In this lecture, Antony Polonsky, Chief Historian of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, will examine the problems faced by historians in attempting to present their understanding of the past in a museum exhibition. While historians work with language and try to reach conclusions based on documents, museum displays are made up of images and objects which often require elucidation. A clear picture has to be drawn and there is no place for the qualifications which are characteristic of historical writing. The lecture will attempt to show how modern scholarship on the history and culture of the Jews of Poland is reflected in the permanent exhibition in the newly opened Warsaw museum.
A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Antony Polonsky graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand before receiving further degrees from Oxford University. He joined the faculty of Brandeis University in 1992. In 1999 he was appointed Albert Abramson Professor of Holocaust Studies, an appointment held jointly at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Brandeis University. Most recently, Polonsky was named Chief Historianof the Permanent Exhibition at the Museum of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland.
Sponsor: Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program