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Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission


Being with Jerry: Compassionate and Collaborative Research with a Survivor of the Holocaust

Event details
Calendar   Speaking Engagements
Location Zoom
Date Thu, Sep 2, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Duration   1h 30m

Appalachian State's Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies invites the public to its first Fall 2021 online Center lecture by Professor Emerita Carolyn Ellis (University of South Florida). Prof. Ellis' public talk is entitled Being with Jerry: Compassionate and Collaborative Research with a Survivor of the Holocaust.

Register here.

Organized by the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies, the program is co-sponsored by ASU's Departments of Communication and History. Like all Center events, these online programs are free of charge and open to the public. For more information, please contact theCenter at 828.262.2311 or via e-mail.

Dr. Ellis has been collaborating for a dozen years with Jerry Rawicki, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto. This presentation will employ film clips from our interviews and a video about their trip to Treblinka, where his family members were gassed, to demonstrate the research relationship that has formed between the two. Calling on compassionate interviewing and storytelling, Jerry and Dr. Ellis collaborate to understand his experiences during and after the Holocaust and how a compassionate research orientation might work in practice. In this approach, a researcher and participant listen deeply to, speak responsibly with, feel passionately for, share vulnerably with, and connect relationally and ethically to each other with care. We write and tell stories empathetically and respectfully, focusing on participants’ well-being and the possibility of renewal and purpose in life. This approach adds a relational and emotional dimension to research on trauma, such as the Holocaust, that enables us to learn from our interactions with others as well as from what our participants say.

Carolyn Ellis is a Distinguished University Professor Emerita at the University of South Florida. She has contributed to the narrative and autoethnographic study of human life through integrating ethnographic, literary, and evocative writing to portray and make sense of lived experience in cultural context. In her interviews with a survivor of the Holocaust, she seeks to listen deeply, write and analyze collaboratively, and construct compassionate stories guided by a relational ethics of care that contribute to improving human lives. Dr. Ellis has published eight monographs, six edited books, and more than 150 articles, chapters, and essays. She has edited two book series and presented keynote addresses and workshops in sixteen countries. Her most recent books are Final Negotiations: A Story of Love, Loss, and Chronic Illness Expanded and Revised Edition and Revision: Autoethnographic Reflections on Life and Work, Revised Classic Edition. Her awards include the Charles H. Woolbert Research Award and the Distinguished Scholar Award, both from the National Communication Association (NCA); The Legacy Lifetime Award and best book and article awards from NCA’s Ethnography Division; a Lifetime Achievement Award in Qualitative Inquiry and two best book awards from the International Center for Qualitative Inquiry at the University of Illinois; a lifetime contribution award from the International Conference of Autoethnography in the UK; and the Goodall and Trujillo Award for Narrative Ethnography.

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