Noah Shenker

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Noah Shenker

Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Film and Media Studies

Department/Office Information

Jewish Studies, Film and Media Studies
306 Little Hall

Noah Shenker is a Visiting Associate Professor in University Studies at Colgate University.  Noah’s research and teaching traverse Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Jewish Studies, and Film and Media Studies.  That interdisciplinary approach was at the center of his first book, Reframing Holocaust Testimonypublished in 2015 by Indiana University Press as part of its Modern Jewish Experience series.  Organized within a comparative framework, that book looks at three of the most extensive and distinctive archives of Holocaust testimony in the world:  the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  Offering a rare comparison between these leading institutions, it demonstrates how testimonies should not be understood as raw sources, but as mediated and embodied texts shaped by the encounter between witnesses and their interviewers, as well as the institutional and technical practices marking the testimony process.  Noah’s current book project, Beyond the Era of the Witness: The Afterlives of Holocaust Testimonies, examines how archives and museums are experimenting with interactive media to address a looming challenge: the passing of the Holocaust survivor generation. New technologies, such as AI-driven interactive testimony simulations, are increasingly supplanting the rare experience of an in-person encounter with a living survivor. These digital interfaces, such as the USC Shoah Foundation's Dimensions in Testimony project, have received considerable public attention and fascination for their apparent novelty and innovation. However, Noah’s work traces how those projects are embedded in older forms of Holocaust testimony and within a longer history of media pedagogy.

  • Holocaust and Genocide Studies
  • Trauma and Testimony
  • Documentary Film
  • Archival Studies



Current Teaching:  

  • The Holocaust in Film
  • Documentary Film
  • Core Conversations


Past Teaching:

  • Genocide
  • Remembering the Holocaust
  • Trauma and Memory in the Modern World
  • Seeking Justice:  South Africa and Rwanda
  • After Genocide
  • Introduction to Film
  • Topics in National Cinema
  • Pinchas-DiT: Simulation and the Imagined Future of Holocaust Survivor Memory,” Invited contribution to Lessons & Legacies Volume XV, edited by Avinoam Patt and Erin McGlothlin. Evanston: Northwestern University Press (Co-authored with Dan Leopard). Forthcoming publication in 2024.
  • “’Partners in a Conversation’: Rethinking Holocaust Testimony Paradigms,” Invited Contribution to a special issue of The Journal of Holocaust Research. Co-edited by Rachel Baum and Kobi Kabalek.  Forthcoming publication in 2024.
  • “Disrupted Narratives’: Lawrence Langer’s Explorations of Deep Memory in Holocaust Testimonies.” The Journal of Holocaust Research 34.4 (Fall 2020): 1-14.
  • “’I have never begun by asking the big questions’: Raul Hilberg as Historical Revenant in Shoah.” In The Invention of Testimony: Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Erin McGlothlin, Brad Praeger, and Markus Zisselsberger. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press, 2020.
  • "Digital Testimony and the Future of Witnessing." In the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Holocaust, edited by Simone Gigliotti and Hilary Earl. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley Blackwell, 2020.
  • “Through the Lens of the Shoah: The Holocaust as a Paradigm for Documenting Genocide Testimonies.” History & Memory 28.1 (Spring/Summer 2016): 141-175.
  • Reframing Holocaust Testimony. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2015.
  • “Embodied Memory: The Institutional Mediation of Survivor Testimony in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.” In Documentary Testimonies: Global Archives of Suffering, edited by Bhaskar Sarkar and Janet Walker. New York: Routledge, 2010, pp. 35-59.
  • Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, Senior Fellow (Spring 2022).
  • NEH Distinguished Visiting Chair (at the rank of Associate Professor) in Jewish Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies, Colgate University (Spring 2019).
  • BA, University of Michigan (Political Science)
  • PhD, University of Southern California (Critical Studies)