Program, "The Visual History Archive, Research Experience", October 26-27, Paris

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The Visual History Archive, Research Experience

Interdisciplinary conference


The George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention, American University of Paris

USC Shoah Foundation (France)

Outside guests must register online



14 :15 Arrival at the Maison de la Chimie, 28 rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris, room 269


Welcome Address: Brian Schiff, Director of the George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights, and Conflict Prevention, American University of Paris

Introduction by Stephen Smith, Executive Director of USC Shoah Foundation:

“The Future of Our Past: The Challenges and Opportunities of Video Testimony in an Evolving Digital Landscape”

15:30 break

15:45 Keynote by Noah Shenker (Monash University):

“Reframing Holocaust Testimony:  The Spaces within and beyond the Camera’s Frame”

16:35 break


Panel 1: Testimonies, Languages and Local Contexts

Chair: Judith Lindenberg (CRH-EHESS)

Robin Buller (University of North Carolina): “Communicating Survival: Language and Multilingualism in the Survivor Testimony of Salonican Jews”

Natalia Aleksiun (Touro College, New York): ”Intimate Histories of the Holocaust in Oral Testimonies from Eastern Galicia”

Evgeny Finkel (George Washington University): “Testimonies across Project, Language, and Space: The Visual History Archive in Comparative Perspective”

18:30 break

18:45 Keynote by Christopher Browning (University of North Carolina):

"Holocaust History and Survivor Testimony: The Case of the Starachowice Factory Slave Labor Camps"


9:00 Arrival

9:30 Keynote by Annette Wieviorka (SIRICE-CNRS-Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne):

“Qu'est-ce qu'un témoin?”

10:20: break


Panel 2: The Visual History Archive, a Source for History and Memorial Projects

Chair: Laura Hobson Faure (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle -Paris 3)

Sonia Combe (CNRS /Centre Marc Bloch): “Le recours à la Visual History Archive pour explorer la pratique de l'échange de victimes dans le camp de Buchenwald”

Patrice Bensimon (Yahad – In Unum) : "La VHA comme source d'information dans le cadre des enquêtes menées sur la Shoah par balles par Yahad - In Unum" 

Audrey Mallet (Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne/Concordia University): “La Visual History Archive, outil de recherche et plateforme de préservation”

12:00 lunch


Panel 3: Testifying in Time

Chair: Brian Schiff (American University of Paris)

Sharon Kangisser Cohen (Yad Vashem): “Early and Later Holocaust Survivor Testimony”

Bieke Van Camp (Université Paul-Valéry) : “Vers une homogénéisation des récits / expériences de la Shoah ?”

14:45 break


Panel 4: The Visual History Archive, Gender and Women Perspectives

Chair: Lissa Lincoln (American University of Paris)

Alina Bothe (Freie Universität Berlin): “Gender and the Visual History Archive”

Helene Sinnreich (University of Tennessee): “Mengele Selected Me and Other Stories We Are Taught to Doubt”

16:00 break

16:30 Final keynote by Jeffrey Shandler (Rutger’s University):

“ ’And now I have to read in Jewish something’:  Yiddish Performances by Holocaust Survivors”

The entire conference will be translated into English and French