AmCon2018 Speakers

 

Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt

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Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot professor of Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, is probably most widely known because of the libel lawsuit brought against her (1996) by David Irving for having called him a Holocaust denier in her book.  Irving then was then arguably the world’s leading denier. 

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After a ten-week trial in London (2000), in an overwhelming victory for Professor Lipstadt, the judge found Irving to be a “neo-Nazi polemicist” who “perverts” history and engages in “racist” and “anti-Semitic” discourse. The Daily Telegraph described the trial as having "done for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations."  The Times stated, "history has had its day in court and scored a crushing victory." According to the New York Times, the trial "put an end to the pretense that Mr. Irving is anything but a self-promoting apologist for Hitler."

Deborah Lipstadt's TED talk about the trial has received well over 1.1 million views.  The movie Denial, starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Wilkenson with a screenplay by David Hare, tells the story of this legal battle.  It is based on her book History on Trial: My day in court with a Holocaust denier (Harper Collins 2006) and recently reissued as Denial (Harper Collins 2016). The film was nominated for a BAFTA as one of the best British films of the year.

Deborah has published and taught about the Holocaust for close to 40 years. She is currently writing a book, Antisemitism: Here and Now to be published 2018.  She has written most recently Holocaust: An American Understanding (Rutgers, 2016) which explores how America has understood and interpreted the Holocaust since 1945. 

Judith Kerr

Judith Kerr smallerJudith Kerr was born in Berlin in 1923 but escaped from Hitler’s Germany with her parents and brother in 1933. Her father was a drama critic and distinguished writer whose books were burned by the Nazis, because he dared to speak out against the regime. Judith and her family passed through Switzerland and France before finally arriving in England in 1936.

Judith wrote about her experiences in her classic autobiographical story, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. Judith has worked as an artist, television scriptwriter and, for the past thirty years, as an author and illustrator of children’s books. In addition to the trilogy Out of the Hitler Time (which comprises When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Bombs on Aunt Dainty and A Small Person Far Away), Judith is renowned for her favourite feline creation, Mog. Mog books have featured on bestseller lists for the past 30 years and have sold more than 4 million copies. The Tiger Who Came to Tea was Judith’s first picture book and was published in 1968. She received an OBE for services to literature and Holocaust education in 2013 and was awarded the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

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Marlon Solomon - Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard's Tale

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Marlon's a Jew. This didn't bother him much until he realised that some people he knew didn't believe the Holocaust happened. From 9/11 to shape-shifting lizards and Holocaust denial, this is a darkly comic tale of one man's journey through the conspiracy underworld.

Marlon examines why conspiracy theories are more popular than ever and how fake news gives fresh currency to ancient slander. A comic tale which is no laughing matter.

 

Workshop hosts

This year's workshop hosts include:

Derek Niemann is a freelance nature writer, editor and teacher of creative writing for Cambridge University’s Institute for Continuing Education. Six years ago, he took an unexpected break from writing about bees, bats and butterflies to research and write up the dark family secret that was published as A Nazi in the Family.

Dr Zoë Waxman of the University of Oxford discussing her pioneering work on women's experiences in the Holocaust, including the role that their gender played in their fate.

More hosts to be announced soon.