History matters in an age of displacement, war and conflict. Ordinary things and objects have many stories and diverse meanings for different people, past and present. At times, they recall for us a forgotten, hidden, and even destroyed past. A curio is a container to hold precious things. This project curates and studies our objects and memories of them. We have created this continually evolving site to cultivate and curate these contents, of lives, of life, in an attempt to fashion a space where these items and the stories about them, not only stand as testament to the past, but in some small measure, stand to teach us about who we are and what our future is, as shaped by our concepts of the same. thecurioproject.com
The Ackerman Center has held multiple workshops with students and faculty to translate Paul Celan’s “Death Fugue”, excerpts of Elie Wiesel’s “Ani Maamin”, and Miklós Radnóti’s “Like a Bull” into more than a dozen languages. To see those translations, please click on the respective works’ titles. There will be another workshop on November 15, 2017 to translate Nelly Sachs’ “O the Chimneys.” Please visit our events page for more details.
The Ackerman Center is working with graduate students to research archives and primary source documents about victims of the Holocaust. These workshops focus on a specific family and finding all relevant documents associated with members of that family. The goal of this project is two-fold: to help piece together missing parts of a family’s story and to teach students how to search online archives, as well as how to interpret and compile those results.
Archival materials of the Holocaust are exceptionally voluminous. Not only did the Nazis keep detailed records, but institutions such as Yad Vashem and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have compiled vast and accessible digital databases on every aspect of the Holocaust. In order to analyze such a massive scale of data, digital technologies allow us to simultaneously study the larger shifting patterns in the process of mass murder. Our project aims to dissect this complex process of mass killing and its constantly changing implementation within a large and shifting geographical space. The efficient implementation of the Holocaust required a sophisticated infrastructure and constant adjustment. To understand the development of a genocidal practice, it is important to simultaneously analyze the design of concentration camps, the transportation system, the geographical locations involved such as gathering points in urban centers, the ghettos, and the concentration camps all over Europe. Moreover, since time is a significant factor in the Holocaust, our project aims to comprehend the chronological development to better understand the unfolding of the Holocaust within the changing landscape of World War II.
Considering the interdisciplinary nature of this workshop, our team gathers scholars from several different disciplines: Dr. Nils Roemer (Professor of Jewish and Holocaust Studies), Dr. Maximilian Schich, (Associate Professor of Arts and Technology), Nakul Markandey (Geospatial Information Science Graduate Student) and Amal Shafek (Humanities PhD Student).
The Ackerman Center has partnered with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC on the History Unfolded project. It asks students, teachers, and history buffs throughout the United States what was possible for Americans to have known about the Holocaust as it was happening and how Americans responded by looking in local newspapers for news and opinion about 31 different Holocaust-era events that took place in the United States and Europe. The Ackerman Center is focusing on the Dallas area news coverage of the events surrounding the Holocaust. More information can be found on the museum’s website.