M.A. Amber Palmer
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology
MEMORY, MEDIA, AND MORAL ELEVATION: AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL APPROACH TO MEDIA PORTRAYALS OF ARABS AND MUSLIMS WHO AIDED JEWS DURING THE HOLOCAUST Amber L. Palmer In the wake of 9/11, research and public interest in Muslims and Arabs who rescued and aided Jews during the Holocaust have risen. Inspiring stories of rescue, which were almost lost, have been increasingly represented, discussed, and used by different social categories (i.e. different religions, ethnicities, nations, etc.) in various media forms, including films, photography, physical museum displays, monuments, art, animation, online-media, educational curriculum, children's books, social media, and virtual worlds. This PhD research, which is funded by the Binah Yitzrit Foundation, uses a visual anthropological approach to collect and analyze the use of these media portrayals of by different social categories. The data collection involves interviews, filming, photography, surveys and analysis of existing portrayals of rescuers online and in the following countries: Turkey, Albania, Israel, Canada, France, Morocco, Greece, the Netherlands, Bosnia and Herzegovina, United Kingdon, Germany, Denmark, Poland, and the United States. This research uses theories on altruism from evolutionary psychology and the concept of moral elevation to examine the rise of interest in these stories and to assess the potential practical applications to visual representations of rescuers in museums, education centers, and other media to increase altruism and tolerance, specifically between categories in conflict.