Call For Applications - United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - 2019 Jack and Anita Hess Faculty Seminar

Madison Howard Discussion


JANUARY 7–11, 2019

Applications due Friday, November 2, 2018


The Mandel Center announces the 2019 Jack and Anita Hess Faculty Seminar, Disability, Eugenics, and Genocide: Nazi Germany, Its Antecedents and Legacy. This year’s seminar will explore the history of the persecution of persons with disabilities. It looks at how eugenic theories framed the debate about the treatment of individuals with disabilities and how that discourse had deadly consequences during the era of the Third Reich and the Holocaust. Likewise, it examines the legacy and continuing impact of eugenics in medicine, science, and ethics today. By placing the experiences and perspectives of victims’ with disabilities within the larger context of the Holocaust, this study enlarges our understanding of the many facets of the Holocaust and those targeted by National Socialists.

The seminar will introduce participants to the foundational texts as well as recent scholarship on the Nazi racial state, the Holocaust, the place of people with disabilities in relation to National Socialist persecution, strategies of resistance and survival, and the struggles of survivors in postwar Europe to reintegrate into society among the perpetrators and witnesses of their persecution. This Seminar will additionally address the broader literature on the representation of people with disabilities in scholarship, popular culture, and the public imaginary before, during, and after the Holocaust as well as explore relevant primary-source materials—such as memoirs, oral histories, testimonies, literature, and other textual and audiovisual sources—that represent the perspectives of those with disabilities affected by the Holocaust. The pedagogical approaches and techniques for teaching this history at North American colleges and universities will also be discussed.

The 2019 Jack and Anita Hess Seminar for college and university faculty is designed to help faculty and a limited number of advanced graduate students who are teaching, or preparing to teach, Holocaust or Holocaust-related courses in all academic disciplines. While the focus will be on the specific case of the persecution of people with disabilities in the Holocaust, the themes, approaches, and methods covered in the Seminar are also applicable by the broad range of educators who engage the perspectives of victims and survivors in other geographic regions and/or time periods.

The seminar will be co-taught by Dr. Karen Nakamura, Professor of Anthropology and Colleen Haas Distinguished Chair in Disability Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and Dr. Patricia Heberer Rice, Senior Historian and director of the Office of the Senior Historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Karen Nakamura’s research focuses on disability, sexuality, and other minority social movements in contemporary Japan. She is currently finishing a project on the trans movements as disability in Japan while launching a new project on robotics, augmentation, and prosthetic technology. Patricia Heberer Rice serves as a Museum specialist on medical crimes and eugenics policies in Nazi Germany. In addition to contributions to several USHMM publications, she has authored a source edition, Children during the Holocaust, a volume in the Center’s series, Documenting Life and Destruction, which appeared in 2011.

Seminar applicants must be teaching at accredited, baccalaureate-awarding institutions in North America. Applications must include: (1) a curriculum vitae; (2) a statement of the candidate’s specific interest and needs in strengthening his/her background in Holocaust studies for the purpose of improving teaching; and (3) a supporting letter from a departmental chair or dean addressing the candidate’s qualifications and the institution’s commitment to Holocaust-related education. Syllabi of any Holocaust-related courses that the candidate has taught should also be included. Syllabi will be distributed at the Seminar to facilitate discussion of successful teaching strategies.

Admission will be decided without regard to the age, gender, race, creed, or national origin of the candidate. For non-local participants, the Mandel Center will defray the cost of (1) direct travel to and from the participant’s home institution and Washington, DC, and (2) lodging for the duration of the Seminar. Incidentals, meals, and book expenses must be defrayed by the candidates or their respective institutions. All participants must attend the entire Seminar.

The National Academic Programs team seeks to engage new audiences, so we encourage applications from scholars who have never participated in our programs before.


Applications must be postmarked or received in electronic form no later than Friday, November 2, 2018, and sent to:

National Academic Programs

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW

Washington, DC 20024-2150

Fax: 202.479.9726


For questions, contact Dr. Kierra Crago-Schneider at 202.314.1779 or

This Seminar is endowed by Edward and David Hess in memory of their parents, Jack and Anita Hess, who believed passionately in the power of education to overcome racial and religious prejudice.