Teaching the Shoah in the Twenty-First Century - Topics and Topographies

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This book is a collection of essays arising from the international conference The Legacy of the Holocaust: Teaching the Shoah that was held at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1999. Hundreds of scholars and educators gathered for five days of seminars, workshops and academic sessions each of which addressed specific topics and pedagogies for teaching the Shoah. The essays selected for inclusion in this book represent the thoroughly developed views that a group of scholars/ educators advanced at the conference. Their contributions address major concerns of educators and scholars already established in the field, as well as those of individuals just venturing into the arena. Each essay explores a distinctive Shoah related topic, or proposes an innovative pedagogical approach for effectively presenting the Holocaust to students. This book would be of interest to any person engaged in the study of or research into the Holocaust, or for educators seeking innovative and proven classroom methods for teaching the subject.

There are two portions to this work: topics and topographies. The Topics section will afford close readings of a variety of Holocaust related subjects, many not commonly taught. The topics cross traditional disciplines and extend a complexity of issues arising from purely traditional considerations of the Shoah (i.e. historical, literary or cultural). Topographies introduce specific methodologies that educators have developed for teaching the Holocaust. Instead of dwelling on “tried and true” canonical practices, these contributors advance genuinely resourceful methods for presenting standard Holocaust texts. Contributions in both categories provide suggested reading and viewing lists, which for educators involved in the field, for students investigating the topic, or interested lay readers will prove invaluable.


"Professor Simon Sibelman and each of the contributors of essays in this collection have chosen to explore a variety of urgent areas, many frequently overlook in courses that address the Holocaust. Each paper in this collection also promotes the valuable idea underlying all Holocaust education, namely, its extraordinarily international and interdisciplinary nature ... Educators and scholars who read these essays will discover much to stimulate the mind and to whet the creative, pedagogical mind ... Cogent, clear and engaging, each essay will afford the reader some kernel of knowledge, some innovation or insight that would undoubtedly aid in transforming any course on the Holocaust from the ordinary to the exceptional. I hope this volume will be the first of a broader series that will continue to explore how we as educators and scholars present this vital topic." - Trudy A.M. Gold, Executive Director of the London Jewish Cultural Centre, University of London

Table of Contents

Commendatory Preface
• Heideggar, Heimat and the Holocaust (Vera Jakoby)
• Untergang or Bust: Solutions to a Jewish Problem By Richard Wagner and Adolf Hitler (Christine Colin-Burns)
• Teaching the Holocaust from a Balkan Perspective (John Cox)
• Is Coming to Terms Out of the Question?: Teaching Post-Holocaust German Literature (Elizabeth Snyder Hook)
• A Desperate Conversation: Art of the Holocaust (Milton S. Katz)
• Remembering the Holocaust Through Literature (Susie Jans-Thomas)
• An International Book Sharing Project: An Innovative Method for Teaching the Holocaust (Moshe Shner)
• Auschwitz in Appalachia: Pedagogy, the Holocaust and The Southern Highlands (Michael Pinner)
• Teaching the Shoah: Philosophy and the Holocaust (Yoram Lubling)
• “The Terribleness Runs Through You”: An Evolving Paradigm of Holocaust Pedagogy (Elizabeth Baer)
• “Competing Narratives”: Toward a Holistic Holocaust Pedagogy (Simon P. Sibelman)

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