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Professor’s new book explores next generation Holocaust survivors

The recent, explosive rise of global antisemitism, Holocaust denial, and American white nationalism has created a dangerous challenge to Holocaust public memory on a scale without precedent. Dr. Lisa A. Costello’s new book, American Public Memory and the Holocaust, Performing Gender, Shifting Orientations, is a timely exploration of how next generation Holocaust survivors combine old and new media to bring newer generations of audiences into active engagement with Holocaust histories. Readers have been socialized to expect memorialization artifacts about the Holocaust to come in the form of established diaries, memoirs, photos, or documentaries in which gender is often absent or marginalized. This book shows a complex process of remembering the past that can positively shift our orientations toward others with greater affect. Using gender, performance, and rhetoric as a frame, Dr. Costello questions public memory as gender neutral while showing how new forms of memorialization, like digital archives, YouTube posts, hybrid memoirs, and small films build emotional connections that bring us closer to the past than ever before.

Dr. Lisa A. Costello is a Professor in the Department of Writing and Linguistics and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Director at Georgia Southern University. She is an interdisciplinary scholar who has published on rhetoric, gender and representation in Holocaust museums, memoirs, and new media, on First Year Writing and new media, and on feminist mentoring and university administrative structures. She has been a teaching fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She has been awarded several grants to further LGBTQ issues on campus, and has been honored with college and university level awards in both teaching and service. American Public Memory is her first monograph.

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Posted in Women's & Gender Studies