Past Programs & Events

Apr 24, 2017

Race and Photography: Racial Photography as Scientific Evidence, 1876-1980

Amos Morris-Reich

In this talk Amos Morris-Reich will discuss racial photography as a form of scientific evidence, reconstructing individual cases, conceptual genealogies, and usage of photography and photographic techniques for the study of "race" from the nineteenth century to the Nazi period. From an historical-epistemological perspective, Morris-Reich demonstrates that photography was used in several ways, such as for the generation of statistical data, medical observation of Mendelian characteristics, or as a form of psychological "thought experiments." Drawing examples primarily from German and Jewish contexts, he will pay close attention to the roles of visual argumentation, perception, imagination, and ideology within these scientific studies.  

Morris-Reich is a Professor in the Departmenf for Jewishi History and Thought, and the Director of Bucerius Institute for the Study of Contemporary German History and Society, both at the University of Haifa. He is the author of The Quest for Jewish Assimilation in Modern Social Science (2008) and Race and Photography: Racial Photography as Scientific Evidence, 1876-1980 (2016). He is co-editor (with Dirk Rupnow) of Notions of 'Race' in the History of the Humanities (in press, 2017) and editor of the first collections of essays by Georg Simmel (2012) and Sander Gilman (2015) in Hebrew. 

Apr 19, 2017


for University and High School Students

The Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies is pleased to announce a student-docent training workshop for students interested in learning about the Institute’s permanent Holocaust teaching exhibition, “A Reason to Remember: Roth, Germany, 1933-1942." This workshop will introduce students to the exhibition and engage them in discussing it. 

Students who attend the workshop will learn how to serve as student tour facilitators and guide their peers through the exhibition.

Participants in this session will receive a certificate of completion and an invitation to bring their classes and teachers back to the Institute for a tour.

Students who earn the certificate are encouraged to contact their school administrators about receiving credit toward community service.  Students may also wish to list their participation in this workshop on their curriculum vitae or a college application.  This workshop is free of charge, and light refreshments will be served.  If you would like to participate, please email or call (413) 835-0221 no later than April 12th.


Apr 6, 2017

Musar after the Holocaust: Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler and the Rebuilding of Jewish Pietism

R. Eliyahu Dessler (d.1953) was arguably the most prominent proponent of the classical musar tradition to survive the Holocaust. He spent the war years in England where he moved from Lithuania to accompany his father for medical treatment. During the inter-war years, Dessler served as a dean of the Manchester Yeshiva where he trained many boys and young men who were part of the Kindertransports. After the war he immigrated to Mandate Palestine where he served as a spiritual mentor of the Ponovitsch Yeshiva in Bnei Brak until his death in 1953. This lecture will explore Dessler’s teachings, collected in the 5 volume Mikhtav M’Eliyahu, as an example of one who sought to reconstruct the ideology of musar with emphasis on its teachings as a response to the Holocaust. While not normally thought of as a post-Holocaust thinker, I will argue that Dessler’s musar is not simply a reiteration of pre-war musar but is a tool to teach his readers how to react to the theological challenges of the Holocaust.


Shaul Magid is the Jay and Jeanie Schotenstein Professor of Jewish Studies at Indiana University. He is also a Kogod Senior Research Fellow at The Shalom Hartman Institute in NYC. His work deals with the tradition and Jewish theology and philosophy from the early modern period to the present. His most recent book is *Hasidism Incarnate: Hasidism, Christianity, and the Construction of Modern Judaism* published with Stanford University Press. His forthcoming book *The Jewish Jesus of Volozhin: Elijah Zvi Soloveitchik's Commentary to the New testament* will be published by Yale University Press.

Mar 23, 2017

Film Screening and Discussion of STALAGIM

Stalags is a 2008 documentary film produced by Barak Heymann and directed by Ari Libsker. The film examines the history of Stalags, a genre of pornographic comic books popular in Israel in the 1960s. The Stalags were based on a stock plot, in which erotically drawn Nazi women sexually exploit male prisoners of war. The comic books broke sales records and sold hundreds of thousands of copies in the period of the Adolf Eichmann trial. After the authors of the books were accused of distributing anti-Semitic pornography, the popularity of the books declined. In raising questions about the connection between taboo imagery and repressed history, eroticism and violence, the film offers a daring perspective on Holocaust memory in Israeli society. Ari Libsker is an Israeli documentary filmmaker and journalist, who writes for the newspaper Calcalist. He is best known for his films Circumcision and Home Poem, as well as his artistic activism through the journals Maayan and Maarvon.

Hannah Pollin-Galay is an interdisciplinary scholar of Holocaust and Memory Studies. Her research, which draws from both literature and history, explores the connection between spoken language and memory in atrocity testimony. She is the author of Ecologies of Witnessing: Language, Place and Holocaust Testimony (forthcoming, Fall 2018), which compares oral narratives across linguistic and geographic boundaries. Pollin-Galay has published articles in journals such as Jewish Social StudiesHolocaust and Genocide Studiesand Prooftexts, as well as scholarly reviews for The Oral History Review and Studies in American Jewish Literature.

This presentation is part of a lecture series entitled Witnessing Otherwise, organized by Hannah Pollin-Galay, IHGMS Faculty Fellow and UMass Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of English.

Mar 21, 2017

Sounding the Inexpressible: Arnold Schoenberg and the Birth of Postwar Musical Memory

A lecture by Jeremy Eichler (Boston Globe/ Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University)