As the end of the semester approaches, the Center’s 2017-2018 academic program has come to a close. We concluded a busy year of events with a film screening and several lectures.
We started the month with a co-sponsored lecture and preview of Roberta Grossman’s film on the Oyneg Shabes Archive, Who Will Write Our History? The next day we presented a screening of 500 Years: Life in Resistance, the third installment of director Pamela Yates’ trilogy on indigenous resistance in Guatemala. The screening, which attracted over 100 attendees, was co-sponsored by the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the USC Gould Law School's Center for Law, History and Culture and was followed by a Q&A session with director Pamela Yates and executive producer Paco de Onís.
We bid farewell to our 2018 Shapiro Scholar, Christopher Browning, this month after he delivered a lecture on the Wierzbnik ghetto and the Starachowice factory slave labor camps at Temple Beth Am. We concluded the month’s programming with a lecture by visiting Fulbright scholar Julien Zarifian (University of Cergy-Pontoise, France), which drew an audience of 90 people, including many students, members of the Armenian community and faculty from other universities. His immensely popular talk on the lack of U.S. recognition of the Armenian genocide was co-sponsored by the USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies and the California hub of the Institut des Amériques.
The Center also conducted widescale outreach during April, including a presentation at the 6th Annual Genocide Awareness Week at Scottsdale Community College, a VHA workshop at the University of Pennsylvania and my Yom Hashoah Day lecture at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. We’re looking forward to more travels in the coming months as well as the arrival of our USC summer research fellows and International Teaching Fellows. Stay tuned for next month’s newsletter for an update on what the Center has planned for the summer and fall.
Founding Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research
Professor of History and Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies
500 Years: Life in Resistance Film Screening
The Center for Advanced Genocide Research, the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the USC Gould Law School's Center for Law, History and Culture partnered to present a film screening of Pamela Yates’ newest documentary film, 500 Years, which explores indigenous Mayan resistance to government corruption and genocide denial. 500 Years is the third installment in Yates’ Life in Resistance trilogy. The screening was followed by a Q&A session with director Pamela Yates and executive producer Paco de Onís. Following the event, Yates announced that she plans to give a copy of the footage she collected of the Ríos Montt trial in Guatemala to the USC Shoah Foundation.
Read more about 500 Years here.
"The United States and the Question of the Armenian Genocide"
Julien Zarifian (University of Cergy-Pontoise)
2017-2018 Visiting Fulbright Scholar
In this lecture, Professor Zarifian explored the possible reasons why the United States does not recognize the Armenian genocide today, despite providing humanitarian and political support to the Armenian people in the immediate aftermath of the Armenian genocide of 1915-1916 and during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency. In the lecture, he discussed the possible factors that contributed to this political shift, and the significance of “memory issues” in U.S. political life. Professor Zarifian challenged the notion that geopolitical concerns about the United States’ relationship with Turkey are the only reason for the lack of recognition. This lunchtime lecture was co-sponsored by the Center for Advanced Genocide Research, the USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies, and the California hub of the Institut des Amériques.
Watch the lecture and read a summary here.
2018 Shapiro Scholar Christopher Browning Concludes His Residency
Our 2018 Sara and Asa Shapiro Scholar in Residence Christopher Browning concluded his two-week residency at the beginning of this month. At the end of March, he delivered a public lecture entitled “Holocaust History and Survivor Testimony: The Case of the Starachowice Factory Slave Labor Camps.” The lecture attracted over a hundred audience members, including honored guest Mickey Shapiro, who endowed the Sara and Asa Shapiro Annual Holocaust Testimony Scholar and Lecture Fund in 2015. In the lecture, Professor Browning drew from his research on the Starachowice factory slave labor camps to address academia’s changing attitudes toward survivor testimony and its significance for historiographic research.
Watch the lecture and read a summary of Professor Browning’s presentation here.
During April, the Center conducted outreach within LA and beyond, including VHA workshops and lectures on staff research. On Yom Hashoah Day, founding director Wolf Gruner delivered a lecture about his research on individual resistance during the Holocaust at Cedars Sinai Los Angeles in front of an audience of more than 300 people, including survivors and their families, donors and hospital staff members.
Center staff member Badema Pitic introduced a USC East Asian Studies class to the Visual History Archive. The Center for Advanced Genocide Research and the Education department at the USC Shoah Foundation partnered to offer an Educator Workshop at the 6th Annual Genocide Awareness Week at Scottsdale Community College in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Center's Scholar at Large Emilie Garrigou-Kempton and Amy Marczewski Carnes offered the participants a deep introduction to the Visual History Archive and IWitness and their potential for use in teaching and research. Later in the month, Associate Director Martha Stroud visited the University of Pennsylvania to meet with current Rutman Fellow for Research and Teaching Barbie Zelizer and her class, where she gave students tips and tricks for navigating the Visual History Archive.
The Center has announced the start of a new partnership between the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research and the Fortunoff Video Archive at Yale University, which will allow researchers at both institutions to access each other's extensive Holocaust archives. Read more about the partnership here.
Center Celebrates Four Year Anniversary
On April 25th, staff from the Shoah Foundation celebrated the fourth anniversary of the Center for Advanced Genocide Research with cake and champagne. The Center was founded in April 2014 as the Shoah Foundation was commemorating its 20th anniversary, with the goal of promoting innovative and interdisciplinary research on genocide.
51 academic disciplines represented by CAGR fellows, guest speakers, conference presenters, and visiting scholars
34 institutional partners with whom CAGR has cooperated in co-organizing or co-sponsoring our events or theirs
33 VHA workshops
23 research fellows
23 countries represented by CAGR fellows, guest speakers, conference presenters, and visiting scholars
22 guest speakers
18 cosponsored events
11 teaching fellows
11 Interdisciplinary Research Week scholars
10 film screenings
6 visiting scholars in residence
4 Shapiro Scholars in Residence
4 international conferences with 88 conference presenters total
2 international graduate student workshops with 20 students total