This lecture examines the Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive as a major project of public memory situated in a series of contexts: Jewish ethnographies, public memory projects at the turn of the millennium, and the different media used to document the Holocaust.
Jeffrey Shandler is Professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. He received a PhD in Yiddish Studies from Columbia University and has held post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania and New York University. Shandler has also been a visiting scholar at the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Center, Tel Aviv University; the Center for Religion and Media, New York University; the Jewish Studies Program, University of California Berkeley; the Shoah Foundation, University of Southern California; the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, Monash University; and a Starr Fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard University.
Shandler is the author of While America Watches: Televising the Holocaust (Oxford University Press, 1999); Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language and Culture (University of California Press, 2005), a study of contemporary Yiddish culture; Jews, God, and Videotape: Religion and Media in America (New York University Press, 2009), which analyzes the impact of new communications technologies and media practices on American Jews’ religious life, from early recordings of cantorial music to hasidic outreach on the Internet; and Shtetl: A Vernacular Intellectual History (Rutgers University Press, 2014), an examination of how Jewish life in East European provincial towns has become the subject of extensive creativity, memory, and scholarship, from the early modern era to the present. His most recent book, Holocaust Memory in the Digital Age: Survivors’ Stories and New Media Practices (Stanford University Press, 2017), explores the largest online archive of videotaped interviews with Holocaust survivors. Among other books, Shandler is the editor of Awakening Lives: Autobiographies of Jewish Youth in Poland before the Holocaust (Yale University Press, 2002) and co-editor of Entertaining America: Jews, Movies, and Broadcasting (Princeton University Press, 2003) and Anne Frank Unbound: Media, Imagination, Memory (Indiana University Press, 2012). His work has been translated into French, German, Japanese, and Polish.
Shandler’s translations of Yiddish literature include Mani-Leyb’s children’s classic Yingl Tsingl Khvat (Moyer Bell, 1986) and Emil and Karl, a Holocaust novel for young readers by Yankev Glatshteyn (Roaring Brook, 2006). He has curated exhibitions for The Jewish Museum of New York, the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Shandler has served as president of the Association for Jewish Studies and is a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research.