Dr Avril Alba
BA (Hons)/BMus (Adelaide), MTS (Harvard), PhD (Sydney)
Senior Lecturer in Holocaust Studies and Jewish Civilisation
A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney
|Telephone||+61 2 9351 5226|
Avril teaches and researches in the broad areas of Holocaust and modern Jewish history with a focus on Jewish and Holocaust museums. Her monograph The Holocaust Memorial Museum: Secular Sacred Space exploring the largely unexamined topic of museums as sacred spaces was published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2015. From 2002-2011 Avril was the Education Director at the Sydney Jewish Museum where she also served as the Project Director/Curator for the permanent exhibition Culture and Continuity in 2008-09. She continues to serve as the consulting Project Director/Consulting Curator for the museum’s new permanent Holocaust exhibition, scheduled to open in November 2016. With A/Prof Jennifer Barrett and Professor Dirk Moses she is Chief Investigator for the ARC Linkage Project Australian Holocaust Memory, Human Rights and the Contemporary Museum.
- Holocaust history, memory and representation
- Museums and memorials
- Modern Jewish history
- Jewish theology/ post Holocaust theology
Teaching and supervision
- JCTC 2605 From Emancipation to the Holocaust
- JCTC 2606 Holocaust: History and Aftermath
- JCTC 6100 Sites of Trauma, Landscapes of Genocide
- MHST 6901 Museum and Heritage: History and Theory
- EUST 2617 Europe’s Religions: Cultures and Beliefs
- Holocaust memory
- Holocaust testimony
- Holocaust literature
Current research students
|Project title||Research student|
|Holocaust Survivors and P.T.S.D. - how Jewish Welfare responded in the Early Years.||Deborah Green GREEN|
Avril currently leads the ARC Linkage project, Australian Holocaust Memory, Human Rights and the Contemporary Museumwith A/Professor Jennifer Barrett (CI) and Professor A. Dirk Moses (PI).The project comprises an exploration of the nexus between the Holocaust and human rights through the prism of the Sydney Jewish Museum. She is also an active member of the international research group The Holocaust and Legacies of Race with colleagues from the Universities of Cape Town and Southampton.
Other Professional Contributions
Avril continues to serve as an advisor to the Sydney Jewish Museum for current exhibition and education projects as well as commemorative initiatives.
Recent Conference Activity
- ‘Sacred or Secular? Revisiting the Roots of the Holocaust Memorial Museum’ The Shoah: A Turning Point, Bar Ilan University, 12-14 June 2016.
- ‘The Holocaust and Legacies of Race from 1945 – Present’ ‘Transnational Holocaust Memory, University of Leeds, 26-27 January 2015.
- Invited presentation, University of Northumbria Heritage Group, ‘The Holocaust Memorial Museum: Sacred Secular Space’, 22 January 2015.
- ‘Invited Speaker for opening plenary panel and conference summation lecture: “The Future of the Past: Representing the Holocaust, Genocide, and Mass Trauma in the 21st Century”, Deakin University, 6-8 July 2014.
- ‘The Holocaust Memorial Museum: a Syncretic ‘Sacred Space’?‘Australian Association for Jewish Studies Conference, University of Adelaide, 9-10 February 2014. (member of the conference organizing committee)
- Holocaust Memory in Australia: Public or Private Domain?’, Aftermath: Sites and Sources of Memory, Monash University, 5-6 August 2013.
- ‘Here there is no why”—so why do we come here? Is a pedagogy of atrocity possible?’ The Future of Holocaust Studies, Southampton and Winchester Universities, 29-31 July 2013
- ‘The Counter Memorial Void: Silence as Secular Theodicy’, Challenging Memories: Silence and Empathy in Heritage Interpretation, Devon, 7-19 July 2013
- ‘Marching to the Same Drum? Reflections of Survivors, Students and Educators on MOTL Australia’ The Aftermath of Genocide: Victims and Perpetrators, Representations and Interpretations, International Assoc of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) Sienna, 19-22 June 2013
- ‘The Intergenerational Transmission of the Memory of Genocide’, Genocide: Knowing the Past, Safeguarding the Future, International Network of Genocide Scholars, San Francisco State University, 28 June- 1 July 2012
- ‘A Question of Relevance: Redeveloping the Sydney Jewish Museum’, The Holocaust and the Legacies of Race in the Post Colonial World: 1945-Present, Sydney University (in conjunction with the Universities of Southampton and Cape Town), 10-12 April 2012, Conference organiser with Professor Suzanne Rutland.
Awards and honours
- 2016 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Early Career Research
- 2016 ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellowship Mentoring Scheme Fellowship
- 2015 SLC Young Researcher Award
- 2013 Irmgard Coninx Foundation Fellowship (WZB Berlin)
In the media
Religion in Public Schools, The Moral Compass, 13 September 2015 http://www.abc.net.au/compass/moral-compass-2015-5/default.htm
- Creating History: The 1887 Anglo-Jewish Exhibition; Alba A; DVC Research/Bridging Support Grant.
- Negotiating Modernity, Maintaining Identity: Exploring Europe's Prewar Museums; Alba A; DVC Research/Bridging Support Grant.
- Australian Holocaust Memory, Human Rights and the Contemporary Museum; Alba A, Barrett J, Moses A, Sugarman R; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).
- The Holocaust and Legacies of Race in the Postcolonial World, 1945 to the present; Rutland S, Alba A, Gilbert S, Jordan J, Kushner T, Shain M; DVC International/IPDF Grant.
The Holocaust Memorial Museum: Sacred Secular Space (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)