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Bridging cultural studies and learning science: An investigation of social media use for Holocaust memory and education in the digital age

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Abstract

Along with advances in communication technology that are making new forms of historical memorialization and education available, social media are researched as valuable tools for supporting forms of digital memory and for engaging students and teachers about historical knowledge and moral education. This study aims to map the current state of Holocaust remembrance and Holocaust education and to identify main topics of research in the two areas. It adopts a mixed-method approach that combines qualitative analysis with bibliometric approaches to review publications that use social media for digital memory and history education about the Holocaust. Results based on 28 publications reveal several research topics and that, despite some common theoretical references, the two subfields mostly rely on separate conceptual backgrounds. While Holocaust remembrance is a well-established research field, there are few studies and a lack of theoretical elaboration about social media use for teaching and learning about the Holocaust.

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... Abschließend soll eine Einordnung der vorliegenden Studie in den aktuellen Forschungsdiskurs erfolgen. Da sich das Forschungsfeld zum Einsatz der Sozialen Medien in der Bildungsarbeit von KZ-Gedenkstätten, wie bereits von Manca (2021b) ...
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Zusammenfassung Im Zuge der Digitalisierung sind deutschsprachige KZ-Gedenkstätten zunehmend in den Sozialen Medien präsent. Vor dem Hintergrund des historisch-politischen Bildungsauftrages von KZ-Gedenkstätten ist es von Interesse zu klären, wie die Präsenz in den Sozialen Medien für diesen genutzt wird oder werden kann. Hierbei fokussiert die vorliegende Arbeit auf die Perspektive der Mitarbeitenden aus KZ-Gedenkstätten. Das Ziel der Forschungsarbeit liegt demzufolge in der Beantwortung der Frage, wie Mitarbeitende aus KZ-Gedenkstätten die Präsenz ihrer Einrichtung in den Sozialen Medien in Bezug auf Bildungsarbeit verhandeln. Um die Forschungsfrage zu beantworten, wurden teilstandardisierte Leitfadeninterviews mit Mitarbeitenden aus deutschsprachigen KZ-Gedenkstätten geführt. Die Interviews wurden mithilfe einer Kombination der konstruktivistischen Grounded-Theory und der dokumentarischen Methode ausgewertet. Aus dem daraus entstandenen Theoriemodell wird ersichtlich, dass die Zuordnung der Sozialen Medien zur Bildungsarbeit zentral von den vorhandenen Ressourcen und der Verhandlung der Potenziale und Grenzen, die für die Nutzung gesehen werden, abhängt. Die diversen Standpunkte der Befragten, ob und wie die Sozialen Medien für Bildungsarbeit genutzt werden, zeigen, dass sich das Themenfeld des Einsatzes der Sozialen Medien in Bezug zur digitalen Bildungsarbeit in KZ-Gedenkstätten aktuell noch aktiv in einem Verhandlungsprozess befindet. Die vorliegende Studie ist sowohl als reflexiver Einblick des Status Quo für Akteur*innen in der Praxis von Interesse als auch für den weiteren erziehungswissenschaftlichen Diskurs bezüglich der Möglichkeiten von digitaler Bildungsarbeit in den Sozialen Medien. Schlüsselwörter: Gedenkstättenpädagogik; Soziale Medien; digitale Bildungsarbeit; historisch-politische Bildung; KZ-Gedenkstätten; Digitalisierung; Grounded-Theory-Methodologie; Dokumentarische Methode
... That workshop centred on the practices and politics of memorialisation in places associated with death, genocide, trauma, and other violent histories. In the workshop, we incorporated VR field trips to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed ABSM in O swięcim, Poland, a case study that was also discussed in the lecture section of the workshop and that is the subject of a burgeoning literature focused on digital education and remembrance (see Carter-White, 2018; Commane & Potton, 2019;Manca, 2021). ...
