UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM
Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies
2008 CURT C. AND ELSE SILBERMAN SEMINAR
FOR UNIVERSITY FACULTY
The Legacy of the Holocaust: Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine
June 2-13, 2008
The Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum announces the 2008 Silberman Seminar for college/university faculty teaching or preparing to teach Holocaust or Holocaust-related courses. Over two thirds of the Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis and their allies lived within the borders of prewar Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine. This year’s seminar will focus on the Holocaust in this region; the current public debate on the involvement of their citizens in the perpetration of the Holocaust; and the complex issues of memory, memorialization, and remembrance.
The seminar will consist of presentations, participant-facilitated discussions on classroom teaching methods, and roundtable discussions on teaching strategies across multiple disciplines. Presentations and discussions will cover the history of the Holocaust in Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine; Holocaust testimony; studies of perpetrators, collaborators, and victims; the problem of East European “bystanders”; individual/collective trauma; comparative violence/genocide; gender roles; antisemitism; the reception of the Holocaust in post-communist Eastern Europe; and topics suggested by participants. 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. Participants will also have the opportunity to consult and interact with Museum staff and visiting fellows. Information about Museum and Center resources can be found at www.ushmm.org/research/collections and www.ushmm.org/research/center.
The 2008 Silberman Seminar will be led by Professor Antony Polonsky, Albert Abramson Chair of Holocaust Studies at Brandeis University. Professor Polonsky is a specialist on the history and culture of the Jews of East Central Europe and the history of the Holocaust. Series Editor for more than a decade of the award-winning annual POLIN: Studies in Polish Jewry, Professor Polonsky is also the author or editor of numerous books, including The History of Poland since 1863 (1981); The Beginnings of Communist Rule in Poland, 1943-1945 (1981); The Jews in Poland (1986); and Jews in Eastern Poland and the USSR, 1939-1946 (1991). His edition of Abraham Lewin's A Cup of Tears: A Diary of the Warsaw Ghetto (1988) won the Joseph and Edith Sunlight Literary Prize in 1989 and the Jewish Book Council of America prize in 1990. Professor Polonsky has been recipient of the National Jewish Book Award (1999) and the Rafael Scharf Award for Outstanding Achievement (2006), and in 1997-8 served as Skirball Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.
Seminar applicants must be faculty members 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 their background in Holocaust history for the purposes of improving their 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 age, gender, race, creed, or national origin. A maximum of twenty applicants will be accepted. For non-local participants, the 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. Incidental, meal, and book expenses must be defrayed by the candidates or their respective institutions. All participants must attend the entire seminar from June 2 to 13, 2008.
The Curt C. and Else Silberman Foundation endowed the Silberman Seminar for University Faculty in memory of Curt C. and Else Silberman. The Foundation supports programs in higher education that promote, protect, and strengthen Jewish values in democracy, human rights, ethical leadership, and cultural pluralism.
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