Compelling Questions to Guide Our Learning and Teaching:
- Why did the Holocaust occur the way it did?
- How did the concepts of genocide and human rights develop out of the Holocaust?
- What were the ramifications of the Holocaust during the war, postwar, and for the world today?
Summer Residency in Pennsylvania
June 25-30, 2023: Spend 5 days learning together in-person in State College, PA and Philadelphia, PA
Post-Residency Virtual Learning: series of experiences and sessions spanning July - December 2023, adding up to one total week of contact time
Summer 2023: Complete online modules and experiences about trauma-informed educational practices and difficult topics instruction.
Fall 2023: Participate in Zoom webinars focused on planning, implementing, and reflecting on inquiry-based classroom teaching of the Holocaust, another genocide, or human rights.
Detailed Agenda (All Times and Sessions Subject to Change)
The first week of the Institute will take place in State College, PA and Philadelphia, PA.
For a pedestrian map of the Penn State campus, visit map.psu.edu.
Arrival and Check-In
Dinner and Opening Remarks
Introductions and Framing the Institute: Cultivating an Inquiry Stance Toward Teaching the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights
What makes the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights uniquely difficult to teach?
What constitutes responsible classroom inquiry into difficult topics?
How are we hoping that this experience will inform our practices for teaching this content?
Reflections & Connections: Developing Our Wonderings about Teaching the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights
Frame shared and individual wonderings about how to teach these topics to propel this week’s collaborative professional learning.
Refugees from the Holocaust: Human Agency, Divergent Experiences, and Relevance for the World Today
This session will investigate different experiences of refugees from Nazi policies and persecution across the 1930s from the perspective of the refugees themselves. Topics include the range and constraints of decisions facing Jewish people, where refugees from Nazi persecution chose to go and why, and how the decisions of Jewish refugees connected them to other histories of particular places.
Geographies of the Holocaust: Developments over Time and Space
This session will focus on how the Holocaust developed in tandem with World War II across the geographic space of the conflict and developments over time. Disrupting the assumption that the Holocaust or something just like it could have happened anywhere to anyone, the session will emphasize the context of Nazi Germany and the role of state logic, industrialized society, and wartime events in how the Holocaust unfolded.
Reflections & Connections: Conceptualizing the humanities as data for our inquiries
Identify key takeaways from the day’s sessions.
Reflections & Connections: Share preliminary insights into our inquiries.
Perspectives on the Holocaust: Perpetrators, Bystanders, and Victims?
This session will focus on the traditional categorization of individuals in the Holocaust as perpetrators (participating collaborators), bystanders (uninvolved), or victims (persecuted or murdered). It is important to critically examine both the strength and limitations of these concept labels as they have been widely adopted in discussing other human rights abuses. Taking advantage of current historical scholarship, the session will explore whether these categories are sufficient and if or how other possible perspectives should be accommodated.
Aftermath of the Holocaust: Displaced Persons, Survivors, and Repercussions for the World Today
This session will focus on the human toll of the Holocaust and its short-term and long-term effects. The labels of “displaced persons” (“DPs”) and “survivors” will be examined to address how the categories were defined, by whom, and for whom and how they changed over time.
Reflections & Connections: Interpretive data analysis for inquiry
Begin to form generalizations that respond to our wonderings.
Director’s Forum: Cojot: A Trauma-Informed Approach
Reconvene after dinner for a screening of Cojot and a discussion of responsible instructional decision making surrounding the use of potentially traumatizing media such as Cojot in the teaching of difficult topics and possible classroom applications of the film and similar media.
Reflections & Connections: Implications for classroom applications
Explore a framework for inquiry with students; begin to frame potential classroom applications.
Defining the Holocaust and Genocide: The Struggle for Post-War Justice
This session will focus on how the Holocaust affected the definition of genocide and the legal structure within which genocide and human rights have evolved over the decades since. Content will include Raphael Lemkin’s efforts to create a definition of genocide; the Nuremberg trials and the development of international law on crimes against humanity; and the achievements, short-term effects, and long-term consequences of post-war trials. Recognizing the limitations of these achievements will help us to understand genocides, atrocities, and the human rights abuses in the 20th century and the world today.
Genocide and Human Rights in the Post-Holocaust World: Why Was “Never Again” Not Enough?
This session will focus on genocidal events, mass violence (state and non-state), and human rights abuses globally since 1945. Through analyzing why the world system and state actors label certain events but not others as genocide and the constraints (e.g., political, economic, military) facing collective and state action in response to abuses, connections will be made to the challenge of, and strategies for, teaching these difficult topics in the classroom.
Reflections & Connections: Interpretive data analysis for inquiry with students
Apply insights from our inquiries to classroom applications.
Preparing for community-based inquiry in Philadelphia
Orientation to Thursday and Friday’s field trip
Load Bus for Philadelphia
Depart State College for Philadelphia
Tour Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History
Reflections & Connections
Lunch at Reading Terminal Market
Guided IWALK tour of the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza
Dinner and time to explore Philadelphia
Echoes & Reflections Seminar: Inquiry-Based Instructional Resources and Strategies
Lunch, Closing Remarks, and Next Steps
Load Bus for return to State College
Departure for PHL airport and/or return to State College
The second half of the Institute will unfold virtually, with Institute faculty providing sustained support over a series of asynchronous and synchronous experiences designed to help participants plan for, implement, and reflect on classroom instruction based on their learning during the summer residency in Pennsylvania.
Session Focus: Cultivating Inquiry with Students; Preparing for Inquiry-Based Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Instruction
Session Focus: Conceptualizing Data Collection in Classroom Inquiry into Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Topics
Session Focus: Responsible Use of Media in Holocaust and Genocide Education
One-on-One Meetings (Individually Scheduled)
Office Hours (Multiple Times and Time Zones)
Session Focus: Interpretive Data Analysis for Inquiry with Students into Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Topics
Session Focus: Preparing to Share and/or Take Informed Action About Our Teaching of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Topics
Session Focus: Sharing and Taking Informed Action; Reflections, Conclusions, and Next Steps; Submit Instructional Plans and Materials; Complete Program Evaluations; Final Stipend Payments
This Institute has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. The Institute is being hosted by the Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education Initiative at Penn State. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this Institute do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.