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Virtual PhD and a Cup of Tea: ‘Talking with Images’: Private Photographs from the Imperial War Museums

October 13, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Photographs from the Neumeyers’s family archive, speaker’s own.

Part of our PhD and a Cup of Tea Seminar Series.

Using Ruth Locke’s Private Photographs from the Imperial War Museums Photograph Archive to Explore the Family’s Experiences and Intergenerational Memories.

Alice will be examining photographs from the private collection of Ruth Locke. Ruth (née Neumeyer) and her younger brother Raimund came to England from Germany in May 1938 on the Kindertransport. They were accompanied by two photograph albums capturing their childhood in Dachau. The photographs reflect the family’s affiliation with the Lebensreform (Life Reform) movement, their appreciation of nature, the arts and culture. Alice will draw on oral history interviews with Ruth’s two sons and the blog they produced on their family history. Alice will examine the challenges and opportunities of looking at private photographs and oral testimony as sources to understand how German-Jewish children made sense of their life in Germany in the 1930s, emigration to the UK, and familial separation and loss. She will also examine how these memories were passed across generations.  

About the speaker

Alice Tofts is final year collaborative doctoral programme student with Imperial War Museums and the University of Nottingham. She holds a BA in History and French from the University of Nottingham and a Masters in Museum Studies from University College London. Her research focuses on the Imperial War Museums’ collection of photographs from private collections of Holocaust survivors. Her research explores the myriad role of private photographs in both the familial and museum sphere: as historical objects, material and social objects, objects of enquiry, and memory objects. Her approach is multidisciplinary and draws on theory and methods from oral history, anthropology, visual culture, memory studies and museology.

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