Teaching Fellows


Ildiko Barna, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor of Sociology, Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE)

International Teaching Fellow

Ildiko Barna is Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Social Sciences and Program Director of the department’s Ethnic and Minority Policy MA Program at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE). Her research focuses on Hungarian and Russian Jewish Studies. She is the author of five co-authored books, among them Rendszerváltás Családtörténetei [Family Stories of the Transition] (2016) and Political Justice in Budapest after WWII (2015). Her work has been published in many books, journals and online publications, including annual Brussels Institute reports on xenophobia, racism and hate-crime. 

Professor Barna is very familiar with the Visual History Archive, having used it in her own research and in professional development workshops at the Faculty of Social Sciences. During her time at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, Barna consulted with Center and Institute staff to prepare to incorporate VHA testimonies into the curriculum of her course “Racism, Antisemitism, and Hate Speech.” She hopes that this course, which introduces students to the sociological and psycho-social background of prejudice, draws parallels between past and present-day manifestations of antisemitism, xenophobia and racism, will become a core component of the Ethnic and Minority Policy MA Program at her university.  

To learn more about Ildiko Barna click here

Daniel Conway, Ph.D.  

Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Texas A&M University

A.I. & Manet Schepps Foundation Teaching Fellow Program 

A native of Terre Haute, Indiana, Daniel Conway received his BA in Philosophy and Economics from Tulane University and his PhD in Philosophy from the University of California, San Diego. He has held faculty appointments at Stanford University, Harvard University, Penn State University, and, since 2006, Texas A&M University, where he is Professor of Philosophy and Humanities and Affiliate Professor of Film Studies and Religious Studies. He is also a core faculty member in the Philosophy for Children initiative (P4C Texas). 

Conway has lectured and published widely on topics pertaining to post-Kantian European philosophy, political theory, philosophy of religion, philosophy and literature, philosophy and film, American philosophy, aesthetics, and genocide studies. His research has been supported by competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (declined), the Oregon Humanities Center, the DAAD, the National Humanities Center, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Centre for Research in Philosophy and Literature at the University of Warwick, the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Penn State University, the Southeastern Conference, and the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. He is the author of three books, the editor or co-editor of thirteen volumes, and the author of more than 100 articles in scholarly journals and edited collections. He is the proud father of two young feminists. 

During his residency at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, Professor Conway researched testimonies focusing on the theme of dehumanization and stories where the survivors described how they felt like “robots” or “zombies” while they were imprisoned in concentration camps. Conway incorporatde such testimonies into a course he teaches about philosophy in science fiction films, in particular how sci-fi films (The Matrix and District 9) often portray forms of genocide.  

To watch his Facebook Live click here

To learn more about Daniel Conway click here

Karen Painter, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor of Musicology, University of Minnesota

International Teaching Fellow Honorable Mention

Karen Painter is Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of Minnesota. She earned her B.A. in music and philosophy at Yale University and her PhD in music from Columbia University, and her research focuses on the relationship between music, listening and ideology in the context of 19th century German social history, World War I, Austro-German socialism and Nazism. She has previously served as Director of the Office of Research and Analysis for the National Endowment for the Arts, and has held faculty appointments at Dartmouth College and Harvard University. Professor Painter has held many fellowships, among them a Mellon Foundation summer research fellowship (1992), the Berlin Prize from the American Academy of Berlin (2000) and the 2014-15 visiting scholarship at the Harvard University Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies. She is the author of Symphonic Aspirations: German Music and Politics, 1900-1945 (2008) and Mahler and His World (2002), as well as the co-editor of three volumes. 

During her time at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, Professor Painter consulted with Center and Institute staff to incorporate VHA testimonies into the curriculum of her freshman seminar “Music in Nazi Germany.” The course, which she has taught nine times, examines the role of music in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust and as a form of commemoration in other genocides. 

To learn more about Karen Painter click here

Nancy Sinkoff, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and History, Rutgers University

International Teaching Fellow

Nancy Sinkoff is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and History and the Director of the Center for European Studies at Rutgers University. Her fields of interest include early modern and modern Jewish history, East European Jewish intellectual history both in the Polish heartland and in its diasporic settlements and the cultural significance of the collective exile of Jews from Europe’s heartland through an investigation of survivors’ relationships to Europe and “home.” Professor Sinkoff’s most recent publications include Out of the Shtetl: Making Jews Modern in the Polish Borderland (2004), “Yidishkayt and the Making of Lucy S. Dawidowicz,” the introduction to Dawidowicz, From That Place and Time, 1938-1947: A Memoir (2008), and “Lucy S. Dawidowicz,” American National Biography.

