Holocaust Memory, Representation and Education

The Challenges of Applied Research
  • Jonathan Webber
Chapter

Abstract

The three aspects of contemporary Holocaust studies with which this section of the conference is concerned — memory, representation, and education — may well strike the uninitiated as a strange set of bedfellows. In introducing here these three clusters of ideas and institutional practices I should start by pointing out that the relationship between them is highly complex and raises many questions, both at the level of practice as well as issues of a more theoretical nature. The Holocaust as seen from these perspectives no longer belongs to the exclusive domain of history and the historians but rather to some other areas of expertise which are not always very easy to pin down. From a scholarly point of view, some might say that this merely reflects the uneasy interdisciplinary nature of the field of Holocaust studies, which in recent years have developed a very large range of academic approaches and, thereby, some intrinsic internal contradictions or inconsistencies between different types of scholarly method, modes of analysis, and rules of evidence. Whilst I believe it is indeed necessary to be aware of such criticism, the truth is that the involvement of this increasingly wide range of practitioners and scholars in Holocaust research and activities beyond the purely historical has become an established fact. Perhaps it is on account of my own background as a social anthropologist that I prefer to see this diversity as in fact highly productive: for it has unquestionably generated new thoughts and new undertakings, bridging the bitterness of the past with an optimism for the future. Memory, one might say, concerns itself with the past, education with the future, and representation with the mode of transmission between the two.

Keywords

Europe Amid Burial Metaphor Shoe 

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Webber

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