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Visualization and the Holocaust

December 17, 2018

The Holocaust was an historical event that has profoundly shaped our understanding of modern society and has left behind a vast historical record. In the last decade, more and more of that record has become (and is becoming) available digitally.

This public conference seeks to reflect synthetically on the first decade of historical and spatial analysis of the Holocaust through the use of digital methods. What interpretive problems are illuminated by different physical, textual, and visual sources, such as physical killing sites, bureaucratic documents, postwar survivor interview transcripts, photographs, and maps? In addition to presentations on how digital methods have been used in Holocaust Studies (with beneficial and problematic results), the conference will broaden the scope and impact of such a discussion by opening up a dialogue in each session with digital historians and visualization experts from a broader range of fields. Learn more here.

The conference will be followed on Saturday by a workshop of conference participants (closed to the public). This workshop will draw on the contributions and expertise of Margaret Pearce (Cartographer) Erik Steiner (Co-Director, CESTA, Standford University), and Lance Winn (Center for Material Cultural Studies, University of Delaware).

Co-Sponsored by the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies (Duke University); The Jack,Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum); Nasher Museum of Art (Duke University); Office of the Dean, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Humanities Division (Duke University); Duke Research Computing (Duke University); John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute (Duke University); Duke Center for Jewish Studies.


Thursday, Januory 17: Keynote, 5:30PM

“An Epistemology of the Virtual: or, what can Concealing Reveal?”
(Lance Winn, Department of Art and Design, and Center for Material Culture Studies, University of Delaware)

Friday, January 18: Conference Panels and Speakers

Welcome and lntroduction [9:00-9:15AM]
(Sarah Schroth, Nasher Museum of Art; Robert M. Ehrenreich, Mandel Center, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum; Paul Jaskot, Duke University)

The Ethics of Visual Sources and Visualization [9:15-10:30AM]
(Session Chair: Michael Haley Goldman, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)

  • A Day at the Beach: Littoral Space in the Liepäja Massacre Photographs (Daniel Magilow, University of Tennessee)
  • Cartography and the R.epresentation of Atrocity (Margaret Pearce, Cartographer)
  • Respondent (Paul Jaskot, Duke University)

Criminal Places as (Digitized and Digital) Data [10:45AM-12:00PM]
(Session Chair: Eve Duffy, Duke University)

  • Spaces and Places of the Holocaust: Methodological Reflections (Alberto Giordano, Texas State University)
  • Conflict Urbanism: Colombia – The Memory of a Conflict Through a Single Dataset (Juan Francisco Saldarriaga, Columbia University)
  • Respondent (Anton Kusters, Independent Artist)

Historical Texts as (Digitized and Digital) Spatial Data [1:30-2:45PM]
(Session Chair: Anika Walke, Washington University)

  • I Was Here: Spatial Problems in Holocaust Survivor Interviews (Anne Kelly Knowles, University of Maine, and Tim Cole, Bristol University)
  • Text Mining Archival Records to Map 19th-Century Potato Blight (Laura Tateosian, North Carolina State University)
  • Respondent (Todd Presner, UCLA)

Pedagogical Approaches to Visualizing (Holocaust and non-Holocaust) Digital Datasets [3:00-4:15PM]
(Session Chair: Robert M. Ehrenreich, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)

  • Constructing a Teachable Archive: Curating a Primary Source Experience in the Digital World (Leah Wolfson, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)
  • Contested Histories: Collaborative Approaches to Visualizing Cultural Heritage (Victoria Szabo, Duke University)
  • Respondent (Rachel Deblinger, UC Santa Cruz)

Concluding Roundtable [4:15-5:00]
(Moderators: Robert M. Ehrenreich and Paul Jaskot) – Reception to Follow

Saturday, January 19: Closed Workshop

Contributors: Margaret Pearce (Cartographer) Erik Steiner (Co-Director, CESTA, Standford University), and Lance Winn (Center for Material Cultural Studies, University of Delaware)