PhD Thesis Title: The Digitisation and Virtual Future of Holocaust Survivor Testimony at the National Holocaust Centre and Museum
Key Research Question:Digital Testimony: A Paradigm Shift, or the Continuation of a Pattern?
For many years, the Holocaust has been considered to be the paradigm case of human suffering. As such, the history of the Holocaust is taught in schools, exhibited in museums and memorialised the World over. Survivor testimony forms and integral part of this, but what happens when they are no longer here to share their experiences?
In response to this, the National Holocaust Centre and Museum (NHCM) in Nottinghamshire have developed a number of 3D ‘virtual survivors’ in the form of the Forever Project. But will these ‘digital survivors’ effectively recreate / substitute for the direct encounter?
In consideration of this, it is important to examine developments in Holocaust survivor testimony over time. Working closely with the NHCM, I examine the testimonies of five survivors recorded over the past twenty-five years to reveal patterns, changes and consistencies.
Lastly, I examine the development of the Forever Project and consider whether these new digital testimonies are the continuation of an already established pattern, or a new type of testimony all together.
Bill Niven - Nottingham Trent University
Isabel Wollaston - The University of Birmingham
James Griffiths - The National Holocaust Centre and Museum
PhD - Midlands3Cities AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership -Nottingham Trent University - Present
Masters (by research) in Holocaust and Genocide Studies - Nottingham Trent University - 2015
BA (Hons) History - The Open University - 2013
Member of 'Culture and its Uses as Testimony': an international, AHRC-funded Research Network - 2016 - 2018
Member of the planning committee for the Midlands3Cities 2017 Research Festival (creative showcase) - 2016/17
Co-lead on the student led CDF 'Debates in Contemporary Memory Studies' seminar series and workshop - March - June 2017
Presented a paper outlining my PhD research so far at the 'Debates in Contemporary Memory Studies' workshop - May 2017
'From Actual to Artifice: Experiencing the Eyewitness' presented at NTU's History Post-grad conference - June 2017
During my second year I undertook a three month work placement as a research assistant at the National Holocaust Centre and Museum (January - April 2018).