Contact: Talia Cohen
Associate Director, Public Outreach and Communications
USC SHOAH FOUNDATION INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES FACULTY STIPENDS
Awardees Will Integrate Holocaust Witness Testimony into Upcoming Courses
Los Angeles—August 17, 2011—The USC Shoah Foundation Institute, which maintains an archive of nearly 52,000 video testimonies given by Holocaust survivors and other witnesses, awarded stipends to three professors this summer as part of a program to support the integration of testimony into new or existing courses during the upcoming academic year.
“Jewish survivors, homosexual survivors, Sinti and Roma survivors, survivors of Eugenics policies, political prisoners, rescuers and aid givers, liberators, and war crimes trials participants all shared their life stories with the Institute,” Stephen D. Smith, USC Shoah Foundation Institute Executive Director, said. “The depth and breadth of the archive and its audiovisual format have given it an educational value that transcends the study of history; our summer stipend program prepares faculty members to use the archive in ways that will enrich students’ learning experiences across many disciplines.”
The three professors have spent 10-15 hours in residence at the Institute this summer for hands-on training and research support. They will each post their course syllabus to the Institute’s website and deliver a public presentation on the impact of the archive on their students and their disciplines.
Alison Dundes Renteln, USC Professor of Political Science and Anthropology, will teach a course this fall on international human rights. Dr. Renteln will use the archive to address the Holocaust, the genocide in Rwanda, the rights of minorities, the rights of children born of genocide, and remedies for gross violations of human rights.
Yaffa Weisman, Adjunct Associate Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, will teach a course this fall on the “Literature of Resistance.” Dr. Weisman’s course will focus on the archive for several weeks, and students will be able to submit testimony-based multimedia projects in addition to written work.
Dr. Vincent Farenga, USC Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, will teach “Literature and Justice” in the spring. The course will involve comparative analyses of the media with which survivors’ narratives are captured and the ways in which they construct their identities within testimony.
To learn more about each stipend recipient, visit http://sfi.usc.edu/research/fellowships/teaching_fellows.
Established in 1994 by Steven Spielberg to collect and preserve the testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute maintains one of the largest video digital libraries in the world: nearly 52,000 video testimonies in 32 languages and from 56 countries. The Institute is part of the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California; its mission is to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry—and the suffering they cause—through the educational use of the Institute’s visual history testimonies.
The Institute works within the University and with partners around the world to advance scholarship and research, to provide resources and online tools for educators, and to disseminate the testimonies for educational purposes. In addition to preserving the testimonies in its archive, the Institute is working with partner organizations to help document the stories of survivors and other witnesses of other genocides.