University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Holocaust Survivors, their Children, and the Rise of Holocaust Consciousness

Holocaust Survivors, their Children, and the Rise of Holocaust Consciousness

Wednesday, April 20, 6:30PM
1210 Heller Hall
ARLENE STEIN, Rutgers University 

"Reluctant Witnesses: Survivors, Their Children, and the Rise of Holocaust Consciousness"

Talk to be followed by a reception and book signing; copies of Reluctant Witnesses will be available for sale at the event. 

Space is limited! If you plan to join us, please Register Here.

Organized by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, made possible by the generosity of individual supporters, cosponsored by the Children of Holocaust Survivors Association in Minnesota (CHAIM), and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC).

Today, the Holocaust is widely recognized as a universal moral touchstone. In Reluctant Witnesses, sociologist Arlene Stein--herself the daughter of a Holocaust survivor--mixes memoir, history, and sociological analysis to tell the story of the rise of Holocaust consciousness in the United States from the perspective of survivors and their descendants. If survivors tended to see Holocaust storytelling as mainly a private affair, their children--who reached adulthood during the heyday of identity politics--reclaimed their hidden family histories and transformed them into public stories.

Arlene Stein, Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, studies gender, sexuality, and American culture. The author of four books, she received the Simon and Gagnon Award for career contributions to the study of sexualities and the Ruth Benedict Book Award. She teaches courses on the sociology of gender and sexuality, culture, self and society, and trauma/memory, among other subjects, and serves on the graduate faculty of the Department of Women's and Gender Studies. Her latest book, Reluctant Witnesses: Survivors, Descendants, and the Rise of Holocaust Consciousness (Oxford, 2014), looks at how mass traumatic events shape the families of survivors, how they tell stories about these events, and how their stories enter the public sphere.