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We examine the claim that virtual reality (VR) holds significant potential for pedagogical applications in geography. We do so with reference to results from a two-year research-teaching project embedded in a postgraduate course on “Heritage and Its Management.” We reflect on the implementation of a VR field trip to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum enabled by the high-immersive Inside Auschwitz guided documentary, drawing on surveys and interviews held with students after their participation in the field trip. We found that VR technology may work as a (dis)inhibitor and provided users with a sense of social and temporal freedom to explore sites but in combination with a new set of spatial and perceptual constraints. The VR field trip generated curiosity about the “details” of the site, but we argue that learning with and through VR technology only became possible via active bodily adaptations and renewed understandings of bodily capacities and their inequalities. We conclude that VR works most effectively if conceived not as a journey into a self-contained virtual realm but instead as a spatial prompt designed to provoke new questions for students already on the path to developing geographical understandings and imaginations related to specific sites.
... The IHRA (2019), for example, recommends deploying social media in Holocaust education, which may pave the way for engaging forms of teaching and learning about the subject. As stressed in recent reviews, although Holocaust remembrance is a well-established research field, very few studies or theoretical works are available about social media use for Holocaust teaching and learning (Manca, 2021a). This is of paramount importance if we consider that museums are playing an increasingly important role in out-of-school and informal learning (Ennes, 2021) and that education, whether in formal or informal learning settings, remains at the heart of Holocaust museums' mission. ...
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Digital technologies and social media platforms have been used in museum communication for over a decade now, and Holocaust museums have increasingly adopted them in their modes of commemoration and provision of educational content. Nevertheless, very limited research has been conducted into the potential of social media as new memory ecologies. In this exploratory study, we conceive social media platforms as socio-technical-ecological systems whereby users develop and engage with memory practices of the Holocaust. We adopt a networked socio-ecological approach to analyse how a sample of Holocaust museums (N = 69) develop practices of digital Holocaust memory in social media. The institutions are analysed in terms of “size” (small, medium, or large), how they differ in their attitudes towards these practices, and to what extent they circulate Holocaust memory on social media. The study adopts multiple quantitative approaches and combines the results of a survey with a set of social media metrics analysing how museums engage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube in terms of generated content, interactivity, popularity, and type of content. Results show that museums have an overall positive attitude towards social media although some concerns were expressed, mostly by smaller institutions; they tend to use mostly Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and to share educational content and information about the museum's activities. However, despite a tendency to aggregate a large number of fans and followers, especially in the case of larger institutions, interaction with users remains limited. Prospects for more interactive participation and its implications are also discussed.
... Museums and memorials play a significant role as "lieux de mémoire" (Nora, 1989) -whether physical or virtual -in strengthening the presence of the past and specific experiential connections to the past (Ebbrecht-Hartmann, 2020). However, very little research has been conducted on the extent to which social media are used in Holocaust memory and Holocaust education, also because the two fields still rely on separate areas of research (Manca, 2021a). ...
Technical Report
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In this report, we present the findings of a survey which was aimed at investigating if and how a large sample of Holocaust museums and memorials use Social Media (SM) in their communication channels. The findings reported in this study reflect the responses of 69 Holocaust museums and memorials from across the world. The most representative countries are Germany (36.2%), the United States of America (13.0%), Italy (10.1%), Austria (5.8%) and Poland (5.8%). The institutions vary widely in age, ranging from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and Památník Terezín, established in 1947, to the most recent KL Plaszow Museum and Memorial in Krakow, opened in 2021. In terms of type, they are mostly Memorial Sites (54%), Holocaust Museums (38%) and Former Concentration Camps (41%), but War and Military and Virtual museums are also included in the sample. Almost all the institutions have a website (99%) and 61 out of 69 (88%) reported using SM as a communication channel. Key Findings • Attitudes towards social media are globally positive, with 96% of respondents that consider SM beneficial for the museum/memorial and an important means for outreach (91%). While respondents consider SM a worthwhile investment (83%), they also expressed a need for dedicated resources to be set aside for SM (72%), with 54% reporting that SM require more resources than the museum can currently afford. • 59% of the institutions using SM have been doing so for over three years. • The Museums/memorials that use SM tend to concentrate on a few platforms. Facebook is the most frequently used (87% use it daily or weekly), followed by Instagram (62%, daily and weekly use) and Twitter (45%, daily and weekly use). • 48% of the institutions have an internal SM manager, while only 10% use an external SM Manager. In 31% of cases, the Director is in charge of social media profiles. Persons in charge of SM profiles have specific expertise in SM management or marketing only in 38% of cases. . • In terms of SM content, the institutions tend to publish mainly educational material (80%), to use SM for sharing information about activities and initiatives (74%) and to organise educational events (70%) often or very often. • 90% of the respondents reported that their institution follows the SM profile of other museums/memorials and 67% declared that they draw inspiration from those profiles. • Only 30% reported the intention to change their SM policies and strategies, mostly to diversify content according to the nature of the different platforms, to develop specific content for SM, to increase the number of platforms used, and to improve strategies and interaction with followers/fans. • As for changes induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, 89% reported pandemic-induced changes in various activities. Most institutions have increased the number of online events (79%), the frequency of posting (75%), and the variety of contents (74%). Other activities such as fundraising campaigns (80%) and contests/competitions (79%) have remained constant, while training on SM marketing has only increased in 25% of cases.
