WWU's Ray Wolpow Institute to host international Holocaust symposium, public lecture

The public is invited to keynote lecture: “Testimonies of Flight, Afterlives of Refuge” on April 18, as part of a symposium in partnership with The Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University (HEFNU)

Bellingham, WA — The Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University (HEFNU) and the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity at Western Washington University are pleased to announce the cross-border Regional Institute “Witness: Mediating Holocaust Testimony in the Arts” with support from the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Victoria. The Regional Institute, which brings together higher education faculty with experts in Holocaust Studies, will take place April 17-19, 2024, at Western Washington University’s main campus in Bellingham, WA. 

As a part of this visit, the public is invited to the HEFNU Regional Institute Keynote Lecture “Testimonies of Flight, Afterlives of Refuge” by Tabea Alexa Linhard, professor of Spanish and Global Studies at Washington University in St. Louis: 

  • Time: 4-5:30 p.m. on April 18 
  • Location: Wilson Library 677 (Special Collections Research Room) 

Director of the Ray Wolpow Institute Sandra Alfers said, “I’m proud that Western has the opportunity to once again host the Regional Institute in partnership with HEFNU, the leading university organization in Holocaust Studies in the United States. The work that our organizations engage in is essential and highly relevant for the times we live in. We warmly welcome our twenty-five faculty guests from Canada and the US to the symposium, and we look forward to welcoming our community to our April 18 keynote lecture.” 

Keynote lecturer Tabea Alexa Linhard, professor of Spanish and Global Studies at Washington University in St. Louis

More about the Keynote Lecture 

Before German writer Anna Seghers, author of The Seventh Cross, Transit, “The Dead Girls Class Trip,” among many others, fled from occupied Europe to eventually find a place of relative safety in Mexico, she wrote the short story “Journey to the Eleventh Realm” (1939).  

With this tale that is as amusing as it is devastating, Seghers satirizes the bureaucratic nightmares that she and many other refugees endured in their attempts to flee from fascism.  

Linhard’s talk will use Seghers’s piece as a starting point to discuss depictions and geographies of flight and border crossing in various forms of cultural production and from several locations. The works include testimonies from the 1930s, the war years, and their immediate aftermath.  

The talk will end with a reflection on the significance of memories of displacement and refuge. The lecture is open to the public. No registration is required.  

Special thanks to the Ray Wolpow Institute’s campus partners, Western Libraries Archives and Special Collections, and to the departments of Global Humanities and Religions, and Modern and Classical Languages. 


Media contact

Jonathan Higgins, WWU Communications Director, jonathan.higgins@wwu.edu