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Dr. Alan Rosen
2004-2005 Sosland Foundation Fellow

"The Evidence of Trauma: David Boder and Writing the History of Holocaust Testimony"

Professional Background

Dr. Alan Rosen earned his Ph.D. in literature and religion at Boston University where he studied under the supervision of renowned Holocaust survivor, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Founding Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council Elie Wiesel. He has taught Holocaust literature at colleges and universities in Israel and the United States, as well as at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies (Jerusalem, Israel). As the first recipient of the Center’s Sosland Foundation Fellowship, Dr. Rosen conducted research for his book project “The Evidence of Trauma: David Boder and Writing the History of Holocaust Testimony.”

Dr. Rosen is the author of two monographs, Sounds of Defiance: The Holocaust, Multilingualism, and the Problem of English (University of Nebraska Press, 2005) and Dislocating the End: Climax, Closure, and the Invention of Genre (Lang, 2001), and editor of Celebrating Elie Wiesel: Stories, Essays, Reflections (University of Notre Dame Press, 1998). At the time of his fellowship he was editing two collections that were published after his tenure: Approaches to Teaching Wiesel’s Night (Modern Language Association, 2007) and, with Steven Katz, Obliged by Memory: Literature, Religion, Ethics: A Collection of Essays Honoring Elie Wiesel’s Seventieth Birthday (Syracuse University Press, 2006). In addition, Dr. Rosen has published over a dozen scholarly articles on the Holocaust in literature. He is the recipient of a number of scholarly awards for his research on the Holocaust from YIVO, Bar-Ilan University, Boston University, and the National Center for Genocide Studies. He was the 2004-2005 Ruth Meltzer Distinguished Fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania.

Fellowship Research

During his tenure at the Museum, Dr. Rosen continued his research on a collection of 109 postwar testimonies conducted by David Boder in 1946. David Boder, a Latvian Jewish émigré to the United States, traveled to Europe immediately after the war and carried out a series of interviews with Holocaust survivors in seven different languages. Dr. Rosen’s study addressed the contribution of David Boder’s work to our own understanding of the Holocaust; the nature of the early postwar response; the conception, purpose, and interpretation of victim testimony; the history and definition of Holocaust literature; and Jewish and non-Jewish responses to the Holocaust.

Dr. Rosen was in residence at the Mandel Center from May 2 to September 15, 2005.