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Teaching the Holocaust in the Age of Trump

Sun, December 16, 10:00 to 11:30am, Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, Harborview 2 Ballroom

Session Submission Type: Roundtable

Abstract

Recent events around the globe and in the U.S. have revived frightful memories of the Holocaust and the devastating possibility that history could repeat itself. Already, we have heard talk of arm bands, national registries of people of a specific faith, and even mass deportations. The devaluation of Jewish and Roma life, in particular, that led to the slaughter of 11 million people, is repeating itself with respect to immigrants and Muslims in particular. Such urgency requires that we think of new ways to teach the Holocaust in the age of Trump. We are proposing a roundtable discussion during which participants will use an example from a current syllabus to explore what has changed about teaching the Holocaust in 2018 America.

How has the Trump presidency affected your teaching of the Holocaust? How does the Holocaust shed light on the current political climate in the USA?

Richard Block will consider how Chaplin's critique of the voice and radio in _The Great Dictator_ helps understand "Trump Speech" and its appeal to the already initiated.

Jay Geller will discuss changes he has made to his syllabi to address the renewed interest in the Holocaust students appear to have in the current political climate.

Jonathan Skolnik will discuss his experience directing an Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at a "blue" state university and how to integrate the Holocaust into the broader crisis facing the Humanities.

Darcy Buerkle will reflect on the shift in pedagogical labor involved in teaching the Holocaust to shift the focus from simple paper-writing to acquiring a sense of responsibility.

Atina Grossman will discuss she integrates study of the Holocaust in courses about the "Making of the Modern Refugee" and one on fascism.

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