CFP: Special Issue of Holocaust and Genocide Studies on Holocaust Photography

Valerie Hebert Discussion
Call for Papers
September 1, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Digital Humanities, German History / Studies, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Journalism and Media Studies

CALL FOR PAPERS: Holocaust Photography

Holocaust and Genocide Studies Special Issue

Guest Editor: Valerie Hébert


This special issue seeks to provide an overview of Holocaust photography. Photographs figure centrally in memory of the Holocaust, yet inhabit an ambivalent intellectual space. Although familiar and ubiquitous, ethical sensitivities around engaging, teaching with, or displaying images of vulnerable, exposed, or dead bodies or that glorify and celebrate Nazi power and persecution often lead scholars to reject or exclude them from their publications and their classrooms. Alternatively, the assumption that photographic meaning is both obvious and static leads others to use photographs uncritically, either as “proof” of what appears in the frame or illustrative of something established by other sources. This special issue aims to demonstrate the value of Holocaust photography for expanding and deepening our understanding of this history. We seek articles from experts in a variety of disciplines to demonstrate the richness of Holocaust photography and impart practical tools for engaging photographs as photographs in both research and teaching. 


We seek articles addressing these topics:

  • What is a Holocaust Photograph?
  • Reading the Photograph: The Vocabulary and Method of Visual Analysis
  • The Technology of Photography and Its Visual Clues
  • The Ethics of Looking and the Responsibility of Showing
  • The Historiography of Holocaust Photography
  • Reading the Photograph Album: Material Culture and Narrative
  • Categories of Holocaust Photographs: Perpetrator, Victim, Bystander, and Liberator Perspectives
  • Significant Photographers and Collections
  • Holocaust Images in the Context of Genocide Photography
  • Photography and the Digital Humanities: Possibilities and Challenges
  • Photographs and the Classroom
  • Photographs and the Museum


We invite proposals for full research articles (c. 7,000-12,000 words). Proponents should submit a one-page abstract outlining their contribution to Valerie Hébert by 1 September 2023. Colleagues are welcome and encouraged to get in touch to discuss ideas informally prior to submitting an abstract. Final drafts of selected papers will be due 1 September 2024, for editorial and peer review.


Deadline for submissions: 1 September 2023.

Contact Info: 

Professor Valerie Hébert, Departments of History and Interdisciplinary Studies, Lakehead University Orillia,

Contact Email: