“Writers as Witnesses: The Fate of Holocaust Memory.”
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Alvin H. Rosenfeld, Professor of English and Jewish Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, received his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1967 and has taught at Indiana University since 1968. He holds the Irving M. Glazer Chair in Jewish Studies and is Director of the university’s Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism. He founded Indiana University’s well-regarded Borns Jewish Studies Program and served as its director for 30 years.
He has been honored with Indiana University Distinguished Service Award and also the Provost’s Medal “in recognition of sustained academic excellence, vision, and leadership resulting in lasting and widespread impact.”
The editor of William Blake: Essays (1969) and the Collected Poetry of John Wheelwright (1972), he is also the author of numerous scholarly and critical articles on American poetry, Jewish writers, and the literature of the Holocaust. Indiana University Press published his Confronting the Holocaust: The Impact of Elie Wiesel (co-edited with Irving Greenberg) in 1979 and, in 1980, published his A Double Dying: Reflections on Holocaust Literature (the book has since appeared in German, Polish, and Hungarian translations). With his wife, Erna Rosenfeld, he translated Gunther Schwarberg’s The Murders at Bullenhuser Damm, a book on Nazi medical atrocities published by the Indiana University Press in 1984. His Imagining Hitler was published by Indiana University Press in 1985 (available also in a Japanese translation). He edited Thinking About the Holocaust: After Half a Century (Indiana University Press, 1997), a collection of articles by 13 scholars, which includes his essay, “The Americanization of the Holocaust.” His The Writer Uprooted: Contemporary Jewish Exile Literature appeared with Indiana University Press in 2009. His most recent study, The End of the Holocaust, was published in April, 2011 with Indiana University Press. The book has been published in German, Hebrew, Hungarian and Polish translations. In recent years, he has been writing about contemporary antisemitism, and some of his articles on this subject have evoked intense debate. Resurgent Antisemitism: Global Perspectives, an edited volume, appeared in spring, 2013. Deciphering the New Antisemitism was published in 2015. Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism: The Dynamics of Delitimization appeared in 2019. He is also editor of a series of books on Jewish Literature and Culture published by Indiana University Press as well as editor of IUP’s book series, “Studies in Antisemitism.”
Professor Rosenfeld has served as an editorial board member of various scholarly journals, including Holocaust and Genocide Studies and Antisemitism Studies as well as a board member and scholarly consultant to various Jewish institutions and organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Lilly Endowment, the Wexner Heritage Foundation, the Koret Foundation, and the Conference on Material Claims against Germany. He held a 5-year Presidential appointment on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council (2002-2007) and also served on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Executive Committee. For 10 years he was Chair of the Academic Committee of the Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. He continues his service as a member of that committee as well as the Museum’s committee on contemporary antisemitism.
Professor Rosenfeld is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the recipient of fellowship grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Foundation of Jewish Culture, and the National Endowment of the Humanities.
Professor Rosenfeld was awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa, by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in May, 2007. In April, 2019, he was given The President’s Medal, Indiana University’s highest award, “in recognition of scholarly accomplishment, service, and leadership.”
He has lectured widely in America, Europe, India, and Israel.