W. Jake Newsome

3 June 2016 MCAHS William Jake Newsome, Campus Outreach Program Officer, University Programs

jnewsome@ushmm.org |CV

Fields: Modern Germany | Modern Europe | Gender & Sexuality

Advisor: Andreas Daum



Ph.D., History – State University of New York at Buffalo (2016)                         BA History, Valdosta State University

Current Position: Campus Outreach Program Officer, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Areas of specialty: gender and sexuality in the Holocaust; postwar treatment of gay and lesbian victims; memory studies; transnational social activism; citizenship, human rights

In May 2016, Dr. Newsome defended his dissertation, “Homosexuals after the Holocaust: Sexual Citizenship and the Politics of Memory in Germany and the United States, 1945-2008.” The work explores how various actors in the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America transformed collective memories of the Nazis’ persecution of homosexuals into transnational discourses that shaped modern conceptions of human rights and civil liberties. Dr. Newsome argues that judges, homosexual concentration camp survivors, gay rights activists, professional historians, playwrights, journalists, and state officials on both sides of the Atlantic used the past to mediate the meaning of victimhood, sexuality, justice, and citizenship in the present. At the heart of his dissertation, therefore, is a study of the relationship between the politics of memory and sexual citizenship. One of the central aims of Dr. Newsome’s dissertation is to demonstrate that the Nazi persecution of homosexuals is a chapter of history that had – and continues to have – a resonance beyond the gay community. It has become a broader moral lesson about responsible citizenship, the acceptance of diversity in a globalized society, and the fragile nature of human rights in modern democratic life.

Dr. Newsome began his new position at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC in June 2016.  He is responsible for developing an enhanced strategic campus outreach program that takes the lessons of the Holocaust beyond the Museum’s walls and inspires new generations of scholars and leaders to engage with the history and contemporary relevance of the Holocaust. I coordinate with the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies and the Levine Institute for Holocaust Education to establish a variety of educational programs, such as: interdisciplinary research symposia and workshops for scholars, leadership summits for university students, and civic engagement programs that promote the Museum’s two-fold mission of honoring the memory of Holocaust victims, and inspiring citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.