... In this study, we investigate how three prominent Holocaust museums -Yad Vashem in Israel, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland -use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to enhance knowledge and understanding of historical and remembrance events among the general public, and as distribution channels of Holocaust education. In fact, as reported elsewhere (e.g., Manca, 2020), while Holocaust memory is a well-established research field, there is a clear lack of empirical research on social media potential for teaching and learning about the Holocaust. By using a sample of contents published on social media, this study uses a data-driven approach to analyse the topics and phrases that appear most often in the contents posted by the three museums. ...
Conference Paper
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The use of digital technologies and social media has become an increasingly significant means for engagement in many fields, and that of cultural heritage is no exception. Specifically, Holocaust museums have long been committed to providing historical and educational content to their audiences, and to this end digital communication channels and social media in particular figure among the means employed. Despite this, relatively few research studies have investigated the potential of Holocaust museums' use of social media as new memory ecologies. This preliminary study investigates how three prominent Holocaust museums (Yad Vashem in Israel, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland) use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to enhance knowledge and understanding of historical and remembrance events among the general public. Using a mixed-methods approach, we analysed the museums’ social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to investigate the topics and phrases that appear most often in the posted contents. Through latent semantic analyses, we determined the words most frequently used by the three museums themselves and within the three social media channels. Additionally, we employed topic modelling to determine underlying themes. This approach allowed us to identify possible similarities and differences between the museums’ communication output and their social media channels. Moreover, to illustrate these potential similarities and differences, we also conducted 2-Mode network analyses. Our results show that the museums’ use of each social media channel exhibits different types of topical foci. For example, Twitter posts specifically include terminology on the Auschwitz camp, Facebook communication is more centred on the “exhibition” and the “Nazi” regime, while on Instagram the combination of “holocaust” and “photo” can often be found. Furthermore, similarities were also found, namely that the topic of “Auschwitz” is omnipresent and that all museums appear to focus on the 1941–1945 timeframe. The study has implications for the kind of historical knowledge and contemporary information that Holocaust museums and memorials contribute to disseminating on their social media profiles.
... The benefits of the destinations that will be visited when the pandemic ends will not stop being promoted. The main way to do this is through social networks [38,39,40,41,42,43], which exponentially increased the number of users during the mandatory confinement [44]. At the beginning of 2020, more than 4.500 million people used the Internet in the world and 3.800 million were social media users. ...
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The social confinement resulting from the COVID-19 crisis temporarily reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Although experts consider that the decrease in pollution rates was not drastic, some surveys detect a growth in social concern about the climate. In this environment, institutions, city councils and companies have promoted sustainable tourism as a necessary option, even before world society regains freedom of movement. This work analyzes and geolocates the sustainable tourism and ecotourism proposals on Twitter, quantitatively and qualitatively, using the Twitonomy Premium tool, with data extracted at the end of December 2020. The results show an arduous activity in Ireland, Kenya, Sri Lanka, India, Croatia, Spain, Finland, France, Mexico and Pakistan, among others. The accounts that achieve the most impact and engagement are both from public institutions and influencers specialized in travel, writers and chefs, who act as eco-influencers. Ecotourism is promoted as the necessary option for the conservation of cities and landscapes, which will be visited by tourists supposedly more aware after the virus.
