AUP student taking a photo of the Seine during Orientation.


Lecture by Jeffrey Shandler: "Seeing As Believing: Watching Videotaped Interviews with Holocaust Survivors"

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 18:30

The George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention invites you to attend a lecture by Jeffrey Shandler, Professor and Chair of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University, who will speak on the subject of videotaped interviews with Holocaust survivors. 

The visual component of video interviews with survivors of the Holocaust is what distinguishes these from other forms of documenting survivors’ life stories, whether in written form or audio recording. But what is the difference between watching these stories rather than simply reading or listening to them? Exceptional moments in these videos, such as when survivors display wartime injuries or religious articles that they had during the war, both disrupt the recordings’ austere visual aesthetic of “talking heads” and reveal the power of watching survivors relate their wartime experiences. These particular moments also resonate with longstanding visual vocabularies of offering evidence that concretizes faith, linking act of seeing with believing.

Jeffrey Shandler's biography

Jeffrey Shandler is Professor and Chair of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. He received a PhD in Yiddish Studies from Columbia University. Shandler’s books include While America Watches: Televising the Holocaust (Oxford University Press, 1999), Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language and Culture (University of California Press, 2005), Jews, God, and Videotape: Religion and Media in America (New York University Press, 2009), and Shtetl: A Vernacular Intellectual History (Rutgers University Press, 2014). Among other titles, Shandler is the editor of Awakening Lives: Autobiographies of Jewish Youth in Poland before the Holocaust (Yale University Press, 2002) and is co-editor of Anne Frank Unbound: Media, Imagination, Memory (Indiana University Press, 2012). His translations of Yiddish literature include Emil and Karl, a Holocaust novel for young readers by Yankev Glatshteyn (Roaring Brook, 2006).  Shandler has served as president of the Association for Jewish Studies and is a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research.