Visiting Scholars Share Their Experiences Using the Visual History Archive

Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:00am

Established in memory of the renowned Dutch rescuer of Jews during World War II, and made possible through generous funding by the Ahmanson Charitable Community Trust, the Corrie ten Boom awards enable scholars to visit the Institute for one to two months to conduct research on the topic of rescue and the people who risked their lives to save Jews and other subjects of Nazi persecution. While at the Institute, the recipients receive training in the use of its digital library software, access to the archive of testimonies, and an opportunity to present their findings to audiences at USC.

Between 2007 and 2008, 11 Corrie ten Boom scholars visited the Institute, including Russell Spinney, a doctoral student in the History Department at Penn State University; Jacek Leociak, Assistant Professor in the Institute of Literary Research at the Polish Academy of Sciences; and Gregory Weeks, Department Head, International Relations, at Webster University in Vienna, Austria.

Dr. Leociak's research at the Institute focused on rescuers and the rescued in Poland, while Russell Spinney's research contributed toward his dissertation at Pennsylvania State University, which focuses on the topic of fear in the Weimar Republic. Dr. Weeks' work at the Institute on the problem of resistance in Vienna led to testimonies that revealed surprising accounts of Jewish rescue.

Each sat down with Amy Beisel, the Associate Director of Academic Outreach and Research, to speak about their experience with the archive and the impact the testimonies have had on their ongoing research.

During their stay at the Institute, the visiting scholars also presented their findings to the academic community at the University of Southern California. Click on either of the first two thumbnails below the video to begin viewing a presentation. Approximate running times are 45 to 50 minutes. Click on any of the remaining thumbnails to view interviews with Russell Spinney, Jacek Leociak, or Greg Weeks. The running time for each interview is approximately 15 minutes.