To Study and Teach the Holocaust and Genocide in a Context of Conflict and Trauma
Special Session of the Fifth Conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars
Opening remarks - Prof. Alon Confino
In this special session, taking place as part of the Fifth Conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, we will try to clarify whether a state of perpetual violence influences how we think about the Holocaust and other instances of genocide and how we study them.
We will try to answer such questions as what the connection is between trauma, violence, writing, and Israel/Palestine as the space we live in, whether the questions are interpretive, narrative, or ethical. Does the violent present in Israel/Palestine influence the narrative of the past that we recount? Is there a connection between representations of a past of mass violence in the Modern Era, in research in academe or museums, and the Nakba and the denial of Palestinians’ human rights today, and if so, what is the nature of that connection? Does the narrator have a special responsibility toward the present, and if so, what is it? Or perhaps we must ask totally different questions, even questions that negate the validity of this session.