Former director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum joining UVA faculty

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – The University of Virginia says its new professor is one of the world’s most recognized authorities on the Holocaust.

Victoria Barnett will join the College of Arts and Sciences and bring with her an expert perspective on the Holocaust. This is part of the university’s rotating role as visiting professor staffed by Frank Talbott, Jr.. One person is appointed each year, and the position changes from school to school each year.

“I would like to help them understand a story like this, which is not just about learning dates and events, but thinking more deeply about what it meant at the time,” Barnett said.

Barnett served as Director of Ethics, Religion, and Holocaust Programs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.

“A big part of my job was working with visiting scholars from around the world and students and professors from all over the United States who were studying the Holocaust in churches and wanted to learn more about it,” Barnett said. .

James Loeffler, a history professor and director of Jewish studies, helped her get to UVA Grounds.

“We felt we really had to do what we’re supposed to do, which is approach this subject with critical scholarship,” Loeffler said.

More recently, Barnett has focused on interfaith histories before, during and after the Holocaust, which she says are still in development.

“It’s become clear to everyone that this is a really important topic, isn’t it? There’s a lot of public ignorance about the Holocaust, even though people refer to it all the time,” Loeffler said.

Barnett says she looks forward to having conversations with students and engaging with them on this important story.

“What this could mean for them today, I find is one of the ways students sometimes engage the most, they come with their own questions, and those questions are important to bring out in class. and to really talk,” Barnett said.

Barnett will teach at AVU only for the 2022-23 school year. She will attend both lectures and seminars.

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