Call for presenters, 29th Annual Conference of the Arkansas Holocaust Education Committee

deadline for submissions: 
April 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Arkansas Holocaust Education Committee
contact email: 

The 29th Annual Conference of the Arkansas Holocaust Education Committee

October 15, 2020 at the Holiday Inn & Northwest Arkansas Convention Center, Springdale, AR


For almost 30 years, the Arkansas Holocaust Education Committee has sponsored a Holocaust education conference that draws hundreds of students and teachers from the local area and that has drawn survivors and presenters such as Deborah Lipstadt, Henry Friedlander, and Judith Cohen.


At the daylong conference, participants—mostly secondary students—attend a demanding and wide-ranging program, including an overview of the Holocaust, a presentation by a survivor, and two seminar-style breakout sessions.


We solicit proposals for hour-long breakout sessions on the theme of First-Person Accounts of the Holocaust. In choosing the theme we have been guided by the following questions:


  • What do first-person accounts offer us that other genres (history, fiction, film, psychology, sociology) do not?
  • How does our understanding of first-person accounts change as memory recedes into history--as those capable of giving first-person accounts based on what they remember pass away and only secondhand accounts remain?
  • Do different kinds of first-person accounts tell us the same kinds of things? Are memoirs like diaries, for example? Is either like letters?


Possible topics include, but are not limited to:


  • Memoirs or diaries written by particular groups (teenagers or adults; Jewish or non-Jewish victims; Ashkenazi or Sephardic writers; assimilated or Orthodox Jews)
  • Historical/legal documents written in the first person (for example, depositions, trial testimony, letters by persecuted people seeking support from relatives or government agency)
  • Media (movies, videos, podcasts) centered on first-person accounts.
  • Accounts from a particular geographic area (ghetto diaries, letters from those in the Reich to family in America)
  • The way first-person accounts are written: how do first-person accounts manufacture immediacy or authenticity? Are first-person accounts literature?


As noted above, most participants are either secondary students (both middle and high school) or their teachers, but interested community members attend as well. Session participants range in age from 15-year-olds to retirees; presenters should take this variety into account when writing their proposals. That does not mean sessions need be vague or generalized, but rather that they should not be aimed at a specialist audience. Moreover, as we believe students learn best by doing, proposed sessions should be interactive (vs. a lecture with powerpoint). We will prioritize proposals centered on participation and discussion. Proposals must include a brief lesson plan or description of the activities.


Breakout sessions run concurrently; presenters will be expected to give their presentations twice.


Participants will receive a small honorarium in addition to travel and accommodation.


Please direct any questions to Dorian Stuber:


Proposal submission deadline: April 1, 2020. 500-word proposals, along with a 200-word statement describing the presenter’s Holocaust education experience, should be submitted via email as Word (or PDF) documents and sent to co-chair Dr. Dorian Stuber (Hendrix College;