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Conference

The Photography of Persecution: Pictures of the Holocaust

University Room: Omid & Gisel Kordestani Rooftop Conference Center (Q-801)The American University of Paris | 6 rue du Colonel Combes | 75007 Paris
Wednesday, June 22, 2022 - 00:00 to Friday, June 24, 2022 - 23:55

The George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention is honored to announce the international conference The Photography of Persecution: Pictures of the Holocaust.

Photographs play a central role in representations of the Holocaust. A few photographs have become so widespread and well-known that they are used in popular discourse as metonymic reminders of the genocide. And yet, often enough these iconic photographs do not actually depict what it is claimed that they depict. Instead, they are incorrectly attributed, mistakenly identified, and most importantly underanalyzed. This uncritical approach to the photography of persecution has resulted in significant misrepresentations of the Holocaust, especially in the popular imagination.  

Rather than treating photographic images taken under Nazi rule as self-explanatory, immediate, and self-contained, this conference invites interested scholars to approach photographs as they would other documents – by treating photographs as objects of historical inquiry and interrogating the political interests authorizing their creation, the material conditions under which they were produced, the editing process out of which they emerged and were displayed, and the uses to which they were put. The conference will focus on the photographic record of the persecution of Jews in Nazi-dominated Europe, including its overseas possessions from 1933 to 1945.

This conference is organized in partnership with the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz, and Boston University.

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