Holocaust Commission’s 14th Biennial Educators’ Conference Teaching Difficult History: How Our Past Informs Our Present

by | Jun 24, 2019 | What’s Happening


Tuesday, July 30, 5:30–7 pm, Norfolk Academy, 1585 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk
Wednesday, July 31, 7:30 am–4:30 pm
Norfolk Academy Batten Library, 1585 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk
Thursday, August 1, 7:30 am–5 pm, trip to the Virginia Holocaust Museum, Richmond (transportation provided)

The Holocaust Commission’s 14th Biennial Educator’s Conference is designed to help teachers, administrators, student advocates, humanitarians, and history buffs understand the tragic events of the Holocaust. Participants will learn new methods of teaching this challenging material and discover ways to make Holocaust education relevant in today’s world.

During the information packed two-day conference, sponsored by new partner, Bank of America, participants will attend presentations and workshops by keynote speakers, Dr. Alan Marcus of the University of Connecticut, Dr. Jeremy Stoddard of the University of Wisconsin, and Dr. Jeffery Eargle of the University of South Carolina. A special educators’ tour of the Virginia Holocaust Museum, including the traveling exhibit, Holocaust By Bullets, outlining the work of January’s visiting lecturer, Father Patrick Desbois, and a lecture from Dr. Charles Sydnor, the museum’s senior historian, will also take place.

Those who can’t make the entire conference are able to attend the preview event on July 30, an Evening with the Arts, when The Elbert Watson Dance Company presents an original work choreographed just for the conference. Light hors d’oeuvres and remarks from Elizabeth Lodal of the Virginia Department of Education about the importance of using the arts in education, as well as a display of student artwork from previous Elie Wiesel art competitions, are all part of the evening.

This year’s keynote speakers bring valuable insights and information to the expanding spectrum and pedagogy of Holocaust history and education.

Dr. Alan Marcus is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at UConn and is a University of Connecticut Teaching Fellow. He and fellow keynote speaker Dr. Jeremy Stoddard, associate professor and director of the Secondary Education Program in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, literally wrote the book on Teaching Difficult History Through Film.

Marcus also specializes in museum education, with an emphasis on studying World War II and the Holocaust. He collaborates with museum educators across the United States and internationally, is a Faculty Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and was recently a lead writer for the State of Connecticut Social Studies Frameworks. His current research is in collaboration with the UK National Holocaust Centre and Museum and the Illinois Holocaust Museum evaluating the potential and limitations of virtual interactive Holocaust survivor testimony.

Stoddard teaches courses in social studies pedagogical methods and media and democratic education. His research explores the role of media in teaching, with a particular focus on teaching difficult and controversial historical and contemporary issues.

Dr. Jeffrey Eargle, who will speak about teaching the Holocaust with graphic novels, is a professor in Secondary Humanities Education at the University of South Carolina. He has taught the Holocaust at the high school level, co-facilitated a graduate level course titled Teaching the Holocaust, and serves on the Teacher Advisory Committee for the SC Council on the Holocaust. Eargle was a finalist for South Carolina Teacher of the Year in 2011 and was recognized in 2018 for Excellence in Teaching Civil Rights and Civil Liberties by the SC Council for the Social Studies.