20102020

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Personal profile

Biography

Dr. Noah Sheker is the N. Milgrom and 6a Foundation Senior Lecturer in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Monash University’s Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation.  Noah received his PhD in Critical Studies in 2009 from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. 

His research and teaching traverse Jewish Studies, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Cultural Studies, and Cinema and Media Studies. That interdisciplinary approach was at the center of his first book, Reframing Holocaust Testimony, published 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.  Noah investigates how the cultural and institutional histories and practices of those sites mediate the encounters between interviewers and interviewees and consider the extent to which testimonies are driven by the agency of witnesses and the itineraries of a given archive. 

He is currently working on a co-authored book (with Associate Professor Dan Leopard) entitled Beyond the Era of the Witness: Testimony, Digital Media, and the Afterlives of Holocaust Memory.  As that work explores, although still grappling with the aftermaths of World War II and the Holocaust, we are encountering yet another moment of aftermath.  The “era of the witness” marked by a consolidation of survivor memory through film, testimonies, and other media, is transitioning to a period when witnesses will no longer be present to anchor representations with their living, moral authority.  In the face of the looming aftermath of the aftermath, institutions are grappling with ways to preserve the afterlives of Holocaust survivors.  This includes the USC Shoah Foundation’s Dimensions in Testimony Project (DiT), which is using motion-capture technology and artificial intelligence to render living Holocaust survivors as virtual, interactive witnesses.  Beyond the Era of the Witness blends essay prose with graphic art to show how digital media are reshaping the agency and subjectivity of witnesses as institutions are increasingly turning to projects like the DiT to preserve the living traces of survivor memory.

Noah has also written several articles on representations of the Holocaust and genocide in testimony, film, and new media.  They include “’I have never begun by asking the big questions’: Raul Hilberg as Historical Revenant in Shoah,” in the edited volume, The Invention of Testimony: Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah in the Twenty-First Century (Wayne State University Press, 2020); and “Through the Lens of the Shoah:  The Holocaust as a Paradigm for Documenting Genocide Testimonies,” in History & Memory (2016).

Supervision interests

My honours and post-graduate supervisions have spanned the following areas:  Holocaust and Genocide Studies; Film Studies; Gender Studies; Jewish Studies; Trauma and Memory Studies; European, African, and Asian History; Comparative Literature; and Cultural Studies.  I am currently accepting honours and postgraduate students.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research area keywords

  • Jewish Studies
  • Holocaust and Genocide Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Cinema and Media Studies