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Annual Spring Theodore Zev Weiss Lecture (virtual)

"Coming After: The Wand of Transmission"

by Eva Hoffman

Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 1:00-2:15pm (Central Time); 7:00-8:15pm (UK Time)


Each May, HEFNU invites a distinguished scholar in the field of Holocaust studies to deliver the annual Theodore “Zev” Weiss Lecture in Holocaust Studies. This lecture is named for HEF founder, Zev Weiss, a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau and several other Nazi camps. It honors his legacy of supporting innovative research and teaching in the field. The lecture also honors Zev’s family, many of whom were murdered in the Holocaust. The lecture takes place near the anniversary of the family’s deportation.

Eva Hoffman was in conversation with Phyllis Lassner, Northwestern University Professor Emerita (Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies, Gender Studies and Cook Writing Programs) and was introduced by Deborah Cohen, Northwestern University Richard W. Leopold Professor of History.

In “Coming After: The Wand of Transmission,” Eva Hoffman reflected on the role and perspective of the post-Holocaust generation in extending our understanding of that history-altering event. As the generation of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust passes on, the task of both their direct heirs, and the larger “second generation” is to move from personal memory to the investigation of history on the one hand; and at the same time, to incorporate our knowledge of more recent developments and events into our attempts to grapple with the causes of collective atrocity, and its possible prevention.
Eva Hoffman grew up in Cracow, Poland, before emigrating in her teens to Canada and then the United States. After earning her PhD in literature from Harvard University, she worked as senior editor and literary critic at The New York Times, and has taught at various British and American universities. Her books, which have been translated widely, include Lost in Translation, Exit Into History, After Such Knowledge and Time, as well as two novels, The Secret and Illuminations.  She has written and presented programs for BBC Radio and has lectured internationally on subjects of exile, historical memory, cross-cultural relations and other contemporary issues. Her awards include the Guggenheim Fellowship, Whiting Award for Writing, an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Prix Italia for Radio.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and holds an honorary doctorate from Warwick University.  She is currently a Visiting Professor at UCL and lives in London.

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