Letters Archive
Spring 1999, Vol. 7, No. 2
  • Exploring Saturn
  • Jumping the Dragon Gate: Storytellers and the Creation of the Shanghai Identity
  • Teaching the Holocaust
  • Lecture on Southern Letters
  • Teaching the Holocaust

    Beginning in the fall of 1999, the Warren Center will be home to a project entitled "The Holocaust, Genocide, and the Teaching of Ethical Values." The project, funded by the Zimmerman Foundation and the Tennessee Holocaust Commission, will develop guidelines for teaching at the secondary and post-secondary level about the Holocaust and other acts of genocide, as well as the teaching of ethical values that will help to prevent similar inhumane acts in the next century. With the Holocaust growing more distant in time from students early in the twenty-first century and the death of survivors and witnesses, the distinctiveness and relevance of the Holocaust may begin to lose its hold on educational priorities. With other acts of genocide continuing to occur in various parts of the world, the teaching of the Holocaust can provide an historical benchmark by which to judge genocidal acts and to develop both an early warning system and an ethos of prevention.

    The project will be directed by Peter Haas, associate professor of religious studies and Jewish literature and thought, and Helmut Smith, associate professor of history. The seminar will include up to ten scholars from throughout the state of Tennessee who will be chosen by the project's advisory committee though a process of application. The participants will meet regularly during the 1999/ 2000 academic year. University Chaplain Emeritus Beverly Asbury will serve as a consultant to the project and as a liaison between the Warren Center and the Tennessee Holocaust Commission. In addition, two high school teachers will join the seminar in order to provide necessary guidance regarding high school instructional materials. The seminar participants will also have funds available to bring in outside speakers and consultants who will add their expertise to the collective scholarly enterprise. The core group of scholars and teachers will establish basic principles for teaching about the Holocaust and other acts of genocide and recommend materials to be included in the curricula, whether secondary school or college.

    During the summer of 2000, an intensive three-week seminar for high school teachers will be held at the Warren Center to continue developing curriculum materials for the secondary schools. Eight teachers from private and public middle Tennessee schools will be chosen to create these materials based on the work of the faculty colloquium. The summer work shop will be led by the two teacher consultants who have been part of the faculty colloquium from the outset of the project and the Vanderbilt faculty seminar co-directors.

    The collaborative project between the Warren Center and the Tennessee Holocaust Commission will provide the opportunity for fruitful exchange among scholars and teachers across the state. This sustained intellectual interaction will result in important interdisciplinary contributions to issues related to teaching about the Holocaust and other acts of genocide.

    Letters Archive Index

    For more information, contact the Center's executive director, Mona C. Frederick.

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