Silenced Voices and Marginalized Histories: Roma and Sinti in the Holocaust
January 8–12, 2018
The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies announces the 2018 Jack and Anita Hess Faculty Seminar on the persecution of Roma and Sinti in the Holocaust. This Seminar will examine the prewar, wartime, and postwar history of Roma and Sinti, placing these victims’ experiences and perspectives within the larger context of the Holocaust. The experiences of Roma and Sinti enlarge our understanding of many facets of the Holocaust, its antecedents, and its aftermath. Accordingly, the Seminar will introduce participants to recent scholarship that examines the Nazi racial state, the Holocaust in the East, the gendered dynamics of racial persecution, strategies of resistance and survival, and the struggles of survivors in postwar Europe to rebuild their decimated communities among the perpetrators and witnesses of their persecution through the experiences of Roma and Sinti victims and survivors. This Seminar will address the broader literature on the representation of Roma in scholarship, popular culture, and the public imaginary before, during, and after the Holocaust as well as explore relevant primary-source materials—such as memoirs, oral histories, testimonies, song, literature, and other textual and audiovisual sources—that represent Romani perspectives on the Holocaust. Finally, it will discuss pedagogical approaches and techniques for teaching this history at North American colleges and universities.
The 2018 Jack and Anita Hess Seminar for college and university faculty is designed to help faculty who are teaching, or preparing to teach, Holocaust or Holocaust-related courses in all academic disciplines. While the focus will be on the specific case of the persecution of Roma and Sinti in the Holocaust, the themes, approaches, and methods covered in the Seminar are also applicable by the broad range of educators who engage the perspectives of victims and survivors in other geographic regions and/or time periods.
Seminar participants will be introduced to Roma-related sources in the Museum’s unique film, oral history, testimony, recorded sound, archival, and photography collections, and the International Tracing Service Digital Archive. They will also have the opportunity to provide feedback on primary-source teaching tools currently under development at the Museum. An array of staff scholars with expertise in various Holocaust-related topics will be available to consult with participants about their syllabi. Ultimately, participants will learn how to respectfully, rigorously, and accurately represent these victims in Holocaust-related courses across disciplines.
In addition to lecture and discussion, the Seminar will devote time to specific pedagogical strategies used by the leaders and participants to examine this complicated and diverse victim group in the classroom. Conversant in historical and ethnographic methods, primary-source research, and gendered analysis, the three instructors will present an interdisciplinary, intersectional, and entangled approach to this multifaceted topic.
- Ethel Brooks is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology at Rutgers University. She has been a Tate-TrAIN Transnational Fellow at the University of the Arts-London since 2012, where she was 2011-2012 US-UK Fulbright Distinguished Chair, and is a course director in the Central European University’s Roma in European Societies Initiative. Professor Brooks has written widely in the field of Romani studies, as well as Latin American and South Asian studies. She is the author of Unraveling the Garment Industry: Transnational Organizing and Women’s Work (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), which received the award for Outstanding Book for 2010 from the Society for the Study of Social Problems. She is currently at work on a book focusing on political economy, cultural production, and Romani contentions and claims to urban space. Professor Brooks is a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council as well as of the Mandel Center’s Academic Committee. She is also a member of the U.S. Delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and the Board Chair of the Budapest-based European Roma Rights Centre.
- Eve Rosenhaft is Professor of German Historical Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Liverpool. She has received several awards including a Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellowship from the Mandel Center at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2001. Dr. Rosenhaft is the author of numerous articles and books on Roma, Sinti, and Black Germans in the Holocaust, as well as German history more broadly. She is the author of Beating the Fascists?: The German Communists and Political Violence 1929-1933 (1983), the co-author (with Robbie Aitken) of Black Germany: The Making and Unmaking of a Diaspora Community, 1884-1960 (2013), and the translator of Theodor Michael’s Black German: An Afro-German Life in the Twentieth Century (forthcoming). Professor Rosenhaft is Co-Investigator of the research network, Legacies of the Roma Genocide in Europe since 1945.
- Krista Hegburg is a program officer in the Visiting Scholar Programs Division of the Mandel Center, where she runs academic programs focusing on Eastern Europe and the Global South. She previously designed and managed Mandel Center outreach programs geared toward ethnic studies faculty and has lectured widely on U.S. college campuses on the topic of the Romani Holocaust. Prior to joining the Museum, Dr. Hegburg taught in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. An anthropologist by training, she has conducted extensive fieldwork in Romani communities in the Czech Republic and is currently working on a book project about Romani claims for the recognition of their persecution in the Holocaust. She is an advisory board member of the Prague Forum for Romani Histories.
How to Apply
Seminar applicants must be teaching at accredited, baccalaureate-awarding institutions in North America. Applications must include: (1) a curriculum vitae; (2) a statement of the candidate’s specific interest and needs in strengthening his/her background in Holocaust studies for the purpose of improving teaching; and (3) a supporting letter from a departmental chair or dean addressing the candidate’s qualifications and the institution’s commitment to Holocaust-related education. Syllabi of any Holocaust-related courses that the candidate has taught should also be included. Syllabi will be distributed at the Seminar to facilitate discussion of successful teaching strategies.
Admission will be decided without regard to the age, gender, race, creed, or national origin of the candidate. For non-local participants, the Mandel Center will defray the cost of (1) direct travel to and from the participant’s home institution and Washington, DC, and (2) lodging for the duration of the Seminar. Incidentals, meals, and book expenses must be defrayed by the candidates or their respective institutions. All participants must attend the entire Seminar.
Applications must be postmarked or received in electronic form no later than Wednesday, November 1, 2017, and sent to:
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024-2150
Fax: (202) 479-9726
For questions, contact Dr. Kierra Crago-Schneider at 202-314-1779 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This 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.