Robert Skloot describes himself as “a believer that the arts must play a role in the discussions of issues of serious social importance.”
Skloot, who has taught and directed plays at the University of Wisconsin–Madison since 1968, is among the few scholars who specialize in theatre and the Holocaust.
“The arts create different ways of knowing and feeling, often emotion-filled and directed at the heart as well as the head,” he says. “The worlds created by theatre artists, and by choreographers, poets and filmmakers, report back to audiences the historical experience of victims, perpetrators and bystanders through the emotions as well as rationally. When they do that, their impact of their work is likely to be greater and more lasting.”
Skloot retired in 2008, but the professor emeritus of Theatre and Drama and Jewish Studies continues to share his unique expertise, near and far.
This summer, supported by the Fulbright Specialist Program, Skloot will be contributing to a pair of academic conferences in the United Kingdom – Trauma & Memory: the Holocaust in Contemporary Culture (University of Portsmouth, July 11-13) and The Future of Holocaust Studies (University of Southampton, July 29-31). Participants will include established and up-and-coming scholars from around the world, as well as teachers and students.