Institute News

Center for Advanced Genocide Research Staff Visit American University of Paris

USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research staff took their first trip to the American University of Paris (AUP) last month, the first visit since a partnership between the two organizations was announced.

AUP’s George and Irena Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention now has full access to the Visual History Archive. To help the university get started in using this resource, Wolf Gruner, director of the CAGR, and Emilie Garrigou-Kempton, the Center’s academic relations and outreach officer, traveled to Paris to meet with local scholars and university leaders.

The main event was the duo’s workshop for the AUP faculty on using the Visual History Archive. The workshop served as a guide to the technical nuances of the site and search engine while also highlighting how the archive can be used to shift scholarly thought. Gruner said the attendees, a mix of faculty and students, were excited about the opportunities they now have to use the archive in their teaching and research. After the workshop, Gruner gave a lecture on his current research about Jewish resistance to Nazi persecution.

The following morning, Garrigou-Kempton led a second workshop directed not just toward those affiliated with the university but the entire French community of Holocaust and genocide scholars that was attended by representatives of prominent research centers in France. This workshop focused on the value that having full access to the Visual History Archive can add. Gruner said the audience, which also included Ph.D. students, was enthusiastic about what Garrigou-Kempton had to say.

In addition to these sessions, Gruner and Garrigou-Kempton also had a variety of meetings with everyone from the president of the university to the president of the USC Alumni Club in Paris about furthering USC Shoah Foundation’s mission in the area.

Garrigou-Kempton met with Judith Lindenberg, a scholar at the center for Research on Racism and Anti-Semitism at Paris VIII University as well as with Emmanuel Debono, USC Shoah Foundation regional consultant in France.

The two also met with Marie Regan, a professor of film studies at AUP, on using testimony in university classrooms; Celeste Schenk, AUP president, on future partnerships between the Center for Advanced Genocide Research and AUP; Karel Fracapane, senior officer at the Education Sector of UNESCO; and Leslie Nelson-Cressy, president of the USC Alumni Club in Paris about advertising future events USC Shoah Foundation and AUP offered in the area.

Gruner and Garrigou-Kempton had many meetings with Brian Schiff, director of the AUP’s Center who served as their main liaison for the visit.

Though this was the Institute’s first major visit, it won’t be the last. USC Shoah Foundation Director Stephen Smith will be making the journey to Paris in the fall.