Tabea Widmann has been a Ph.D. candidate since Fall 2018 at the University of Konstanz and does research under Adjunct Professor Doctor Anne-Berenike Rothstein on the digitalization of memory cultures and concepts of medialized witnessing surrounding the Holocaust. Since July of 2019 she is a scholarship holder of the “Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst”. After her bachelor’s degree in European Cultural History and Comparative Literature at the University of Augsburg, she earned a master’s degree in European Cultural Studies at the University of Konstanz and wrote her M.A. thesis on Humor and Holocaust Remembrance in Film. While earning these degrees, she spent two semesters abroad, at the Charles University in Prague as well as at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Following her master’s degree, she worked as an academic staff member on the project MEMOZE, where she participated in the conceptualization, realization and content-related authoring of an internet platform about modern and medialized strategies of memory transfer and testimony.
- Digital (Memory) Cultures
- European imaginations
- Digital games and storytelling
“The Game is the Memory”: A Memory Cultural Analysis of Prosthetic Witnesses About the Holocaust in Digital Games (Working Title)
With my dissertation I aim to research digital games in their role as memory media and objects of an increasingly global-digital, transmedial memory network, and through this process, to open up digital games as a medium for digital witnessing. My project approaches the question of (future) forms of medialized witnessing through their conceptualization as Prosthetic Witnesses: in the synthesis of a game’s references to a network of memories, particularly those formed by pop culture, with the immediate impressions of the game, game processes can be interpreted as acts of witnessing. Alison Landsberg’s approach to “Prosthetic Memories” serves as a basis for this work; she understands these as artificial memories that are incorporated by recipients in the form of identity-influencing impressions.
The analysis of Prosthetic Witnesses in digital games takes shape by means of the mediated memory narratives and memory icons within the game specific rule structures and story worlds. These create culturally coded object-expressions, which relate to the memory discourses and can be interpreted by the players. Beyond that, digital games possess the particular ability to involve players in the conceived game world actively as well as empathetically; players experience themselves as co-creators as well as reflective observers of the produced narrative. Digital games can be understood as exemplary spaces for negotiation of memory cultural processes, in which players participate immediately. The possibility of their prosthetic witnessing unfolds thusly out of the reciprocal interplay of game design, act of play, and the contextualization of these elements in the medial memory cultural discourse.
Courses and presentations
November 2019: Presentation at the International Holocaust Conference “Silence, Speech, Memory, Message, Understanding – After 75 Years,” University of Halle
May 2019: Teaching Assistantship at the State University of Petersburg within a German Studies Institutional Partnership
March 2019: Poster presentation for the Transfer Project MEMOZE at the Transfer Symposium “Transfer in Teaching. Imposition or Opportunity?”
Winter Semester 17/18 and Winter Semester 18/19: Teaching Assistant in the M.A. Programme “Cultural Studies of Europe”