Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies | Lecture – Toxic Inheritance: lessons from the intergenerational transmission of trauma of the Holocaust
Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies presents
Toxic Inheritance: lessons from the intergenerational transmission of trauma of the Holocaust
Associate Professor Michael Robertson (Honorary Associate)
The transmission of the trauma of the Holocaust across generations is an established line of academic inquiry that has yielded important observations enabling understanding of the phenomenon from multiple theoretical perspectives. Intergenerational trauma in the families of the survivors of the Holocaust has also emerged as a cultural phenomenon, most evident the iconic graphic novel Maus or the celebrated Australian film Shine. In this presentation, I will outline the main themes in the scientific literature related to intergenerational trauma in the families of Holocaust survivors, in order to outline a prospective research project comparing and contrasting the lived experience of children in First Nations families with a family member who is the survivor of the Stolen Generation with that of family members of survivors of the Holocaust. We have an accumulation of knowledge about the toxicity of intergenerational trauma in our First Nations communities, revealing disturbing inequality and inequity in most indices of health and welfare. The central question in this prospective inquiry is “how can our understanding of intergenerational trauma in families of Holocaust survivors inform understanding of intergenerational trauma in First Nations families?”
About the presenter
Associate Professor Michael Robertson is a consultant psychiatrist, currently working in the fields of civil forensic and occupational psychiatry with a special focus on historical and intergenerational trauma in his clinical work. He was recently appointed as an Honorary Associate in the Discipline of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He is an Honorary Fellow at the Sydney Jewish Museum. Since 2013 he has led the research project “Psychiatry and the State”, examining the legacies of the conduct of the medical profession in the mid 20th century and its implications for contemporary medical ethics and professionalism. He is the co-author of The First into the Dark (2019) which is a substantive contribution to the English language literature on the history and bioethical implications of the Krankenmorde. He has published widely in the fields of medical ethics, psychological trauma, the philosophy of psychiatry and psychotherapy.
For more information, contact: Associate Professor Avril Alba (firstname.lastname@example.org)