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Conflations of Memory at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum
February 23, 2009 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Resident Fellow (2008-2009)
The US Holocaust Memorial Council and the designers of the US Holocaust Museum attempted to ensure, through the museum’s design, that visitors would remember the Holocaust as a specific historical event. But what visitors learn, and see, and remember at the USHMM is often enough an event or clusters of events that are at best only tangentially related to the Holocaust. The seminar, part of a project which tries to explain how and why such a conflation of memories occurs, takes account of some of the earliest discussions about the shape of the museum and the contents of its permanent exhibit.
Michael Bernard-Donals is a UW-Madison Faculty Fellow at the IRH. He received his Ph.D. in English from Stony Brook University and went on to teach at Mississippi State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia before coming to the English Department at the University of Wisconsin in 1998. His work falls into three principal areas of research: rhetorical theory, literary criticism and theory, and Holocaust Studies. He is an affiliate member of the Mosse-Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies and has recently ended a four-year term as chair of the English Department.