Digital Holocaust Memory from the Margins: Practices, Places, and Narratives

Call for Papers | Online International Conference | June 1-3, 2021

Esther and Sidney Rabb Center for Holocaust and Revival Studies

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel​​

In recent years, the “digital" is redefining Holocaust memory. Digital media facilitates the co-production of memory by a wide spectrum of new agents. Museums capitalize on new technologies in their permanent exhibits and educational activities. Augmented reality helps visitors to visualize the destroyed site of Bergen-Belsen; “Eva's Story" brings the experience of young Holocaust victims to the cellphones of millions of teenagers; selfies at death sites summon reactions of internet friends. More recently, as the COVID-19 pandemic spiraled worldwide, all Holocaust commemorations went digital, as social-distancing policies curtailed on-site, offline activities. These examples speak to the culture of “virtual Holocaust memory" (Walden, 2019) that (re)defines how people engage with the Holocaust and its remembrance. 

While digital culture opens new horizons, it also poses new challenges for Holocaust memory, education, and commemoration, which have yet to be critically understood. For example, core questions regarding the digital divide are highly relevant to Holocaust memory practices: What are the consequences of digitalization for Holocaust-memory institutions located in the Global South? What are the possibilities of Holocaust education in peripheral areas that have no broadband internet connection? Does digitalization create new intergenerational forums or marginalize survivors with limited access to internet platforms? Are we turning Holocaust commemoration and education into the privilege of more connected (Western) societies? If so, how does this impact the discourse on the globalization and democratization of Holocaust narratives? The online international conference: “Digital Holocaust Memory from the Margins - Practices, Places, and Narratives" engages these questions in an attempt to develop critical thinking on the culture of digital Holocaust memory.

The online conference will take place on June 1-3, 2021. In this conference, we seek to promote an interdisciplinary conversation between acknowledged and new understandings of Holocaust research. To this end we welcome papers from established and younger scholars across disciplines, artists, curators, educators and activists.​ 

The following subjects may be considered, among others:

Digital Holocaust memory and the Global South

Digital Holocaust memory and social/geographical peripheries

Digitalization of Holocaust museums

Covid-19 and digitalization processes in Holocaust museums

Holocaust commemoration in a digital world

The digital divide and its implications for Holocaust memory

Marginal practices of digital Holocaust memory

The effect of digitalization processes and practices on local narratives of the Holocaust

Popular (as opposed to institutional) digital practices of Holocaust memory

Youth culture and the use of social media in the context of Holocaust remembrance 

We welcome paper proposals addressing these issues and others from a variety of perspectives. English-language abstracts of proposed papers should be submitted through the form: Paper Proposals. Proposals should include a title, name and affiliation of the participant(s), email address, a long abstract of up to 300 words, a short abstract of up to 300 characters, and a brief biographical note (maximum 100 words).

Submit here: Paper Proposals
The deadline for proposals is February 15, 2021
Responses will be sent by March 15, 2021