American University of Paris Accepting Applications for Workshop on Visual History Archive Research

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 11:52am

The American University of Paris will host a workshop October 26-27, 2017, dedicated to sharing scholars’ experiences conducting research in the Visual History Archive. Applications are due May 9, 2017.

In France, USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive is fully accessible at the George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention of the American University of Paris and at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Lyon. In addition to these two sites, the French speaking testimonies are also available at the Mémorial de la Shoah.

The aim of this workshop, or journée d’étude, is to gather scholars from different disciplines who have carried out research on or with the VHA. We welcome researchers who have analyzed the VHA as a collection or memorial event per se as well as those who have used it as a source, major or secondary, on violence and genocide or the social, political, cultural, psychological or legal implications of mass violence.

Participants will have the opportunity to share their research results and experiences. We are particularly interested in contributions which put the VHA in perspective with other testimonies (written, audio or video), reflect on the value of the archives in comparison to other types of sources, open a discussion on the methodological difficulties encountered by users or consider new uses of the collection. The discussion will bring insights on the scholarly contributions and limits of this collection of testimonies.

The journée d’étude will be introduced and concluded by keynotes from Stephen D. Smith, Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation, who will present the origins of the VHA and the innovative uses of the archive; Christopher Browning, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Jeffrey Shandler, Professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University, and Annette Wieviorka, Emeritus Research Director at the CNRS, will describe their own research with the VHA.

Although we expect the majority of papers to be given in French, a limited number of contributions in English will also be considered. Abstracts of 500 words maximum are to be sent along with a short CV to the organizers before May 9, 2017. Selection of results will be announced in early June.

Applications for grants for presenters from outside the Parisian region will be considered.

Please send applications to: Brian Schiff,, Emmanuel Debono,, and Constance Pâris de Bollardière,