Module 1: Oral History

Anna Sheftel

Dr. Anna Sheftel is Principal and Associate Professor in the School of Community and Public Affairs at Concordia University in Montreal. She has a DPhil in Modern History from the University of Oxford, and has also held positions as Associate Professor of Conflict Studies and Vice-Dean of the Faculties of Human Sciences and Philosophy at Saint Paul University in Ottawa. Her field of expertise is oral history of genocide and atrocity, and she has done research projects on wartime memory in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the public testimonial practices of Holocaust survivors in Montreal, as well as Holocaust survivors who experienced sustained socioeconomic inequality after immigration. She co-developed a collaborative audio tour about Holocaust survivors’ immigration to Montreal, entitled, Refugee Boulevard: Making Montreal Home After the Holocaust, which won both the 2020 Oral History Association (OHA) and Canadian Historical Association (CHA) Digital and Public History prizes. She has also published extensively on oral history practice, ethics, and pedagogy. She is internationally recognized for these publications, most notably for Oral History Off the Record: Toward an Ethnography of Practice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), co-edited with Stacey Zembrzycki, which won the OHA’s 2014 Book Award, and her article, “Talking and Not Talking about Violence: Challenges in Interviewing Survivors of Atrocity as Whole People,” won the OHA’s 2019 Article Award.

A group of War Orphans gathered in front of their first home
War Orphans in front of the Herzl Dispensary, their first home upon arrival to Montreal, 1947. Courtesy of the Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives.


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