... Moreover, recent studies have shown that research in the two subfields of Holocaust remembrance and Holocaust education are largely underpinned by different conceptual frameworks. While the former has become a well-established research field, there is a clear lack of empirical research on social media use for teaching and learning about the Holocaust [48]. This study provides a preliminary analysis of what type of content these three major Holocaust institutions publish on social media and how they engage their respective online communities. ...
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All forms of collective memory embody attempts at meaning-making - efforts to integrate experience and provide a coherent foundation for individual and collective identities. However, different modes of collective memory have different meaning-making potentials. In this article, I will assess three modes of remembering, namely folk, commemorative and mediatised memory, from the perspective of how they generate integrative meaning. Each of these modes of remembrance will be examined through the prism of a case study examining the nature of the memories associated with a specific lieux de memoire. I will suggest that over time, memory becomes progressively ‘unanchored’ from localised contexts due to its increasing technological and institutional mediation and that this has important implications for the depth and kind of meaning it provides.
Article
This article analyses how pre-internet historical images of atrocity are used on social media in the era of misinformation, disinformation and a rising radical right. Combining scholarship in cultural sociology, media studies and communication, and history, the article introduces two concepts: image substitute and visual fake history. Image substitute is an image of an historical event from a particular time or place, which is used to represent a tragedy from a different decade or geographical location. Visual fake history is a combination of truth, misinformation and disinformation about past events through reliance on historical images as image substitutes and accompanying narratives. These concepts are developed empirically on the basis of images representing the Ukrainian famine of 1932–1933, circulated on Instagram under #holodomor between 2012–2018. It is shown that the Ukrainian famine was visualized through images of Soviet and South Asian famines and the Holocaust, which were embedded in anti-communist and anti-Semitic narratives.
Article
As more Holocaust memorial and educational organizations engage with digital technologies, the notion of virtual Holocaust memory has come to the fore. However, while this term is generally used simply to describe digital projects, this paper seeks to re-evaluate the specificity of virtuality and its relationship to memory through the thinking of Gilles Deleuze and Henri Bergson in order to consider how both digital and non-digital memory projects related to the Holocaust might be described as drawing attention to the virtuality of memory because they bring us into critical interstitial spaces between multiple layers of pasts and present in embodied ways that encourage us to consciously recognize the movements towards temporal planes which characterize memory. After reviewing the philosophies of Deleuze and Bergson in light of collaborative Holocaust memory, this article considers a range of digital and physical memorials to assess where we might find examples of virtual Holocaust memory today. I propose that we should see the virtual as a methodology – a particular form of memory practice – rather than a medium.
Article
Commercial social media are being increasingly adopted in formal learning settings even though they have not been conceived specifically for education. Whereas highly popular social services like Facebook and Twitter have been thoroughly investigated for their benefits for teaching and learning in higher education, other social media platforms which have been gaining considerable attention among youth have been largely overlooked in scholarly literature. The purpose of this study is to fill that vacuum by analyzing whether and how social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and WhatsApp have become an integral component of teaching and learning in higher education. A total of 46 studies are analyzed in terms of what pedagogical affordances of these four platforms they identify (e.g., mixing information and learning resources, hybridization of expertise, widening of the context of learning) and the benefits for learning that the authors go on to investigate. Results show that although the use of WhatsApp is well documented in a plethora of studies, there is a dearth of research about Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. While more than half of the studies are carried out in the Middle East and Asian areas and investigate mostly benefits for second and foreign language learning, the overall geographical distribution of studies examining learning via social media reflects the preferences expressed for these services on the part of the general population. Moreover, it is found that the pedagogical affordances of social media are still only being partially implemented and that diverse social media exploit affordances to different degrees.
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Based on two current case studies, the article shows that social media offer short texts which can be read as a condensation of a considerable range of actors and their positions. Using social media allows teachers to integrate controversy at different places of historical-political education. Social media can illustrate controversies in the fields of history politics and memory culture. The two case studies are on the one hand on the controversies around awarding the music prize “Echo” to the Hip-Hop-musicians Kollegah and Farid Bang in April 2018 and on the other hand on the instrumentalization of the memory of the bombing of Dresden at the end of the Second World War in February 2018. Both topics/issues sparked controversies in social media with discursive references to the Holocaust. Since the 1970s the Beutelsbach consensus—as a minimum standard of civic education—offers guidelines for dealing with controversial topics—also beyond the Holocaust. The article deals with the question, to what extent also controversial right-wing populist and extremist positions—not only by means of social media—should be integrated into learning processes in order to illustrate didactic opportunities for Holocaust Education resulting from the two case studies.
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This paper analyses the memory crisis resulting from conflicting perceptions of the Shoah in Western and Central Europe. To clarify this memory crisis, crucial aspects of these divergent perceptions will be discussed. From the Western perspective, there is a strong tendency to underline the universal meaning and importance of the Shoah, and to institutionalize this in UN and EU resolutions and declarations. From an Eastern perspective, this process of globalizing Shoah discourse is often considered to be a Western preoccupation and as just another mechanism to promulgate further Western cultural domination. In Central Europe the supposed singularity of the Shoah is not only often doubted, but the focus is shifted far more on to processing communism and identity-based policies. To clarify and illustrate how the Shoah is reflected on in historical debates and the public domain, recent Polish and Hungarian monuments, museums, literature and films are discussed.
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This investigation featured a content analysis of 2,269 publicly available YouTube comment postings in order to provide insight into how users evaluate and interpret videos containing explicit and graphic imagery with palpable relevance to themes of evil. Famed social psychologist Leonard Berkowitz (1999), suggested that evil should necessarily have differing gradients. Using this framework, select comments from four widely viewed and graphic videos from the following events were utilized as they were deemed to depict evil in the following descending order: The Holocaust, 9/11, the 2015 WDBJ shootings, and the 2014 Ray Rice assault. It was hypothesized and largely found that videos associated with greater evil showed a greater recognition from YouTube users as such as well as greater compassion toward the depicted victims. However, as expected, there were also tendencies for the Holocaust video to be particularly associated with select negative comments (e.g., racism or suggesting it was a fake event). This research furthers our understanding of how individuals make sense of traumatic events with varying degrees of evil in an online context.
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This paper presents data drawn from a recent empirical study involving more than 8,000 English secondary school students (aged 11–18) who took part in either a survey or focus group interview. It critically examines the significance of Auschwitz and the wider camp system within young people’s knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust. The paper reflects upon the tension between, on the one hand, academic historians’ requirements of clarity, differentiation and the recognition of both complexity and nuance in making sense of this past, and, on the other, the imprecision, abstraction and/or confusion often associated with, and characteristic of, dominant, Auschwitz-centric narratives of the Holocaust. In doing so, it identifies a number of important yet ostensibly widely shared misinterpretations, mistakes and misconceptions reflected in English school students’ engagement with this history.
Book
Revisiting Holocaust Representation in the Post-Witness Era shifts focus from discussions on the ethics and limits of representation to the relevance of imagination in Holocaust commemoration. It re-examines ethical, aesthetic and political dilemmas arising from the crucial transfer of memory from the realm of 'living memory' contained by the survivors and their families, to culturally and politically mediated memory practices realised by post-witness generations. Why are artistic imaginative representations of the Holocaust important now? Critical analyses of little discussed artworks, memorials, film, comics and literature point to a diversification of approaches and Holocaust re-presentations in Europe, showing that memory and imagination are increasingly and intimately intertwined. This volume's contributions make apparent the genuine struggle among those born after the Holocaust, whether Jewish, Polish, German, Austrian, or Swedish, to make the past relevant in the present, well-aware that one cannot fully own or comprehend it
