About the Center

Call for Applications: 2016-2017 Center Fellow

The USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research invites applications from senior scholars for its 2016-2017 Center Research Fellow. The fellowship will be awarded to an outstanding candidate from any discipline, who will advance genocide research through the use of the Visual History Archive (VHA) of the USC Shoah Foundation and other USC resources. The incumbent will spend one semester in residence at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research during the 2016-2017 academic year. 


Jerome Nemer Lecture & Film Documentary

The USC Casden Institute, USC Shoah Foundation, and USC’s Max Kade Institute

Defiant Requiem

And a lecture by U.S. Diplomat and Attorney Stuart E. Eizenstat: “How to Provide Imperfect Justice for Holocaust Victims in the 21st Century”, followed by commentary by Wolf Gruner, Director of the Center for Advanced Genocide Research


Maximilian Strnad (University of Munich) Lecture

Maximilian Strnad is a PhD candidate at the University of Munich, where he received his MA in 2007. Until 2013 he served as a research assistant first at the University of Munich and at the NS-Documentation Center in Munich. Strnad’s research provides an in-depth look in to the lives of inter-married Jews that were attempting to survive the war during its final year. By focusing on this specific time period, this lecture will provide new insights into the persecution of the Jews that remained within the German Reich.


The USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research is dedicated to advancing new areas of interdisciplinary research on the Holocaust and other genocides, focusing on the origins of genocide and how to intervene in the cycle that leads to mass violence.

Its establishment as the research and scholarship unit of the USC Shoah Foundation in April 2014 signified an important milestone for genocide research internationally.

Founding Director Wolf Gruner, USC Professor of History and Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies, is an internationally recognized expert on the Holocaust and genocide studies. He has published 10 books and numerous articles on the Holocaust in Europe as well as on mass violence against indigenous peoples in Latin America.

The Center organizes annual international workshops and conferences, hosts a speaker series on genocide and mass violence, and hosts a research fellowship program, which convenes an international community of scholars, young academics, and students.

Since the University of Southern California is the only world-renowned private research institution that houses substantial original material from the Holocaust and other genocides in its archives, the Center for Advanced Genocide Research is uniquely positioned to advance the interdisciplinary study of mass violence.

“Los Angeles is home to the largest survivor communities of several genocides – including those that occurred in Armenia, Cambodia and Guatemala,” Dr. Gruner said. “USC is a fitting locale for this intellectual hub of international and interdisciplinary scholarship on the topic of Holocaust and genocide studies.”

While the Center promotes research and scholarship on genocide in general, it focuses on the following three primary themes:

Resistance to Genocide and Mass Violence

To study conditions and factors – historically and contemporarily – that enable people, groups and societies to slow down or stop the course of mass violence. Here the Center focuses on acts of resistance that inhibit the impact of genocidal ideology and/or defy its policies.

Violence, Emotion and Behavioral Change

To explore the nature of mass violence and its emotional, social, psychological, historical, and physical impacts on individual behavior, and to deepen the understanding of the individual experience as reflected in personal testimonies of survivors, witnesses, and perpetrators. The Center advances the application of such knowledge in fostering behavior and/or behavioral change in resisting mass violence. 

Digital Genocide Studies

To examine how large digital data sets, such as the fully indexed 52,000 video testimonies of the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive, can be used for a sophisticated quantitative analysis of complex human phenomena. The Center seeks to establish patterns of behavior in the field of mass violence and its resistance.