As the 2017-2018 International Teaching Fellow, Sinkoff was in residence at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research for a week consulting with staff and conducting research in the Visual History Archive for courses she will teach this year. One such course is about exile under Nazism and communism, and she wants to focus on Jews’ movement through the region. Professor Sinkoff will show clips of different survivors describing the same event, to illustrate how different people viewed the same event from very different perspectives, and having her students map a survivor’s trajectory through the Holocaust.

To learn more about Nancy Sinkoff click here.

Barbie Zelizer, Ph.D.

Raymond Williams Professor of Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Rutman Fellow for Research and Teaching

Barbie Zelizer is the Raymond Williams Professor of Communication and Director of the Center for Media at Risk at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. A former journalist, Zelizer is known for her work on journalism, culture, memory and images. Zelizer has authored or edited fourteen books, including the award-winning About To Die: How News Images Move the Public (Oxford, 2010) and Remembering to Forget: Holocaust Memory Through the Camera's Eye (Chicago, 1998), and over 150 articles, book chapters and essays. She is currently working on How the Cold War Drives the News, for which she has received an ACLS Fellowship for 2018-2019. 

Professor Zelizer used her fellowship to teach a Ph.D. research seminar entitled “Mediating War and Genocide Through Visual Memory.” The seminar took place at the end of the spring 2018 semester and continued into the summer, with a two-week immersive experience in Berlin.  

To learn more about Barbie Zelizer click here


Tommy Curry, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies, Texas A&M University

A.I. & Manet Schepps Foundation Teaching Fellow 

Professor Curry is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and an Affiliate Professor in the Program in Africana Studies at Texas A&M University.  

Professor Curry spent his week of residency at the Center exploring testimonies related to sexual violence against men and boys during the Holocaust and Armenian genocides. Curry discovered that while men are usually thought to be only targeted for death during genocide, the testimonies reveal that sexual violence plays a substantial role in their oppression as well. He plans to introduce these testimonies in his class when discussing the sexualization and sexual abuse of black men and boys during slavery and the Jim Crow era. “They're heartbreaking stories. It's tragic,” Curry said. “But at the same time, they’re stories that I think deserve to be heard so we can have accounts that give a broader scope of genocidal violence (against men) beyond simply the extermination of men and boys.”  

To learn more about Tommy Curry click here

Mélanie Péron, Ph.D.  

Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone Department, University of Pennsylvania

Rutman Fellow for Research and Teaching

Professor Péron is a senior lecturer in the French and Francophone department at the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Arts and Sciences, where she received the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by Affiliated Faculty.  

Péron brought survivors’ stories to the classroom again this year, following her week in residence at USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. Professor Péron decided to put a human face on the abstract dates and numbers that comprise most Holocaust education when teaching a new course on occupied France in World War II. In her course, she connected testimony to three works about French Jews the students will be reading: the diary of Helene Berr, letters from Louise Jacobson, and a novel about Dora Bruder. All three women were about 20 during the war and all three died when they were deported from France during the occupation. “The objective of the course is to put a voice on silences in a time period when it was taboo [to speak about the occupation] for many reasons,” Péron said. “So giving a voice to written words, I think that’s what’s going to make it tangible for my students.” 

To watch her lecture click here.

To learn more about Mélanie Péron click here.

Shira Klein, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of History, Chapman University

International Teaching Fellow

With the support of the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, Professor Klein is integrating testimonies from the Visual History Archive into two of her history courses – an existing undergraduate course entitled “Jewish Life from Napoleon to Hitler” and a new graduate course entitled “Jewish Migration and War.” Previously in her teaching, she selected excerpts of testimonies from the Visual History Archive to show in her classes. The teaching fellowship will support her in developing the tools to assign research to her students. In the undergraduate course, students will combine Visual History Archive interviews with secondary sources to reflect on how the life history of an Italian, French, or German Jewish individual illustrates larger historical events or developments. In the graduate course, Professor Klein’s students will use testimonies as one of three primary sources for their research into Jewish migration in the 1930s and 1940s.  She incorporated her work at the Shoah Foundation into her newest book, Italy’s Jews from Emancipation to Fascism, about the history of Italian Jews from the late 19th century to the 1950s.

To learn more about Shira Klein click here.


Adam Seipp, Ph.D.

Professor of History, Texas A&M University

A.I. and Manet Schepps Foundation Teaching Fellow

Professor Seipp is Professor of History at Texas A&M University. As the inaugural A.I. and Manet Schepps Foundation Teaching Fellow, Professor Seipp fulfilled his wish to devote a significant amount of time to systematically exploring the Visual History Archive, which he had been using remotely for six years.  