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The concept of learning ecologies emerged in a context of educational change. While the "learning ecologies" construct has offered a broad semantic space for characterizing innovative ways of learning, it is also true that its potential to promote innovative educational interventions may have been hindered by this same broadness. Based on this assumption, in this paper the authors carried out a systematic review of the literature on learning ecologies with the aim of analysing: (1) the varying definitions given to the concept, including the ontological perspective underlying the phenomena studied; (2) the methodological approaches adopted in studying the phenomenon; and (3) the applications of the research on this topic. Throughout this analysis, the authors attempt to describe the criticalities of the existing research, as well as the potential areas of development that align well with the theoretical/ontological issues, methodological approaches and educational applications. The authors selected and analysed 85 articles, which they then classified in a set of 20 categories defined by them on a theoretical basis. Moreover, in order to triangulate the manual coding, a bibliometric map was created showing the co-citation activity of the 85 papers. The emerging picture showed significant variability in the ontological definitions and methodological approaches. In spite of this richness, few educational applications currently exist, particularly with regard to technology-enhanced learning developments. Most research is observational, devoted to describing hybrid (digital and on-site) learning activities. OPEN ACCESS: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjet.12795
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This paper seeks to map theoretical and practical preoccupations in the contemporary relationship between places of commemoration and more abstract spaces of Holocaust memory. While the range of this topic is broad, I narrow the scope by interrogating specific ways in which the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum engages with Holocaust-related visual content on Instagram. The direction in which the memory of the Holocaust is moving and the ubiquity of social media posts, forces institutions like the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum to valorise, react, and engage with new media content. Therefore, the case study of ‘selfies from Auschwitz’ resonates in productive ways with questions of individual and institutional socio-historical agency in curatorship of 21 st century Holocaust memory, as well as discussions on guardianship and claims to ownership of memory in the digital age. Contending that the Museum asserts itself as an increasingly visible actor in the transnational social media Holocaust discourse, I trace the history of the Museum’s social media presence and engagement. © 2017 School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Leeds. All rights reserved.
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Eastern European EU accession candidates have used memorial museums and installed new permanent exhibitions to communicate with “Europe” in view of the Holocaust's “univer salization” and “Europeanization.” One group demands that “Europe” acknowledge its suffering under Communism, while the other group tries to demonstrate its compatibility with Europe by invoking “Europe” in their exhibition texts and publications and referencing western Holocaust museums in their aesthetics. This article focuses on two countries from each group: Latvia and Lithuania, which highlight their victimhood under “double occupation,” on the one hand; and the current successor states of the “Slovak Republic” and the “Independent State of Croatia,” two Nazi satellite states, on the other. I begin by analysing how the terms “Holocaust,” “genocide,” and “mass violence” are used in the respective Latvian, Lithuanian, Slovak and Croatian memorial museums. I argue that both groups share an awkwardness in dealing with the term “Holocaust,” and a tendency to present “our” victims with the help of individual stories and private photographs designed to evoke empathy, while presenting “their” victims – Jews and, even more so, Roma – with the help of often humiliating photos shot by the perpetrators. I then show that the post-Yugoslav wars of the 1990s – in contrast to the peaceful transitions in the other countries – had a distinctive effect on debates concerning the Holocaust, genocide, and mass violence. Moving beyond the realm of museum analysis, I pinpoint the broader cultural phenomenon of Croats, Serbs, and Bosniaks portraying themselves as “the new Jews,” before focusing specifically on the new permanent exhibition at the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial, which I discuss as a best practice example for the universalization of the Holocaust.
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More than other collective memories, the Holocaust is the most vivid memory in today’s Israeli existence. As a result of comprehensive official and unofficial memory work that utilizes the Holocaust as a political and educational tool, on the one hand, and due to the advent of the new media, on the other, its grip on everyday Israeli reality is only growing stronger. As part of a broader research project focusing on resistive cultural activity on Israeli Twitter, this article makes visible the striking omnipresence of the Holocaust on this social network, while maintaining that many of the ‘Holocaust tweets’ constitute an act of resistance. That is, users are engaged in oppositional decoding in a battle against the hegemonic Holocaust discourse.
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Learning on and through social media is becoming a cornerstone of lifelong learning, creating places not only for accessing information, but also for finding other self-motivated learners. Such is the case for Reddit, the online news sharing site that is also a forum for asking and answering questions. We studied learning practices found in ‘Ask’ subreddits AskScience, Ask_Politics, AskAcademia, and AskHistorians to develop a coding schema for informal learning. This paper describes the process of evaluating and defining a workable coding schema, one that started with attention to learning processes associated with discourse, exploratory talk, and conversational dialogue, and ended with including norms and practices on Reddit and the support of communities of inquiry. Our ‘learning in the wild’ coding schema contributes a content analysis schema for learning through social media, and an understanding of how knowledge, ideas, and resources are shared in open, online learning forums.
