Teaching Fellows



Linda Kim

Assistant Professor of Art History, Drexel University in Philadelphia

Course: Witness to Atrocity: Photography and Human Rights

Term: TBD

During her fellowship, Kim will research the uses of photography in the video testimonies of the survivors and witnesses for an anthropology course she’ll be teaching called Witness to Atrocity: Photography and Human Rights.


Harry Reicher

Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

Course:  Law and the Holocaust

Term: TBD

Reicher is the institute’s first Rutman teaching fellow.

The course utilizes a variety of audio-visual material, including documentary and feature films and archival footage, to explore the Nuremberg Laws, Nazi ideology, war crimes trials and other legal aspects of the Holocaust. Reicher said his teaching fellowship will allow him to incorporate testimony from the Visual History Archive as well.


David Tomkins

Assistant Professor of Writing, USC

Course: Writing 150 – Section: Identity and Diversity in Global Contexts

Term: Fall 2014

Tomkins’ section of Writing 150 is titled Identity and Diversity in Global Contexts. Survivor testimonies in the VHA will act as foundational texts as the class explores the role language and rhetoric play in the persecution of difference, as well as the way perspectives on survival can shape racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual identities.





Andrea Peto

Professor of Gender Studies, Central European University - Budapest

Course: Gendered Memories of Holocaust

Term: Fall 2013

The proposed course will rely on students’ use of the VHA in the context of problematizing gendered perspectives on the Holocaust and creating a conceptual framework supported by the relevant theoretical background for a video project they will create using IWitness.



Jakub Mlynar

Professor of Sociology, Charles University in Prague

Course: Identities, Memories, and Narratives in Society


The course is focused on the sociological dimension of the conception of identity. The VHA will provide the interviews for the research practice and illustration of social, linguistic and narrative means in the process of the identity construction.



Waitman Beorn

Louis and Frances Blumkin Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Nebraska - Omaha

Course: HIST 4720: The History of the Holocaust

Students will focus on one survivor’s journey through the Holocaust to both personalize and complicate the history of this period for them. A past visualization project will also be revised to focus even more on “visualizing” the Shoah Archive testimonies, either conceptually or empirically.


Colin Keaveney

Assistant Professor of French, USC

Course: Representations of and Testimonies About Mass Violence and Genocide

Term: Spring 2014

Pedagogical goals and outcomes include: 1) introducing students to the VHA while inspiring and enabling them to use its resources; 2) giving students a better understanding of the genesis of the Shoah through engagement with individual survivor stories; 3) allowing students to explore the period of the Occupation and Vichy administration from the perspectives of those who lived through it; 4) fullying integrating the VHA into the teaching of the set texts; 5) improving student research skills; and 6) fostering greater student autonomy in the area of research.


Roy Schwartzman

Professor of Communication Studies, UNC Greensboro

Course: Honors Seminar - Witnessing the Holocaust

Term: Fall 2012

How does our encounter with the monumental evil of the Holocaust change as we transition from live testimonies to multimedia memory? How do we understand the Holocaust, those who lived through it, and ourselves differently in the (mediated) presence of these witnesses—perpetrators, victims, and bystanders—compared to the narratives of history books?


Gina Nahai 

Lecturer in the Master of Professional Writing Program, USC

Course: Oral History, Witness, and Writing

Term: Spring 2013

How is/can oral history be used and translated into fiction and non-fiction forms? The clas looks at the ethical implications in this kind of storytelling, as well as issues of appropriation, honoring the source material vs. constructing a new narrative, and understanding "the truth." 


Rebecca Kobrin

Assistant Professor of American Jewish History, Columbia University

Course: The Holocaust in American Culture

Term: Fall 2012

The course explores how Nazism and the Holocaust have been understood, interpreted and constructed by American scholars and the larger American society since the 1930s.  Taking a chronological approach, the course follows the evolution of historical and popular ideas in America about the Nazi rise to power, the regime’s racial policies, its treatment of Jews during the war and the naming and coming to terms with the Holocaust, as the organized murder of European Jewry came to be known.

"Teaching the first course the history department has ever offered on the Shoah in Fall 2012. Indeed, it is a historic moment for Columbia, which offers few courses devoted to this crucial and critical topic."



Vincent Farenga 

Professor of Classics & Comparative Literature, USC

Course: Comparative Literature course 385, Literature and Justice

Term: Fall 2013

The course examines writers of fiction and autobiography (ca. 1950 – 2000) who claim to be victims of injustice in multicultural societies. These writers will expose you to individual and collective injustice due to racism, ethnicity, gender, religious intolerance, and immigration in societies such as Cuba, Guatemala, Eastern Europe, Israel-Palestine, Somalia, Afghanistan, India, and the U.S. 

The course includes narratives about two victims who survived the Shoah: one is a historical survivor, Primo Levi, interred in Auschwitz (If This Is A Man [Survival in Auschwitz]), and the other a fictional survivor, Aharon Appelfeld’s Tzili (Tzili: Story of A Life), who managed to avoid the camps.


