Digital Humanities Methods for Analyzing Holocaust and Genocide Testimonies

1. Abstract

The purpose of this panel is to present a set of digital methods for analyzing Holocaust and genocide testimonies at scale. The corpus of testimonies (approx. 55,000) and metadata come primarily from the USC Shoah Foundation and include survivors of the Armenian Genocide (1914-23), the Nanjing Massacre (1937/38), the Holocaust (1939-45), and the Rwandan Genocide (1994). Panel members also work with early Holocaust testimonies recorded in Displaced Persons Camps by David Boder (1946) as well as testimonies of from Yale’s Fortunoff Archive. One of the central research questions concerns the genre of “testimony” itself and how computational analysis can help us track changes in narrative structure, form, and content, particularly in dialogical interviews. We are also interested in how testimonies can be textually mined to fill in “gaps” and “missing voices” through linguistic analysis, including code switching, speech patterns, changes in voice and emotional expressivity, and so forth.

Todd Presner (, UCLA, United States of America, Anna Bonazzi (, UCLA, United States of America, Lizhou Fan (, UCLA, United States of America, Gabor Toth (, University of Southern California, United States of America, Rachel Deblinger (, UCLA, United States of America and David Shepard (, UCLA, United States of America

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