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USC Research With Testimonies: Featuring the Center's Summer 2017 Research Fellows

Language: English

This lecture features two of our summer 2017 research fellows: Maria Zalewska, PhD candidate in Cinema and Media Studies and Mellon PhD Fellow in the Digital Humanities, USC School of Cinematic Arts, and Noha Ayoub, USC undergraduate student majoring in Law, History and Culture and minoring in Middle East Studies.

Zalewska’s project engages with the Institute’s Visual History Archive by comparing the testimonies of memories of the pre-World War II spaces in which Poles and Jews interacted with their cinematically narrativized counterparts. Ayoub contextualizes testimonies in the Institute's archive through her research on nationalism in Rwanda and the ways in which fictionalized narratives against Tutsis perpetrated by the state led to genocide over 20 years ago.

  • March 26, 2010: Audio-visual testimonies of traumatic historical events arouse profound emotions in their viewers. The pedagogical questions raised in this session focuses on the appropriateness and/or usefulness of emotionality in teaching about the Holocaust.

  • March 25, 2010: Since the Institute’s testimonies were given around 50 years after the events described, researchers must confront issues of memory and reliability. In this session moderated by Andrea Pető (Associate Professor, Gender Studies, Central European University), Robert Rozett, (Director of Yad Vashem Libraries) addresses problems that revolve around memory and reliability. He asks whether testimonies and memoirs bring us closer than other kinds of historical documents to understanding what people went through.

  • March 25, 2010: This plenary session follows up on earlier breakout sessions that addressed issues related to how context, teaching methodologies, and teaching objectives differ based on course discipline. This session is moderated by Mark Baker (Associate Professor, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia). One representative from each of the four groups reports on:

  • March 25, 2010: This session covers four presentations by faculty who have integrated the Institute’s testimonies into their courses in disciplines ranging from French and Italian, Didactics, Communication Studies, and Religious Studies. This session is moderated by Carolyn Ellis, Professor of Communications and Sociology, University of South Florida.

  • November 8, 2012: Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda spoke at the institute's Sexual Violence Against Women During the Holocaust Symposium, co-sponsored by Equality Now. Ms.

  • February 11, 2013: Dr. Howard Gardner, best known for his theory of multiple intelligences, engaged in a public conversation on the art science of 21st-century education with Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, an award-winning behavioral and social scientist and faculty member at the University of Southern California.

  • March 4, 2013: What can the Institute’s Visual History Archive teach us about other mediations of the Holocaust: how survivors tell their stories, how life performance and other media shape their narratives, or even how humor figures into remembrance? Rutgers University Professor Jeffrey Shandler, the Institute's Senior Fellow, explored such questions in a lecture titled “Interrogating the Index: Or, Reading the Archive against the Grain,” which gave a fresh look at the archive as more than a repository for testimony.

  • April 16, 2012: Dr. Yehuda Bauer, one of the foremost authorities on the subject of the Holocaust, made an exclusive trip to Los Angeles to give the Institute's inaugural Yom Hashoah lecture. Bauer, who is the Institute's scholar-in-residence, discussed the roots of genocide and realistic approaches to overcoming it.

  • April 19, 2012: For the Institute's Yom HaShoah Commemoration Event on Thursday, April 19, 2012, Father Patrick Desbois, a Catholic priest and author of The Holocaust by Bullets, gave a keynote address discussing his field research on identifying sites of mass executions in Ukraine. Students, community members, faculty, and staff gathered for a moving evening, which also included readings by USC students, live music, a candle lighting, and prayer.

  • September 10, 2010: the USC Shoah Foundation Institute hosted a panel discussion that addressed the role of testimony in the process of national mourning, transitional justice, and memorialization.

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