A lecture by Alina Bothe (Germany)
2015-2016 USC Shoah Foundation Teaching Fellow
USC Social Sciences Building, Room 250
The digitization of testimonies in the VHA has not only changed the sources of media material, but also the sphere through which history is researched, written and perceived. The “digital turn” offers complex new challenges for historical research and narration. In this presentation, Alina Bothe will open the “virtual in-between of memory” as an epistemological approach to understanding the consequences of digitization. This approach is rooted in postmodern theory, as well as in media studies. She will discuss why users of the archive often have the impression of “meeting” the survivors, even though they have “only” been watching a testimony in the digital archive. The “virtual in-between of memory” is a new sphere to negotiate memory online. Drawing from her intense analysis of user comments on VHA testimonies on YouTube she will demonstrate in practice how the virtual in-between functions.
Alina Bothe studied History, Politics and Eastern European History at Freie Universität Berlin. From 2012 to 2015 she was a Research Fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg. She wrote her Ph.D. thesis about the “digital turn” in Shoah memory, focusing on the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive. She and Gertrud Pickhan were awarded the 2015-2016 USC Shoah Foundation Teaching Fellowship. She has organized different international workshops and conferences within the last few years, among them “Survivors – Politics and Semantics of a Concept” and “Bearing Witness More Than Once – How Media, Time and Institutions Shape Shoah Survivors Testimonies".
Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.