Holocaust education in the 21st century


What does the Holocaust mean for new generations? Is there a real risk in losing the educational legacy of the 1940s? In early September, the University of Victoria will host a global gathering of scholars, students, writers, Holocaust survivors and community leaders about Holocaust education and how it can be used as a means to tackle contemporary issues of hatred, racism, antisemitism, islamophobia, xenophobia, ethnic conflict and genocide.

UVic, as home to the I-witness Holocaust Field School (the first of its kind for undergraduate students at a Canadian university), continues to help lead the way on these important topics. From Sept. 1 to 3 at UVic, “Global Connections: Critical Holocaust Education in a Time of Transition” will explore issues of multi-cultural human rights education, particularly Holocaust studies, as well as Canadian contexts, such as the atrocities of the Indian Residential Schools and Japanese-Canadian internment.

“This conference will challenge us to view Holocaust education in new ways,” says Dr. Helga Thorson, chair of UVic’s Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies and a co-founder of the UVic field school. “It came together because of the field school. My colleague Dr. Charlotte Schallié and I co-founded an international research collective on the Holocaust with contacts we had made during the first two field schools. Next week’s conference is the direct offshoot of those collaborations.” UVic alumna and former field school participant Andrea van Noord—who is now employed in her chosen field of study as a Holocaust testimony indexer with the Shoah Foundation—returns to campus as conference manager.

Participants from the US, Canada, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland will attend keynote events, panel discussions, poetry readings and an evening film screening.

Everyone is invited to attend. Please visit the website for program information.

What: “Global Connections: Critical Holocaust Education in a Time of Transition”
When: Tuesday, Sept. 1 to Thursday, Sept. 3
Where: University of Victoria (see full schedule)
Event contact: globalconnections@uvic.ca or visit facebook.com/GlobalConnectionsConference
Admission is free and everyone is welcome.
Please register online in advance.

-- 30 --

Media contacts

>Dr. Helga Thorson (Dept. of Germanic & Slavic Studies / Co-Founder of I-witness Holocaust Field School) at 250- 250-721-7320 or helgat@uvic.ca

Dr. Charlotte Schallié (Dept. of Germanic & Slavic Studies / Co-Director of UVic European Studies Program / Former co-director of I-witness Holocaust Field School) at 250-721-7321 or schallie@uvic.ca

Tara Sharpe (University Communications + Marketing) at 250-721-6248 or tksharpe@uvic.ca

In this story

Keywords: Holocaust, history, human rights, education, Germanic and Slavic studies

People: Helga Thorson

Related stories