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Seeing as Believing: A Lunch Talk with Dr. Jeffrey Shandler

Posted by on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 in Past Events.

***Please note that this event will be held in Alumni Hall 202 on Vanderbilt’s main campus, not Memorial Hall on Peabody Campus.

The Program in Jewish Studies is pleased to welcome Jeffrey Shandler of Rutgers University for his talk “Seeing As Believing: Watching Videotaped Interviews with Holocaust Survivors.” The lecture will take place on Tuesday, October 29 at noon in the Joe C. Davis Memorial Hall (Alumni Hall 202). Lunch will be provided. This event is co-sponsored by Cinema and Media Arts, the Center for Digital Humanities, and the Department of German, Russian and East European Studies.

Talk description: The visual component of video interviews with survivors of the Holocaust is what distinguishes these from other forms of documenting survivors’ life stories, whether in written form or audio recording. But what is the difference between watching these stories rather than simply reading or listening to them? Exceptional moments in video interviews from the Shoah Visual History Archive, such as when survivors display wartime injuries or religious articles that they had during the war, both disrupt the recordings’ austere visual aesthetic of “talking heads” and reveal the power of watching survivors relate their wartime experiences. These particular moments also resonate with longstanding visual vocabularies of offering evidence that concretizes faith, linking act of seeing with believing.

Speaker Bio:  Jeffrey Shandler is Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. His most recent book is Holocaust Memory in the Digital Age: Survivors’ Stories and New Media Practices (Stanford University Press, 2017).