Center Newsletters

November 2016 CAGR Newsletter

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 10:42am -- martha.stroud

This month, the Center for Advanced Genocide Research continued to support groundbreaking interdisciplinary research and to hold exciting events and lectures on the USC campus.


As the co-chair of the 14th biennial Lessons and Legacies Conference on Holocaust Studies along with Hilary Earl of Nipissing University, I had the privilege to welcome some of the world’s foremost Holocaust scholars to Southern California. Organized by the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University and hosted by Claremont McKenna College, this unique event brought together 250 of the world’s leading Holocaust scholars and graduate students and showcased exciting new research from various disciplines. It was particularly inspiring to see that this year many of the conference papers referenced the Visual History Archive, establishing the VHA as a truly essential resource for Holocaust scholars worldwide. During the four days of the conference, the Center hosted an exhibition, where our staff introduced conference participants to our program and fellowships as well as the research use of the video testimonies of the Visual History Archive. (For more information see below.)


Following Lessons and Legacies, we welcomed at the Center once again Tim Cole, Alberto Giordano, Paul Jaskot, and Anne Knowles, the Holocaust Geographies Collaborative. We also hosted Therkel Straede and Jan Lanicek, two participants of the Lessons and Legacies Conference who visited the USC Shoah Foundation in order to conduct research with the testimonies of the Visual History Archive. (See below.)


Finally, this month I published the book Die Judenverfolgung im Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren. Lokale Initiativen, zentrale Entscheidungen, jüdische Antworten 1939-1945 (The Persecution of the Jews in the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia. Local Initiatives, Central Decisions and Jewish Responses) with Wallstein in Germany. I was also invited to give a paper on “Nazi Anti-Jewish policies between 1933-1939” at the international conference “From Euthanasia to the Holocaust: Parallels or Causalities?” that took place 24 - 26 November 2016 at the Fritz Bauer Institut on the History and the Impact of the Holocaust (Goethe-University) in Frankfurt, and at the Memorial Euthanasia Center Hadamar in Germany, organized jointly by both institutions.

Wolf Gruner

Founding Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research
Professor of History and Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies

Events

“Reconceptualizing Nazi Camps: Changing Categories, Shifting Purposes, and Evolving Contexts” 

At this public panel three international scholars presented about the evolution of Nazi camps, illuminating different types of camps and how the functions and purposes of camps changed, often serving multiple functions as external and internal conditions changed over time. In her lecture, Verena Buser (Alice Salomon University, Berlin) discussed non-Zionist training sites that focused on “Hachshara” - i.e. the practical preparation of immigrants to enter Palestine that turned later into forced labor camps. Andrea Rudorff (Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Germany) presented on a forced labor camp system for Polish Jews in the Silesia and Sudeten regions under the SS-Schmelt Organization. Finally, Sari Siegel (University of Southern California) focused on the role of prisoner-physicians at the intersection of Auschwitz-Birkenau's camps three functions: death camp, labor camp, and transit camp.

Watch the lectures and read the summary here.

DEFY Film Screening: Rwanda and Juliet

DEFY, the USC Shoah Foundation Student organization, held its first event of the academic year this month with a screening of the documentary film Rwanda and Juliet. The film follows a retired Dartmouth professor as he travels to Rwanda to stage a reconciliatory production of Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet." The screening was held at USC Hillel Foundation and followed by a Q&A with director and producer Ben Proudfoot.  

Research

Therkel Straede 

Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Southern Denmark, Therkel Straede, visited the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. Straede worked with testimonies from the Visual History Archive as part of his research on one of the most gruesome and taboo aspects of the Holocaust: cannibalism in the Nazi concentration camps. Straede has found over 500 discussions of cannibalism in the Visual History Archive in a range of languages. From these testimonies, he has learned that there were actually very few instances of cannibalism, despite the myth that it was rampant throughout the concentration camps. The Danish professor also noted that survivors often stereotype those who engaged in cannibalism as “other.” Straede’s work benefits from the use of testimony from the archive, which provides a more complete picture of what happened.

Read more about Professor Straede here

Jan Lanicek 

Jan Lanicek is lecturer in Jewish history and Modern European history at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Lanicek’s research spans two topics - the death marches and death trains crossing Czechoslovakia in the spring of 1945, and Czech police forces in the Theresienstadt ghetto. For the study of the latter, he has relied more on eyewitness testimony. His research analyzes how police forces in the ghetto and other similar places in the protectorate treated prisoners during the war. Lanicek hopes his research will spark discussion about the Holocaust in the Czech Republic, where he feels the acknowledgement of the often criminal cooperation of Czech officials hasn’t been sufficient. Beyond research, he also finds immense value in the recorded testimonies for their ability to help students move beyond printed books and articles and reach the human in the stories he teaches.