Yaffa Weisman 

Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, USC

Course: Literature of Resistance

Term: Fall 2011

The course explores expressions of resistance in a variety of societies and groups that experienced oppression deriving from their cultural, religious, gender, and national affiliations. Students analyze instances of spiritual, political, military and cultural resistance to subjugation and oppression, from antiquity to modernity, as they are expressed in diverse cultural modes.


Alison Dundes Renteln 

Professor of Political Science and Anthropology, USC

Course: Political Science 248, International Human Rights

Term: Fall 2011

The GE course provides an overview of the interdisciplinary field of human rights including the philosophical foundations, historical background, controversial social issues in specific contexts, and institutional mechanisms for enforcing international legal standards in national and international tribunals.  The course considers some of the most serious violations of human rights including genocide in specific historical circumstances, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.



Cristina Villa

Professor of Italian and French, USC

Course: Italian 320: Advanced Composition and Style ("The Shoah in Italy and the Myth of the Good Italian")

Term: 2009-2010

Dr. Villa used her stipend to inaugurate a new fall course, “The Shoah in Italy and the Myth of the Good Italian.” Using Italian films, fiction, prose, and video testimony, Dr. Villa sought to challenge a commonly held Italian view of the Holocaust that casts Italians as anti-fascist philo-semites. She proceeded chronologically through the Holocaust from the pre-war to the post-war period, pairing later cultural artifacts with VHA testimonies to compare and contrast the memories of the survivors with the cultural memory conveyed through artistic views of those same events.


Judith Halberstam

Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Gender Studies, and Comparative Literature, USC

Courses: 1) The Sociology of the Image; 2) Representations of the Holocaust 

Term: 2009-2010

Dr. Halberstam used the archive in one undergraduate and two graduate courses. In her graduate seminar titled “The Sociology of the Image”—which Halberstam co-taught with Professor Macarena Gomez-Barris—she examined “the function of visual culture in archiving experiences of trauma and terror…Our seminar, which contains a lengthy unit on the Holocaust, tracks the social life of images and examines the use of image data bases to record the seemingly unrepresentable accounts of survival and loss in the wake of political terror.”

Dr. Halberstam also taught a new undergraduate and graduate course titled “Representations of the Holocaust: Issues of Gender and Sexuality.” The course included a section on using the testimonies in the archive as source material for understanding the complexity of camp life in general, and the ways in which sexuality was used as a weapon against female inmates in particular.



Macarena Gomez-Barris

Associate Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, USC

Courses: SOCI 599: Sociology of Memory (Fall 2008); SOCI 420: Sociology of Violence (Spring 2009)

Dr. Gomez-Barris incorporated testimonies into two Spring 2009 Sociology courses: “Sociology of Violence” and “Visual Representations of Atrocity: the Holocaust and Latin American Experiences of State Terror.” The former course included a five-week segment that focused students’ attention on the aftermath of genocide, state violence, and atrocity. The latter focused on the methodology of visual testimony, using the Holocaust as a principal case study.


Colin Keaveney 

Assistant Professor of French, USC

Course: FREN 250: Paris as Seen by Writers, Filmmakers, and Photographers

Term: Fall 2008

Dr. Keaveney utilized testimonies in his French 250 course, “Paris as Seen by Writers, Filmmakers, and Photographers” (Fall 2008, Spring 2009). A central course text, Dora Bruder, explores coincidences between lives and events in Paris through the 20th century; Dr. Keaveney assigned SFI testimonies that mirrored the experiences discussed in Dora Bruder—roundups of French Jews in early 1942, internment in Drancy and Tourelles in 1942 and 1943, etc.


Paul Lerner 

Associate Professor of History, USC

Course: HIST 428: Life and Death in Nazi Germany

Term: TBD

This course provides an in-depth exploration of Germany under the Nazis from a variety of perspectives, including political history, history of the arts and architecture, and economic, social and military history.  The course emphasizes the racialized vision of the body politic and the attempt to control life and death, to determine who can reproduce, who was permitted to live in the Nazi State and whose life was deemed “unworthy of life.”


Beth Meyerowitz

Professor of Psychology and Preventative Medicine, USC

Course: PSYCH 499: Psychological Adjustment following Traumatic Life Events: the Case of Genocide

Term: Spring 2009

Dr. Meyerowitz’s Spring 2009 course “Psychological Adjustment Following Traumatic Life Events: the Case of Genocide” provided students with a theoretical framework within which to evaluate the effects of trauma using specific case studies from the Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust. Dr. Meyerowitz assigned testimonies to help students develop and answer research questions.


Vanessa Schwartz

Professor of History, USC

Courses: HIST 620: Advanced Research in Modernity and Visual Culture
HIST 313: Society and Culture in Modern France
HIST 429: Street Life: Urban Culture in Modern Europe

Terms: HIST 620: Fall 2008
                                                  HIST 313: Spring 2009
                                                  HIST 429: TBD

In HIST 620: To show students testimonies and discuss whether they constitute "visual history," as well as what a "visually-oriented" index for that would be
In HIST 313: To show testimonies about the liberation of Paris
In HIST 429: To show testimonies about cities such as Paris and Warsaw under occupation
To create a subtitled clip reel of testimonies in French, Yiddish, Polish, and Hebrew for use in these courses