Jewish Responses to the Holocaust: Teaching the Victims’ Perspective  June 2-15, 2010

The Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) announces the 2010 Silberman Seminar for college/university faculty from all disciplines who are teaching or preparing to teach Holocaust or Holocaust-related courses. The study of the Holocaust has recently shifted to include a broader analysis of the voices of the victims through diaries, letters, community documents, artistic representations, and other forms of primary and secondary sources that focus on the victims’ response to the Holocaust. This year’s Silberman Seminar will introduce participants to the variety of Jewish responses to the Holocaust—the largest victim group—and will equip instructors with the knowledgebase and pedagogical techniques required to teach this complex topic.

The Seminar will explore Jewish responses to persecution through an investigation of both primary and secondary source readings, and will include presentations, participant-facilitated discussions of classroom teaching methods, and roundtable discussions of teaching strategies across multiple disciplines. Lectures and discussions will include topics such as daily life under Nazi persecution, the Jewish community response to the Holocaust, Jewish writing in camps and ghettos, resistance, and post-war testimonies. Participants will be introduced to the USHMM’s extensive collection of material relating to the victims’ experience that are held in the Museum’s library, document archives, memoir and rare book collection, photo archives, oral testimony collection, film and video archive, and Holocaust survivor database. Participants will also have opportunity to consult and interact with Museum staff and visiting fellows. Information about Museum and Center resources can be found at http://www.ushmm.org/research/collections and www.ushmm.org/research/center.

The 2010 Silberman Seminar will be led by Deborah Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, and Susan Rubin Suleiman, C. Douglas Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. Professor Lipstadt received her B.A. from City College of New York and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Brandeis University. She has held teaching positions at the University of Washington, UCLA, and Occidental College, and has also been an invited visiting professor at the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome. Her research focuses on the American response to the Holocaust, Holocaust denial, and Jewish Studies. Her publications include the account of her momentous judicial case against Holocaust denial, History On Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving (2005), among many other books and articles. Professor Lipstadt is also a master educator who has received numerous teaching awards, currently serves on the Academic Committee of the USHMM, and was previously a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. Professor Suleiman received a Ph.D. and an M.A. from Harvard University and a B.A. from Barnard College. She is the author of numerous books on modern literature and culture, including Crises of Memory and the Second World War (2006), as well as an autobiography and works of poetry. She has served as President of the American Comparative Literature Association, and has held several positions at the Modern Language Association (MLA). She is the recipient of many awards, including Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, and has held the Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship at the University of London. Profesor Suleiman was decorated by the French government as an Officer of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques, and she is the 2009-10 J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the USHMM.

Seminar applicants must be faculty members at accredited, baccalaureate-awarding institutions in North America. Applications must include: (1) a curriculum vitae; (2) a statement of the candidate’s specific interest and needs in strengthening his/her background in Holocaust history for the purpose of improving teaching; and (3) a supporting letter from a departmental chair or dean addressing the candidate’s qualifications and the institution’s commitment to Holocaust-related education. Syllabi of any Holocaust-related courses that the candidate has taught should also be included. Syllabi will be distributed at the seminar to facilitate discussion of successful teaching strategies.
Admission will be decided without regard to age, gender, race, creed, or national origin. A maximum of twenty applicants will be accepted. For non-local participants, the Center will help defray the cost of (1) direct travel to and from the participant’s home institution and Washington, DC, and (2) lodging for the duration of the seminar. Incidental, meal, and book expenses must be defrayed by the candidates or their respective institutions. All participants must attend the entire seminar from June 2-15.

Applications must be postmarked or received in electronic form no later than March 15, 2010, and sent to: University Programs, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW, Washington, DC 20024-2150 (Fax: 202-479-9726; email: university_programs@ushmm.org). For questions, contact Dr. Dieter Kuntz at: 202-314-1779, or dkuntz@ushmm.org. Successful applicants will be notified of the results of the selection process by March 31, 2010.

The Curt C. and Else Silberman Foundation endowed the Silberman Seminar for University Faculty in memory of Curt C. and Else Silberman. The Foundation supports programs in higher education that promote, protect, and strengthen Jewish values in democracy, human rights, ethical leadership, and cultural pluralism.

Learn more about the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies»



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