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A Failure of Memory? Revisiting the Demidenko/Darville Debate

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A Failure of Memory? Revisiting the Demidenko/Darville Debate

N/A

$0.00

A Failure of Memory? Revisiting the Demidenko/Darville Debate

$0.00

Museum members only

In this talk, Dr Avril Alba will look at the curious Australian case of Helen Demidenko/Darville, the author of The Hand that Signed the Paper.

Beyond the bizarre nature of the literary hoax enacted by Helen Demidenko, the supposed descendant of Ukrainian peasants who was subsequently unmasked as Helen Darville, the daughter of middle class English migrants, perhaps the most perplexing aspect of the episode was its use of antisemitic and racist tropes to provide the scaffolding for a book that claimed to explore and explain the history and memory of the Holocaust.

Dr Alba will look its importance as a lens into Australia’s racial and identity politics of the time, revealing the somewhat shaky foundations upon which Australian multiculturalism is built.

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