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ERIC Number: EJ776479
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Pages: 49
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 97
ISSN: ISSN-0034-527X
God on the Gallows: Reading the Holocaust through Narratives of Redemption
Spector, Karen
Research in the Teaching of English, v42 n1 p7-55 Aug 2007
"Where is God now?" is a question from the Holocaust memoir "Night" by Elie Wiesel and an underlying narrative dilemma for the teachers and most student participants in this qualitative study of three Holocaust units in secondary English classrooms in the Midwestern United States. Using a narrative theory framework, this study explores how religious narrative frames are used by participants to construct Jews and the Holocaust through their readings of "Night," and more generally how students wield such narratives in their pursuit of meaning. Also informed by the work of Holocaust scholars, educational researchers studying shifting narrative identity, and those studying the nexus of civic pluralism and religious framing, I build a bridge from which to view the ways participants constructed meaning about the Holocaust and the implications for teacher candidates, teachers, and teacher educators. Given that Holocaust literature such as "Night and Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl" are now canonical texts in English classes throughout the United States, and given that lessons of tolerance or civic pluralism are often expected to accompany the reading of this literature, throughout the paper I discuss the affordances and constraints of the narratives that students in this study used. I end by making recommendations for classroom practice. (Contains 3 figures and 10 tables.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A