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Museums often cite supporting teachers and schools as a goal, and museum educators frequently create resources or provide professional development for this audience, though the two entities have little contact. This qualitative study sought to examine the perspectives of museum educators at a regional Holocaust museum as they planned and presented two-week-long professional development workshops for educators. Pre-workshop and post-workshop interviews were conducted with three museum educators responsible for the workshops, which were also observed in their entirety. Findings indicate that all three museum educators believed the Holocaust to be difficult knowledge. However, each approached the topic in a different manner based on their personal experience and understanding of Holocaust education, resulting in three vastly different presentation styles. These varied presentations resulted in an uneven focus on content, with few concrete classroom connections. The article concludes by discussing implications for museum-initiated professional development and avenues for further research.
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The paper critically discusses the various types of engagements young people are having around Holocaust remembrance on Instagram, specifically using the hashtag #Auschwitz. Although this dialogue is not straightforward or without issue, we argue that young people’s online engagements with sites of trauma – in this case Instagram and #Auschwitz – opens important avenues for debates on Holocaust remembrance, but also a space where images continue to generate visibility of the horrors of the Holocaust for future generations. Importantly, we maintain that social media can give young people voice and place in debates, which they may feel they cannot be part of in more formal contexts.
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This article considers the reasons for the paucity, by contrast to the literature of the wartime ghettos and camps, of cultural representations of the Einsatzgruppen murders. It does so by analysing those representations that do exist, in the form of memoirs, poetry and fiction by eyewitnesses and survivors, as well as a diary kept by a bystander to these mass shootings. The article concludes by asking whether very nature of these murders means that they are all but unrepresentable.
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This chapter addresses the topic of presenting and teaching the past over the course of time with an emphasis on the remembrance of the Holocaust in different countries and in a global context. It focuses on four aspects: educational media (school books and curricula in particular); museums of the Holocaust; television and films; and the Internet. During the last decades a plethora of new research and presentation approaches on the Holocaust has emerged. This development is indicative of a dynamic international interest and a paradigm shift.
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The impact of social media has grown significantly during the past decade in several fields of our society. This article advocates the research subfield of social media memory studies based on empirical data from a case study on the role of social media in a local conflict about re-naming a public square in an average German town. The square had been named after Paul von Hindenburg, who played a crucial role in the implementation of Adolf Hitler as German Reichskanzler and was therefore regarded as an inadequate public patron. Conservatives fought against the new name, also on Facebook. Our findings indicate that the platform played a decisive role as counter-public sphere against hegemonic mainstream media and politics in fostering a new historical consciousness. The case might be seen as a precedent of right-wing movements and their use of social media in the Brexit campaign or the US elections.
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What is digital memory? How are digital technologies changing what we remember and how? Records of the past used to be expensive and bulky to keep, and difficult to access. But digital media technologies provide cheap data storage and easy data retrieval, with mobile networks enabling unprecedented global accessibility and participation in the creation of memories. Save As⁵ Digital Memories brings together leading international scholars to address on-line memorials, blogging, mobile phones, social networking sites and the digital archive. They focus on topical subjects such the 'war on terror', cyberpunk, the Holocaust, digital remixing and the virtual museum. Trans-disciplinary and original, the book will appeal to those interested in how digital media technologies shape human memory. Providing an accessible and bold introduction to the subject of digital memory, each essay shows how digital technologies are changing human memory discourses, practices and forms, as well as the way we conceptualise memory itself.
