Hank speaking at his retirement celebration in April 2019
Hank in 1995 (Photo by Jens Zorn)

Episode 15 - Hank Greenspan and His Retirement (26:15) June 10, 2019

We bid bon voyage to "Uncle Hank" as he completes a fulfilling and rich 32 year career in the Residential College. In this interview, Hank touches on how he accidentally wound up in the RC, how he accidentally happened upon his scholarly passion for interviewing and "learning with" Holocaust survivors, and how he hopes we all can slow down to listen to each other more fully. Tune in for laughs, balance, and at times, poignancy. 

Hank's Scholarly Biography

Henry Greenspan, Ph.D., Lecturer IV in the Residential College of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts will retire from active faculty status on May 31, 2019. Dr. Greenspan received his A.B. (1970) and M.Ed. (1973) from Harvard University and his Ph.D. (1985) from Brandeis University. He came to the University of Michigan as a Junior Fellow of the Michigan Society of Fellows (1977-80). He worked as a Senior Counselor at Counseling Services (now CAPS) from 1983 to 1988 and joined the faculty of the Residential College in 1987. Within the RC, Dr. Greenspan has been an Academic Advisor, Chair of the First-year Seminar and Social Theory and Practice programs, and a revered teacher.

Dr. Greenspan has been interviewing, writing about, and teaching about Holocaust survivors since the 1970s—now longer than anyone in the world. Both editions of his book—On Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Recounting and Life History (1998) and the expanded On Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Beyond Testimony (2010)--are considered seminal texts in oral history and Holocaust studies. Along with numerous chapters and journal articles on survivors, Dr. Greenspan wrote the chapter on survivor testimony for the Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies (2010). He has worked closely with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum since it opened in 1993. He was the museum’s sixth annual Weinmann Lecturer (2000) and co-led the annual Hess seminar for Professors of Holocaust Courses (2011). His interview methodology has been adopted by large oral history projects with genocide survivors—especially in Rwanda and Cambodia. He was the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at the Centre of Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University in Montreal (2012). Dr. Greenspan continues to mentor, consult, and present his research internationally--most recently, in Jerusalem (2016), Berlin (2016), New Delhi (2018), London (2018), Toronto (2018), and Montreal (2019).

Dr. Greenspan is also a playwright whose “Remnants” was originally produced at WUOM-FM and distributed to NPR stations in 1991. “Remnants” became a stage play that has been performed at more 300 venues worldwide.

Congratulations, Hank, on your retirement and we wish you the very best for your next adventures!