Read more about Jan Lanicek here.

Holocaust Geographies Collaborative Makes A Return Visit to the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research 

After the Lessons and Legacies conference, Tim Cole, Alberto Giordano, Paul Jaskot, and Anne Knowles, members of the Holocaust Geographies Collaborative came back to the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research for two days to work together, present their continuing research that they shared at the conference, meet with Center staff, and plan next steps in their collaborative project. For this visit, they were joined by Paul Rayson, Director of the Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language at Lancaster University (UK), Erik Steiner, Creative Director of the Spatial History Project at Stanford University and Maël Le Noc, a PhD student in Geography at Texas State University.


Read more about their most recent research here.

Outreach

Center staff attends 14th Lessons and Legacies Conference

The 14th biennial Lessons and Legacies Conference on Holocaust studies organized by the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University and hosted by Claremont McKenna College was entitled “The Holocaust in the 21st Century: Relevance and Challenges in the Digital Age.” Center staff Martha Stroud and Emilie Garrigou-Kempton hosted an exhibit throughout the conference allowing scholars to drop by at any time and learn more about the Visual History Archive, the Center, or ask specific questions about their research. Before and after the conference, two dozen conference participants attended two workshops at the USC Shoah Foundation offices in order to learn how they can use the Visual History Archive in their research. 


The half-daylong workshops were hosted by Wolf Gruner, Crispin Brooks, Emilie Garrigou-Kempton and Martha Stroud. The participants received an introduction of the USC Shoah Foundation, the Center and the Visual History Archive, before they were taught how to conduct research with the survivor testimonies that are cataloged by the minute. After this extensive introduction with Q&A, each participant started to engage with the search engine of the Visual history archive for their individual research under the guidance of the center staff and the curator of the archive, Crispin Brooks.

Upcoming Events

December 6, 2016

Liliane Weissberg’s lecture “Witnessing, Remembering, and Writing the Holocaust,” at the University of Pennsylvania.


February 9, 2017: Save the date for a lecture by our upcoming Katz fellow Teresa Walch.


February 21, 2017: Save the date for a lecture by University of Toronto Professor Lee Ann Fujii.  

Opportunities

Call for Papers - International Conference: “Digital Approaches to Genocide Studies,” Due January 15, 2017

The USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research invites proposals for its 2017 International Conference “Digital Approaches to Genocide Studies” that will be co-sponsored by the USC Mellon Digital Humanities Program. The conference will be held on October 23-24, 2017, at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

For more details, click here.

Genocide Prevention Research Fellowship for PhD Candidates: Due December 15, 2016

This fellowship will be awarded to an advanced-standing Ph.D. candidate from any discipline who will spend one month of residence at the Center in the Spring of 2017 to advance research on genocide prevention through the use of the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive and other USC resources.

For more details, click here

Greenberg Research Fellowship: Due December 15, 2016

This monthlong fellowship during the 2017-2018 academic year will be awarded to an outstanding advanced-standing Ph.D. candidate from any discipline for dissertation research with innovative approaches focusing on testimony from the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive and other USC resources.

For more details, click here

Katz Research Fellowship in Genocide Studies: Due December 15, 2016

This monthlong fellowship during the 2017-2018 academic year will be awarded to an outstanding advanced-standing Ph.D. candidate from any discipline for dissertation research with innovative approaches focusing on testimony from the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive and other USC resources.

Fore more details, click here

Inaugural Breslauer, Rutman, and Anderson Research Fellowship: Due December 15, 2016

This monthlong fellowship during the 2017-2018 academic year will be awarded to an outstanding advanced-standing Ph.D. candidate from any discipline for dissertation research with innovative approaches focusing on testimony from the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive and other USC resources.

For more details, click here

Center Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: Due December 15, 2016

This fellowship for the 2017-2018 academic year will be awarded to a postdoctoral scholar from any discipline who will advance digital genocide research through the use of the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive (VHA). Proposals should emphasize the use of innovative digital methodologies to approach the testimonies of the Visual History Archive.

For more details, click here

Donate to Special Collections

Please consider donating private papers, documents, photographs or films regarding the Holocaust and other genocides. The Center works with USC Libraries Special Collections to preserve private collections and make them accessible for academic research worldwide and student investigation at USC.

To find out more about donating materials, email us as cagr@usc.edu or call 213-740-6001.

For more information about the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research and its work, please visit our website at: cagr.usc.edu

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