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This chapter is concerned not so much with Holocaust denial in those European countries where it is an offense, but rather examines the various and different forms of trivialization of the Nazi genocide of Europe’s Jews during the Second World War. This trivialization of the Nazi genocide does not always occur with the intention of diminishing it but rather with the intention of using the Holocaust to draw attention to political or social issues, such as abortion, mass animal transports and so on or, indeed, simply to serve as an advertising ploy. Those who use such a clearly loaded historical term in order to dramatically publicize their concerns usually do so not to defame or discredit Jews. This is different to what is often referred to as ‘Holocaust distortion’ in which a reversal of perpetrator-victim depicts Israel as the ‘new Nazis’ and puts ‘the Jews’ in general under general suspicion for all the evil in the world and in particular for the conflict in the Middle East. In this instance, the conduct of the Israeli military in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli government’s policy is equated with Nazi persecution. The terms ‘Holocaust inversion’ and ‘Holocaust equivalence’ thus describe a situation in which Israel is delegitimized because the government or the military are accused of behaving toward the Palestinians in the same way as the Nazis had against the Jews, leading to the ‘annihilation’ of the Palestinians.
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The placemaking selfie documents a complex relationship between embodied social context and networked social media presence. The complexity of these placemaking selfies is particularly apparent in the ‘out-of-place’ selfie, taken at a location considered too austere for what is often cast as a frivolous act. Rather than moving to quickly condemn these out-of-place selfies, this chapter explores how we might read such gestures as attempts to negotiate two overlapping frames – one embodied and physically situated, and the other circulating within an affective imagined community. This act of ‘self-witnessing’ serves as a form of parasocial civic engagement that attempts to communicate one’s own place within interpenetrating social spaces, no matter how gawking or disengaged they may appear at first analysis.
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Twitter, a popular microblogging social networking site, allows individuals to communicate by sending short messages of up to 140 characters. Although it enables people to be inconstant contact, its value in educational context is less clear. This paper is the first to examine empirical studies of using Twitter in teaching and learning over 10 years from2006 to 2015, with the aim of understanding whether its implementation would benefit students or not. We identified a total of 51 eligible publications, and reported the analysis in four major categories: (a) the profile of studies, (b) the specific ways in which Twitter was employed in education, (c) the impacts on interactions, and (d) the impacts on students' learning outcomes. The findings reveal that Twitter was most commonly used for communication and assessment purposes. Although Twitter shows promise in improving interactions among learners and teachers, causality between Twitter use and learning performance remains to be conclusively established. Currently, the most beneficial use ofTwitter is probably that of a“push”technology such as the instructor sending important course information, homework assignments and test deadlines to students, as well as that of a platform for peer interaction. Many challenges still exist in using Twitter for teaching and learning. Based on our review of the literature, we proposed five guidelines that could help promote the educational value of Twitter use. We also identified several limitations of previous studies, and offered suggestions for future work Using Twitter for education: Beneficial or simply a waste of time?. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311843077_Using_Twitter_for_education_Beneficial_or_simply_a_waste_of_time/stats [accessed Jan 2, 2017].
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In contrast to twentieth-century Holocaust Denial, the most recent assault on the narrative of the genocide of European Jewry has emanated from a sophisticated revisionist model known as Double Genocide, codified in the 2008 Prague Declaration. Positing ‘equality' of Nazi and Soviet crimes, the paradigm’s corollaries sometimes include attempts to rehabilitate perpetrators and discredit survivors. Emanating from pro-Western governments and elites in Eastern Europe in countries with records of high collaboration, the movement has reached out widely to the Holocaust Studies establishment as well as Jewish institutions. It occasionally enjoys the political support of major Western countries in the context of East-West politics, or in the case of Israel, attempts to garner (eastern) European Union support. The empirical effects to date have included demonstrable impact on museums, memorials and exhibits in Eastern Europe and beyond.
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The study inquires on the ways content-specific social media pages can function as alternative public spheres, by examining the photography-orientated Facebook and YouTube pages entitled ‘old photographs of Thessaloniki’. The study focuses on the online encountering of absences, notably events of socio-political importance with a traumatic impact, which were marginalized by historiography and erased from the city’s material form. In particular, it looks at the ways these absences are witnessed, remembered and negotiated online, through their formal and informal traces. Departing from Benjamin’s and Agamben’s theorizations of memory, media and witnessing, and Derrida’s work on specters, the study concludes that the pages form a highly informed digital archive in constant development that fosters narratives enhancing cultural toleration and understanding, while challenging official master frames. A class-orientated understanding of the city’s ‘ruinification’ and oblivion is, however, undermined, although it remains in a ‘spectral’ form.