for doctoral studies

-

Karlskrona : Blekinge Institute of Technology (Blekinge tekniska högskola), 2003.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Danuta Fjellestad

Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2003

School/Centre

-

-


Research area for doctoral studies

-

Since the civil rights era, the concept of community has become increasingly politicizedin the US and Canada. Inextricably entangled in the new social movements andmulticulturalism of the 1980s and 1990s, community tends to be either much malignedor exaggeratedly extolled in the literary, cultural, and political discourses in which itfigures so prominently. The novels examined in this study, however, probe both thelimitations and the possibilities of community as a site for psycho-political empowerment.Bringing a variety of theoretical critiques of community to bear on Michael Ondaatje'sThe English Patient, Toni Morrison's Beloved and Paradise, and Joy Kogawa's Obasan andItsuka, the study analyzes the criteria for inclusion and exclusion at work in the types ofcommunity imagined in these texts, paying particular but not exclusive attention to theprinciple of race.Though imagining community in terms of race, place, nation, or gender risksreinforcing essentialist views of identity and repressing intra-group difference, the novelscounter that risk, at least in part, by returning to historically specific moments of collectivetrauma and oppression. Each novel's focus on collective social experience, it is argued,works in various degrees of opposition to the individualism at the heart of humanistthought. At the same time, however, the depictions of systemic violence and historicaloppression, as well as those of resistant solidarity, inevitably appeal to "universal"conceptions of human value, justice, and, in the case of Kogawa and Morrison, publicnegotiation of difference. The readings of the texts scrutinize the instances andimplications of tensions between essentialist and constructivist foundations for variousforms of community. From these readings emerges a view of community as a conceptuallycomplex and unstable terrain.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject
Liz Kella

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2000

School/Centre

-

-


Research area for doctoral studies

-

Coauthor, Södertörn University

Type of content