Activism Through the Written Word

January 28, 2020
Activism Through the Written Word

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Activism Through the Written Word

In 1883, Emma Lazarus wrote “The New Colossus”, a poem that has shaped a national narrative of the Statue of Liberty as a “mother of exiles” and welcoming newcomers from around the world. In 1940, Emanuel Ringelblum and his colleagues secretly assembled an archive documenting both Nazi crimes and residents’ brave efforts to maintain life in the face of death. Like Emma Lazarus, they recognized the power of writing as activism and the power of art to preserve a narrative for future generations. Their story is told in the new educator version of the film, Who Will Write Our History, by Roberta Grossman. 

We will be joined by scholar, Annie Polland, chief archivist of the American Jewish Historical Society.

Participants will explore: 

  • How does historical context shape art, and how can art help express and define identity?

  • How did this poem influence the world’s perspective on the Statue of Liberty?

  • How telling one's story can be an act of empowerment and participation? 

 Participants will receive:

  • Both secondary and primary sources from the American Jewish Historical Society archives and Reimagining Migration

  • Facing History pedagogical methods to approaching the conversation of immigration in historical context as well as how this poem’s legacy relates to contemporary discourse on this topic. 

  • Facing History lessons on the Who Will Write Our History film  

Workshop suggested for English Literature, History, Jewish History, and Humanities educators in middle and high school settings.

This workshop is funded through the generosity of Memphis Jewish Federation.

Bornblum Jewish Community School
6641 Humphreys Blvd
Memphis, TN 38120
January 28, 2020
8:30 am - 2:30 pm

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