HOLOCAUST LITERATURE: TEACHING FICTION AND POETRY
The Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies is pleased to announce the 2014 Jack and Anita Hess Faculty Seminar, designed for college and university faculty who are teaching or preparing to teach English, Jewish studies, modern languages, literature, or other courses that have a Holocaust-related literature component.
Sessions will focus on imaginative responses to the Holocaust created by a variety of writers—from those writing during the Holocaust, to survivors, to members of the second generation, to those without an explicit family connection to this history.
The seminar will ask such questions as:
- How is the Holocaust represented in fiction and poetry through these various perspectives, and how is it presented to different audiences?
- What kinds of language, narrative structures, and representational strategies are employed by these texts, and what are the effects of these authorial strategies?
- How can fiction and poetry be utilized in the college classroom in order to illuminate questions about how the history and experience of the Holocaust are remembered, memorialized, and aesthetically transformed?
- How do fiction, poetry, and readers respond to the increasing temporal and experiential remove from the events of the Holocaust?
Professors Anita Norich and Erin McGlothlin will co-lead the seminar.
Anita Norich is a professor of English language and literature at the University of Michigan and a core faculty member of the university’s Frankel Center for Judaic Studies. She received her PhD from Columbia University in English literature. Her publications include Writing in Tongues: Translating Yiddish Literature in the 20th Century (forthcoming, 2013); Discovering Exile: Yiddish and Jewish American Culture during the Holocaust (2007); Gender and Text in Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literature (co-editor, 1992); The Homeless Imagination in the Fiction of Israel Joshua Singer (1991); “On the Yiddish Question,” in Mapping Jewish Identities, ed. by Laurence Silberstein (2000); and “‘Harbe sugyes/Puzzling Questions’”: Yiddish and English Culture in America during the Holocaust,” Jewish Social Studies, Vol. 5, Nos. 1 and 2 (Fall 1998/Winter 1999), among others.
Professor Norich’s primary research interests are Yiddish literature, Jewish literature, and Holocaust literature, with secondary interests in gender and ethnicity, American literature, and the Victorian novel. She has been a fellow at the YIVO Institute, the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan.
Erin McGlothlin is an associate professor of German and Jewish studies and interim director of the Center for the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis. She is the author of Second-Generation Holocaust Literature: Legacies of Survival and Perpetration (2006) and co-editor of After the Digital Divide?: German Aesthetic Theory in the Age of New Media (2009). She has published articles on Claude Lanzmann’s SHOAH, Edgar Hilsenrath’s Der Nazi und der Friseur, Ruth Klüger’s weiter leben, Art Spiegelman’s Maus and In the Shadow of No Towers, and other fictional and nonfictional works of Holocaust literature and film. She is currently working on a book project titled Constructing the Mind of the Holocaust Perpetrator in Fictional, Autobiographical, and Documentary Discourse.
Professor McGlothlin’s main research interests are German-Jewish literature, the literature of the Holocaust, the graphic novel, and narrative theory. At the Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, she was a participant in the 2003 Silberman Seminar and a 2005–2006 fellow, and in 2008 she received a grant from the Center to study Yiddish at Indiana University. During summer 2010, she was a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) guest professor at the Universities of Dortmund and Paderborn.
ABOUT THE SEMINAR
The seminar runs January 3–8 but will not convene on Saturday, January 4. Daily sessions begin at 10 a.m. and end at 5 p.m., except on Wednesday, January 8, when the seminar will adjourn at 1 p.m.
Daily sessions will feature lectures and discussions of some of the principal works, latest approaches, newest techniques, and key pedagogical issues in the field. Participant-facilitated analysis of classroom teaching methods and roundtable discussions on teaching strategies across multiple disciplines will be enhanced through the sharing of participants’ syllabi.
The seminar will cover such topics as the effective use of Holocaust-related fiction and poetry in university-level courses; the diverse ways in which the Holocaust has been figured in fictional literature; the public reception and cultural context of those representations; the responses to Holocaust literature and poetry by victims and survivors; and the use of fiction and poetry to express the traumatic effects of genocide.
Participants will be introduced to research resources that may be used in the classroom, including the Museum’s library, document archives, memoir collection, photo archives, oral testimony collection, film and video archive, and Holocaust survivor database, as well as the International Tracing Service collection of over 100 million Holocaust-era documents relating to the fates of more than 17 million people who were subject to incarceration, forced labor, and displacement during World War II. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet Museum staff and visiting scholars. Learn more about Museum and Center resources.
To apply, you must be a faculty member of an accredited, degree-awarding institution (baccalaureate, the equivalent, or higher) in North America. Please include a curriculum vitae, a short statement of your specific interest in attending the seminar, and a supporting letter from a departmental chair or dean detailing the Holocaust-related courses you are teaching or planning and the support the university is providing or making available for Holocaust studies at your institution. If you have already taught an applicable course, please include the syllabus with your application.
The Center will accept a maximum of 20 applicants, without regard to age, gender, race, creed, or national origin. For non-local participants, the Center will 1) reimburse the cost of direct travel to and from the participants’ home institutions and Washington, DC, up to but not exceeding $600, and (2) defray the cost of lodging for the duration of the course. Incidental, meal, and book expenses must be defrayed by the participants or their respective institutions. All participants must attend the entire seminar.
Applications must be postmarked or received in electronic form no later than Monday, October 21, 2013. Please submit them to:
Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024-2150
For questions, contact Dr. Dieter Kuntz at 202.314.1779 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Center will notify all applicants of the results of the selection process by Friday, November 15, 2013.
The Jack and Anita Hess Faculty Seminar is endowed by Edward and David Hess in memory of their parents, Jack and Anita Hess, who believed passionately in the power of education to overcome racial and religious prejudice.