SYMPOSIUM: Dr. Dori Laub’s contributions across disciplines, 11/29/18, Yale University

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Symposium: Dr. Dori Laub’s contributions across disciplines

Date: November 29, 2018, 1PM-4:45PM

Location: Yale University, Sterling Memorial Library, Lecture Hall


Dr. Dori Laub, one of the founders of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, died on June 23, 2018, in Woodbridge, Connecticut. Dr. Laub and Laurel Vlock, a New Haven television producer, began videotaping Holocaust survivors in May 1979 in what became the Holocaust Survivors Film Project (HSFP). In 1981, the HSFP tapes were deposited at Yale where they formed the initial collection of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. His unique perspective as a survivor and clinical psychiatrist shaped the archive’s distinctive methodology, with a focus on empathic listening rather than journalistic interviews.

Please join us November 29 from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM in Sterling Memorial Library's Lecture Hall for a symposium in honor of Dr. Laub's work in three disciplines. Dr. Laub made important contributions to the development of videotestimony as a means of documenting survivor experience, the establishment of the Genocide Studies program at Yale, and advances in the study of trauma.



1:00                 Welcome: David Simon, Director, Genocide Studies Program, Yale

1:05                 Speaker introduction: Stephen Naron, Director, Fortunoff Video Archive, Yale

1:10-1:45         Keynote: Lawrence Langer, Professor of Literature (emeritus), Simmons College

1:45-2:45         Joanne Rudof, Archivist, Fortunoff Video Archive; Ben Kiernan, Professor, Genocide Studies, Yale; Elizabeth Brett, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale


2:45-3:00         Break (Coffee and sweets)


3:00                 Speaker introduction: David Simon

3:05-3:30         Keynote: Taylor Krauss, Voices of Rwanda

3:30-4:15         Screening of excerpts from film about Dori: Ohad Ufaz, Filmmaker

4:30                 Closing remarks



Speaker bios:


Elizabeth A. Brett, Ph.D. Is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis in New Haven. She is a Past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.  She conducted research on post traumatic imagery and combat exposure in Vietnam veterans and has also been interested in psychoanalytic models of trauma.


Ben Kiernan is Whitney Griswold Professor of History at Yale University. From 1994-2015 he was founding Director of the Genocide Studies Program (, and from 2010-2015, Chair of the Council on Southeast Asia Studies. His books include Việt Nam: A History from Earliest Times to the Present (2017); How Pol Pot Came to Power (1985); The Pol Pot Regime (1996); Genocide and Resistance in Southeast Asia (2007); and Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur (2007). For thirty years he documented the crimes of the Khmer Rouge regime; he founded the Cambodian Genocide Program, which uncovered the archives of the Khmer Rouge secret police, detailed the case for an international tribunal, and won many awards. 


Taylor Krauss As a documentary filmmaker Taylor Krauss’ camera work is featured in recent films including Netflix’s City of Joy about the work of 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege; Eugene Jarecki’s The King and The House I Live In; and Ken Burns & Lynn Novick’s The Vietnam War. In 2009 Krauss received the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for his work in the DR Congo, is a current Pulitzer Center grantee for reporting in Northern Iraq, and in 2014 he was awarded the Susan J. Herman Award for Leadership in Holocaust and Genocide Awareness for establishing Voices of Rwanda, an archive dedicated to filming testimonies of rescapés of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi. Krauss is also the founder of Voices of Yezidi, an archive established in partnership with Yazda to record testimonies, document the 2014 Genocide Against the Yezidi by ISIS. Krauss is a graduate of Yale University and a member of the Advisory Board to The Yale Genocide Studies Program.  


Lawrence L. Langer is Alumnae Chair Professor of English emeritus at Simmons College in Boston. Langer has been a resident scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation Study and Conference Center, the Research Institute of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, and a Koerner Research Fellow at Yarnton Manor in Oxford, England. The author of dozens of monographs and articles, his book Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory (1991) won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism and was named one of the ten best books of 1991 by the New York Times Sunday Book Review.

Joanne Weiner Rudof retired as the archivist at the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University in September 2017 after thirty-four years.  She has written numerous articles, book chapters, and conference papers on Holocaust testimonies and been editor and producer of documentaries including Voices from the Yugoslav Holocaust, Remembering Częstochowa, Parallel Paths, and the award winning national PBS broadcast, Witness: Voices from the Holocaust for which she was co-editor of the book with the same title.  She has coordinated over twenty Holocaust testimony projects in North and South America, Europe, and Israel and advised others in initiating video testimony projects documenting genocide, oppression, and human rights violations.


Ohad Ufaz is a filmmaker, a senior lecturer of film at Oranim College, and a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communications at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  Ufaz’s films set personal stories and human testimonies against the background of social and historical events, and his teaching interweaves the theoretical concepts and the praxis of documentary filmmaking and the recording of testimonies. His research grapples with the ethical questions posed by the films he loves, teaches, and directs. Ufaz is the director and scriptwriter of numerous documentary films that have been screened on television and at film festivals in Israel and abroad, including The Boys from Lebanon (2008), Open Eye – Open I (2006), The Wandering Samaritan (2004), Going Dutch (2002), and Abud Bypass (1997).