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(Re)Imagining the Holocaust through interdisciplinary teaching and learning: representations of the Shoah and German Occupation of France in French culture

This project, to be conducted over the academic year 2016-17, seeks to redesign an existing module, FR252 Representations of the Holocaust. The project seeks to develop innovative methodologies in the teaching and learning of the module and to bring students of French into greater contact with more history-focussed content and approaches, including enquiry-based and practice-based learning with archival materials.

While the module in its current form has proved popular and continues to attract students, recent experience suggests that, through simply reading representations of the Holocaust, students do not benefit from either the space or the opportunity to truly understand and imagine the horrors of the Shoah and the experiences of those who lived through it.

This Fellowship therefore aims to develop open space teaching and learning methodologies on the module, through expanding the classroom beyond Warwick to virtually include sites of the Holocaust in France, and by developing collaboration with colleagues and students in French Studies at Monash teaching and learning similar material. The Fellowship will also enable students to interact personally with survivors of the Holocaust through a visit to the National Holocaust Centre in a further expansion of the learning environment.

At the same time the Fellowship will develop Student as Researcher practice, allowing students to research particular records of French experiences of the Holocaust. This research, drawing on archival records from France and the holdings of the Modern Records Centre, an under-used University-based resource, will feed into a performance by small groups of students of their own representations of the Holocaust in France. These performances—to take the form of short films, plays, poems or stories—will be presented at a plenary showcase in term three.

David Lees is Teaching Fellow in French Studies, where he teaches and researches modern French history and politics. David’s particular interests lie in cultural developments during the Occupation of France in World War II and the French extreme-right.