Faculty member participates in Holocaust Museum Seminar

PULLMAN — C. Richard King, an associate professor in Washington State University’s Department of Comparative Ethics Studies, was one of 19 scholars who participated this month in the 2005 Silberman Seminar for University Faculty, sponsored by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies in Washington, D.C.

The 2005 Silberman Seminar was designed for university faculty members teaching or preparing to teach Holocaust-related courses in the social sciences. It was the seventh in a series of annual summer seminars that focuses on strengthening Holocaust teaching at the college and university level.

Participants in the two-week seminar benefited from intensive sessions with leading scholars in the field of Holocaust studies and also shared their own teaching experiences and interdisciplinary expertise with one another.

“The Silberman Seminar was a powerful experience,” King said. “Not only was it incredibly informative, but it proved to be surprisingly transformative as well. It provided me with the knowledge base to incorporate Holocaust and comparative genocide in my classes in Comparative Ethnic Studies. Perhaps more important, it intensified my commitment to communicating to students the singularity of the Shoah, while encouraging them to find ways to challenge current atrocities.”

The 2005 Silberman Seminar was team-led by Christopher Browning, Frank Porter Graham Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and member of the museum’s academic committee; James Waller, Edward B. Lindaman Chair and professor of psychology at Whitworth College; and Jane Caplan, university lecturer in modern history and fellow of St. Antony’s College at Oxford University.

Seminar participants examined Holocaust history and explored methodologies for incorporating Holocaust-related subject matter into the courses they teach in the various social sciences.

“The day is approaching when college students will not have the opportunity to learn about the Holocaust directly from survivors and other eyewitnesses of the greatest crime of our age,” said Paul Shapiro, director of the museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. “College faculty will be called upon to teach this complex and important subject with the sensitivity, skill and authenticity that survivors automatically brought to the table. Antisemitism and genocide are still with us. Participants in the Silberman Seminar will provide new generations of students with understanding of the Holocaust that will help them deal with such problems that they will have to confront in the future.”

The Curt C. and Else Silberman Foundation endowed the Silberman Seminar for University Faculty in memory of Curt C. and Else Silberman. Curt Silberman was a jurist, community leader and organizer of numerous Jewish organizations and social agencies in Germany and the United States

The museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies promotes the development of the field of Holocaust studies and fosters quality teaching about the Holocaust at American colleges and universities through research initiatives, fellowship programs, faculty seminars, publications and conferences. A public-private partnership, the museum is a federal institution whose educational activities and outreach are made possible through private donations. For more information, visit www.ushmm.org.