During his time in residence at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, Professor Seipp gave a lecture to staff about his research of the Dachau death marches and liberation. He noted that historians have not devoted much study to the experiences of survivors who were liberated on roads, villages and countryside, not within the camp itself. He was particularly moved by the testimony of Zvi Griliches, a Dachau survivor who went on to become an economics professor at Harvard. He integrated the testimonies of 26 survivors into his course about the final death march out of Dachau in spring 1945. 

To read more about his research click here

To learn more about Adam Seipp click here

Liliane Weissberg, Ph.D.

Professor of German and Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania

Rutman Fellow for Research and Teaching

Professor Weissberg is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. She also belongs to the university’s Jewish Studies Program, Art History Graduate Group, English Graduate Group, Program in Visual Studies, Committee in Women’s Studies, and Center in Folklore and Ethnography. Among her more recent book publications are: Affinität wider Willen? Hannah Arendt, Theodor W. Adorno und die Frankfurter Schule (2011); Über Haschisch und Kabbalah. Gershom Scholem, Siegfried Unseld und das Werk von Walter Benjamin (2012); (with Karen Beckman), On Writing With Photography (2013) Juden. Geld. Eine Vorstellung. Frankfurt/M: Campus Verlag (2013); Münzen, Hände, Noten, Finger: Berliner Hofjuden und die Erfindung einer deutschen Musikkultur (2018); (with Andreas Kilcher), Nachträglich, grundlegend? Der Kommentar als Denkform in der jüdischen Moderne von Hermann Cohen bis Jacques Derrida (2018). Weissberg has taught as a visiting professor at universities in the United States, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Within the field of Holocaust Studies, Weissberg has been particularly interested in the relationship of memory and material culture, and the problem of witnessing.  

As she began preparing a new course — “Witnessing, Remembering, and Writing the Holocaust” — Professor Weissberg wanted to show Holocaust survivors as they told their stories. Words printed on a page could never capture the subtle gestures, inflections and pauses available in watching survivors tell their stories. Integrating testimony into her course let her and her students try to answer: How do we witness? What do we remember and choose not to remember? What do we then articulate? Professor Weissberg wants her students to think about the lifelong impact of genocide. “You may survive the war,” she said, “but how will you survive your memories?” 

To learn more about her research click here.

To learn more about Liliane Weissberg click here.

Gertrud Pickhan, Ph.D., and Alina Bothe, Ph.D. 

Freie Universität, Berlin and Center of Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg

Teaching Fellows

Professor Pickhan is a professor at the Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität); Alina Bothe, PhD, is a research associate at the Center of Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg. Both are longtime users of the Visual History Archive; Pickhan was one of the first professors at Freie Universität (FU) to incorporate testimony after FU became the first full access site in Europe in 2006. Bothe earned her Ph.D. by writing about how the Visual History Archive and other forms of digitization shape the way we research, write and perceive the history of the Holocaust.

At USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, they expanded a graduate seminar course called “Expelled! Researching the Deportation of Polish Jews from Berlin in 1938.” The course now uses the Visual History Archive to research the fates of specific families who were affected by the Berlin Polenaktion, three days in which 1,500 to 6,000 people of Polish descent were forcefully expelled from Berlin to Poland, foreshadowing the Kristallnacht pogrom against Jews a month later. Bothe also gave a public lecture that explored how users experience and relate to the testimonies in the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive. 

To read more about their course click here.

To learn more about Gertrud Pickhan and Alina Bothe click here.


Harry Reicher, Ph.D.  

Harry ReicherAdjunct Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School

Rutman Fellow in Research and Teaching

Professor Reicher was Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and one of Australia’s leading international law and taxation experts. He also taught for many years at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and the University of Melbourne Law School. He served on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, which oversees the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the museum’s Academic Committee and Committee on Conscience.  

During his residency at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, Professor Reicher combed the Visual History Archive for personal histories that would add an important human dimension to his popular Law and the Holocaust course at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Professor Reicher said he believed it was essential for law students to fully appreciate “the intensely human effects of the legal system on the daily lives of ordinary walking, talking, thinking, feeling human beings, like every single one of us.” By adding the VHA’s intensely moving and intimate testimonies to his course, he said, “the potential for impact and influence is enormous.” Professor Reicher passed away in October 2014, three months after completing his Rutman Fellowship for Research and Teaching. 

To watch his lecture click here and here

To read his blog post click here

To learn more about Harry Reicher click here