Yale's Dori Laub to Speak on Holocaust

Posted: October 15, 2009

Yale professor Dori Laub, M.D., will speak on “The Evolution of Holocaust Testimonies: From Traumatic Muteness to Creative Narrative” when he gives the 2009 Hastorf Lecture October 22 at 7:30 pm in Mount Holyoke's Hooker Auditorium.

Laub, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, will explore the consequences of trauma, from the near-blackout of psychosis and the lifelong psychic compartmentalization of painful memories, to moments of insight and extraordinary clarity that culminate in works of art.

Laub himself is a Holocaust survivor. He was born in Czernowitz, Romania, in 1937 and was deported with his parents to Transnistria in 1942. His father disappeared during a German raid prior to liberation by the Soviets, and he and his mother were reunited with his grandparents who had survived in Czernowitz. He emigrated in 1950 to Israel, where he attended medical school.

As a psychoanalyst in private practice in New Haven, Laub works primarily with victims of massive psychic trauma and their children. In 1979, he cofounded the Holocaust Survivors' Film Project, Inc., which subsequently became the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale. His work on trauma extended studies on survivors of the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and other genocides. He has published and lectured extensively on the multifaceted impact of the Holocaust on the lives of survivors and their children. He is cofounder of the International Study Group for Trauma, Violence, and Genocide, and he is deputy director for Trauma Research at the Yale Genocide Studies Program. 

The Hastorf Lecture, sponsored by Barbara and Albert Hastorf, was established in 2001 by Albert H. Hastorf III to honor his wife, a graduate of the class of 1943, on her eightieth birthday. The fund supports an annual lecture by a nationally known scholar in the social sciences. The lecture will be followed by a reception. This event is free, open to the public, and accessible for all. For more information, call 413-538-2338.

Related Links:

Holocaust Trauma Project

Psychology at MHC