Survivor Activism in the Aftermath of Historical Genocides and Contemporary Mass Shootings

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 4:00pm

Social Sciences Building (SOS), Room 250

3502 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

A public lecture by Anna Lee (USC undergraduate, English major, Spanish and TESOL minor)
2019 Beth and Arthur Lev Student Research Fellow 

Deaths by guns is not unique anymore in American contemporary culture. And mass executions by guns were prevalent during the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide. In America today, mass shootings, particularly in schools, have caused devastation.

As the 2019 Beth and Arthur Lev Student Research Fellow, Anna Lee spent a month this past summer in residence at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. She explored the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive testimonies of survivors of the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide. She comparatively analyzed genocide survivors' descriptions of gun violence with accounts from survivors of the Columbine and Parkland school shootings. In this lecture, she discusses the commonalities she discovered in narratives that span decades and continents, as survivors talk about the trauma inflicted on them and the intrusion and violation of safe, protected spaces. She examines the diverse forms of activism described by these survivors and the ways they have employed activism to come to terms with and heal from their traumatic experiences. Finally, she reflects on the different forms of survivor narratives and how those forms relate to activism.


Anna Lee is a senior at USC, majoring in English and minoring in Spanish and TESOL. She spent the past summer at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, researching the correlation between mass executions in historical genocides and mass school shootings in America, and the role activism plays in healing the trauma. She is also an intern at Kaya Press and a writer for the Daily Trojan.






Refreshments will be served.

To RSVP, please email




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