“Archives in/of Transit” Workshop Investigates Intersections of Migrant Experiences and Archival Collections

Wed, 05/29/2024 - 12:16pm

The USC Shoah Foundation is proud to co-convene "Archives in/of Transit: Historical Perspectives from the 1930s to the Present," a closed, in-person workshop for scholars that will take place on June 28 and 29, 2024.

This workshop will explore new ways of thinking about archives, archival records, and other artifacts scholars might use as primary sources to gain deeper insight into the histories of migrants in transit and the knowledge they possessed, produced, transmitted, or lost. With a starting point in the history of Jewish migration from National Socialist-occupied areas, the workshop broadens out to investigate the experiences of refugees and migrants fleeing genocide, armed conflict, and persecution throughout the twentieth century.

Specifically, the workshop will examine the idea of “lost knowledge” to ask how migrants who leave their homes try to convey both the sense of loss and the disorientation that accompany the navigation of new lived realities—from the geographical to the socio-cultural, political, and beyond—in correspondence or other materials that capture any aspect of their flight and migration. The workshop will initiate discussions around these topics and others that bring together a transnational history of the Holocaust with studies of migrant knowledge in different contexts, including contemporary conflicts and migration.

USC Shoah Foundation’s Director of Academic Programs Dr. Jennifer Rodgers, an expert on the history of archives, will chair a panel on “Collections and Agency.”

“I'm excited to co-host and participate in this workshop, which considers a topic that is important to scholars across disciplines,” said Dr. Rodgers. “These are living collections that exercise their own agency and need to be understood as such.”

Conveners: German Historical Institute Washington; USC Shoah Foundation; Holocaust Research Institute, Royal Holloway; University of London; Queen Mary, University of London; Wiener Holocaust Library, London

Partners: USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research; Thomas Mann House, Los Angeles; Villa Aurora, Los Angeles; Feuchtwanger Memorial Library, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

The workshop is closed to external participation.

For more information, view the conference program.