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Beyond Testimony: New Ways of Listening to Survivors of the Holocaust and Other Genocides

Tuesday, January 18, 2011
5:00 AM
202 South Thayer Street, Room 2022

Henry Greenspan, University of Michigan

In his groundbreaking book On Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Beyond Testimony, Henry Greenspan presents an alternative approach to the gathering of survival testimonies by emphasizing ongoing conversation?what Greenspan calls “knowing with” survivors. According to former presidential Holocaust Memorial Council appointee John Roth, the book is “stunningly brilliant, standard-setting for scholarship in the field . . . [that] transcends the path-breaking first edition by putting into bold relief the insights that emerge from his more than 30 years of intensive collaboration with Holocaust survivors. . . . Greenspan challenges conventional wisdom and wisely transforms the process of discerning and responding to what survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides have to say.”

Greenspan will discuss the process of researching his book as well as his five years as an advisor to the Montreal project Life Stories of Montrealers Displaced by War, Genocide, and Other Human Rights Violations. Life Stories is gathering the accounts of survivors of the Holocaust, the Rwandan and Cambodian genocides, and political violence in Haiti. Like Greenspan’s own work, the Montreal project has engaged survivors as co-equal partners in every aspect of its work, from interviewer training and interpretation, to media and curricula production, to budget and overall governance.