The Objects That Remain

The Objects that Remain, Greenberg Book Conversation, University of Chicago

May 4th, 12pm CT/1 pm EST

In The Objects That Remain (2020), Laura Levitt (Temple University) draws on her own experience as a victim of rape as she revisits the material remains of acts of violence and their place in Holocaust memory. The “essence of this volume,” she writes, is the “resonance between artifacts and their power to witness to the crimes against humanity, against individuals, and their ability to make holy the profane.” It is a “meditation on the allure of once ordinary artifacts that were brushed by violence: on where they take us and how they become animate, the rites and rituals around them, and the arts of holding that transform them into sacred objects through our tender care.”

Respondents: Bevin Blaber (Teaching Fellow, Divinity School) and Tahel Goldsmith (PhD student, Dept. of History).
Moderator: Leora Auslander, Professor of Modern European Social History, Dept. of History.

This event is part of the series “Greenberg Book Conversations” sponsored by the Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies and the Seminary Co-op Bookstore. It is open to the public, but registration is required (see the link below).

Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

The Objects That Remain

Scholarship, Companionship, and Healing, The Tam Institute for Jewish Studies, Emory University

Levitt writes in her introduction to The Objects that Remain, “This book is a meditation on the allure of once ordinary artifacts that were brushed by violence: on where they take us and how they become animate, the rites and rituals around them, and the arts of holding that transform them into sacred objects through our tender care,” alerting readers that she will begin by examining objects through the lens of a scholar of religion. She starts this journey by looking at sacred objects in the Judeo-Christian tradition such as garments stained by the blood of Jewish martyrs and relics of medieval saints, and then relates these objects to the idea of divine justice.  As Levitt writes, because she did not receive justice in the legal sense – her case never went to trial and all remaining physical evidence of the crime vanished – she “wanted to legitimate [her] own contemporary longings by placing them in this tradition.” But her efforts take a different turn.

To read all of this story, go to:

Scholarly Webinar/conversation The Objects That Remain

Special Issue of CrossCurrents: Jewish Objects, Jewish Affects

For this whole issue see,

This issue includes both my essay “Contemporary Relics” and a wonderful conversation about Jewish Objects and Jewish Affects with Jodi Eichler-Levine, Rachel B. Gross, Laura Arnold Liebman, and me.

The Objects That Remain

The Objects that Remain: A Book Conversation with Dr. Aliza Luft, The 1939 Society Book Talk in Holocaust Studies, UCLA

To hear this conversation

Scholarly Webinar/conversation

Religion and Grief, Religion & Series

Center Conversation on the State of Religion in the Current Moment, Religion and American Culture, IUPPI, April 15, 2021, (online)

Creative Projects!

“How to Hide” The Dybbukast

episode 6: “How to Hide”

In this episode, presented in collaboration with Lilith Magazine, we’ll hear excerpts from and explore issues intersecting with a creative non-fiction essay published in Lilith in 1994 titled “How to Hide: Instructions from a Daughter of Survivors.” The work describes how certain perspectives and life behaviors, influenced by their parents’ experiences in the Holocaust, show up for the children of survivors. 

Karen Propp, the author of the essay, shares her experiences and points of inspiration for the piece, and Dr. Laura Levitt, a professor of religion, Jewish studies and gender at Temple University, takes us through the ways in which our public discourse around the Holocaust evolved while also discussing relationships to historical trauma.

To Listen to this Podcast go to:

The Objects That Remain Uncategorized

Healing as Metaphor? An Interview with Laura Levitt, by Megan McCabe in Political Theology

To read this interview:

UPDATE: Now open-access at

link to earlier version:

The Objects That Remain

The Objects that Remain: Reckoning with Trauma through “Sacred” Evidence

“When we consider criminal evidence—proof positive that terrible things happened—we often imagine their role in a courtroom. But not all evidence operates that way. Most of the tainted objects held even in police property rooms never make their way to court. In the case of the vast trove of rescued Holocaust objects held at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), which have likewise never been to court, we often think about their role as empirical, historical evidence of the crimes of genocide perpetrated by the Nazis and their collaborators. And yet there are those intangible qualities that attract us to such objects, that draw our attention.”

Read More at Penn State University Press, Tumblr!

Review The Objects That Remain

affecognitive, religion, film, affect, academica: Laura Levitt The Objects that Remain

“Levitt’s careful attention to the scenes of her own trauma do not reveal her ‘self’ to us, her readers, however. Instead, her words initiate a harmonic resonance between the objects in (and of) her traumatic memory and the objects in (and of) other traumas, other experiences, and other wounded sites of memory and loss. In writing toward these resonances, Levitt herself is both in the story and on the banks of its flow, both the object (subject) of reflection–as in a confession–but also able to step outside the flow of the story by showing up the process of thinking and writing.” (M. Gail Hamner)

Read the full review essay:

The Objects That Remain

On Objects, Trauma, and Loss

By Kali Handelman and Laura Levitt

Published on February 4, 2021

Kali Handelman interviews Laura Levitt about her new book, The Objects That Remain

To Read the Full Interview: