The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Michelle Barrasso

Fields: Public History and Holocaust Studies

Interests: Holocaust Studies, Social Justice, Curatorial Work, Trauma, and Memory Studies

Education: B.A. in History with a concentration in Public History and a specialization in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Salem State University

I am a Master’s student in the History Department who is interested in the Holocaust as it pertains to victim trauma and memory studies, and I am also pursuing the Public History Certificate. During my time at UMass, I am hoping to expand my knowledge of the Holocaust and German History as well as hone my Public History skillset, particularly my curatorial experience. I want to be an advocate for social justice, equality, and acceptance – my goal is to use Public History as a means to educate, advocate, and create impactful change for our world.

My senior thesis Cattle Car Compression: Sensory Violation and Assault in the Deportee Experience, utilizes Holocaust survivor testimony and oral history to explore the ways in which deportees experienced their journeys as an assault on their five senses. I completed an internship at The Holocaust Center, Boston North that focused on artifact documentation and research as well as interpretation. Prior to starting the graduate program I worked as a curator for The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.