The Art of Listening – Video Testimony and the Study of History | Facing History & Ourselves
Teacher and Students
Professional Learning

The Art of Listening – Video Testimony and the Study of History

Join Facing History and the Fortunoff Video Archive to explore ways to use archival testimony to connect students to the lived experiences of survivors.



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Cost:  Free
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About this event:

Single Session

Our single professional learning sessions are designed to easily fit into your day. Typically one hour or less, these sessions explore timely and relevant topics including teaching strategies, current events, and more.


This professional learning event will be led by Facing History staff. When you register, you will receive instructions for how to attend the event.

History Social Studies
Antisemitism Culture & Identity Genocide The Holocaust
Social-Emotional Learning

As the last living survivors of the Holocaust are passing away, more educators are turning to digital testimony to teach about the Holocaust. This introduces challenges but also presents unique possibilities. In what ways can we use archival testimony to connect our students to the lived experiences of the speaker and how is that encounter different from hearing from survivors in-person? How does the use of digital testimony in the classroom inform the students’ role as witness to this history? How might engagement with digital testimony impact our students’ choices in the future?

In this workshop, we will:

  • Examine the role of testimony in the study of the Holocaust
  • Learn strategies that support listeners to testimony understand and center the voice of the witness
  • Explore the broader role of memory and first-person accounts in the study of history
  • Reflect on how being a witness informs our own ethical choices

Lawrence L. Langer is Alumnae Chair Professor of English emeritus from Simmons College in Boston, from which he retired in 1992. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Holocaust literature, memoirs, testimony and art, including Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory (1991), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism and was named one of the ten best books of the year by the Sunday New York Times Book Review. He was an interviewer on more than 80 testimonies for the Fortunoff Archive in New Haven and the Brookline affiliate project.

Dana Kline began work at the Fortunoff Video Archive in 1981, where she served as interviewer on over 200 interviews. Dana helped develop an interviewer training curriculum for the Fortunoff Archive and trained interviewers working with the archive’s affiliates. She is a member of the archive’s honorary advisory board.  

Joanne Weiner Rudof retired as the archivist at the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University in September 2017 after thirty-three years. She served as an interviewer on more than 100 testimonies and has written numerous articles, book chapters, and conference papers on Holocaust testimonies. She is currently a Vlock Fellow and filmmaker in residence at the archive.

Please note: The views expressed by guest speakers, both at our events and on external platforms, are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Facing History & Ourselves.

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