Academic Conferences

Testimonies, Personal Narratives, and Alternative Tellings
An Interdisciplinary Conference
March 27–28, 2011 at Rutgers University
Open to faculty and graduate students only
Support for the conference was provided by Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences

Scholars from a wide range of disciplines explored the diversity of testimonial narratives and the broader, more complex understanding of “witnessing” in the post-Holocaust era. Contemporary discourse about the role of witnessing has developed, to a large extent, in response to the Holocaust but attention to the role of testimonies has expanded to other events involving genocide, the violation of human rights, and extreme forms of violence. Scholars will examine the emergence of witnessing as a key contemporary mnemonic practice, the various forms that testimonies may take as they shift from private to public domains, and their multiple, and at times divergent, interpretations within various academic discourses.

See conference brochure

USC Shoah Foundation Institute Visual History Archive

The conference was held in conjunction with Rutgers University’s new access to the Institute’s Visual History Archive (VHA). The VHA houses 52,000 testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. These interviews, which were filmed in 56 countries and were conducted in 32 languages, include discussions of the interviewees’ lives before, during, and after World War II.  The archive can be accessed from computers on any of Rutgers campuses and is supported by the Rutgers University libraries. For further information, go to