Institute News

Doctoral student from Tel Aviv University becomes Institute's first research fellow

Hannah Pollin-Galay to study how culture and language inform Holocaust testimony

Hannah Pollin-GalayThe USC Shoah Foundation Institute is pleased to announce the arrival of its first research fellow, doctoral student Hannah Pollin-Galay, who began her stay on September 1.

The Institute recently inaugurated a research fellowship program for scholars who wish to utilize the Visual History Archive. Selected fellows are invited to work in residence at the Institute for up to one month.

Pollin-Galay holds a B.A. from Columbia University and an MA from Tel Aviv University, where she is currently pursuing a PhD in history. Her doctoral research explores how culture and language inform Holocaust testimony. Looking at Jewish survivors from Lithuania as a case study group, she compares testimonies delivered in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish given in North America, Israel, and contemporary Lithuania. The Institute's archive, along with three other collections, affords her hundreds of hours of such material. Pollin-Galay hopes to discover what is culturally dependent and what is universal in Holocaust memory, in part by taking note of similarities and differences between eyewitness accounts.

Prior to applying for the fellowship with the Institute, Pollin-Galay authored “Testimonies in Yiddish: Language, Culture & Testimony," which appeared in the Spring 2011 issue of PastForward, the Institute's digest.

Pollin-Galay will present research findings and discuss her work at a special “lunch-and-learn” for Institute staff at the conclusion of her September stay.