As the semester kicked off, we at the Center bade farewell to our summer fellows and began welcoming the first of our fall-term fellows.
Founding Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research
Professor of History and Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies
International Conference “New Perspectives on Kristallnacht: After 80 Years, the Nazi Pogrom in Global Comparison”
We are looking forward to our 2018 international conference, “New Perspectives on Kristallnacht: After 80 Years, the Nazi Pogrom in Global Comparison,” which will be held November 5-7, 2018 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and Villa Aurora in Pacific Palisades. The conference is co-organized by the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research and the USC Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life. The conference is presented in cooperation with the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D.C. and the Center for Research on Antisemitism at the Technical University Berlin, Germany. Scholars from across the United States, Germany, Israel and the United Kingdom will convene at the conference representing a wide variety of disciplines, including history, political science, Jewish studies, French and literature.
To read the program and to learn more about the distinguished speakers, visit the conference website here.
Conference registration is now open. Click here to register.
2018-2019 International Teaching Fellow Ildikó Barna spends a week in the Visual History Archive
lldikó Barna, Associate Professor of Sociology and Program Director of the Ethnic and Minority Policy MA Program at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest, Hungary, visited the Center for a week in order to develop curriculum for her fall-term course “Racism, Antisemitism and Hate Speech.”
During her time at the Center, Professor Barna conducted in-depth research in the Visual History Archive and consulted with Center staff about ways in which to incorporate VHA material into her upcoming course. She also spent time in the VHA conducting her own research on the experience of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust. She concluded her week at the Center with a presentation to the Institute staff.
Read more about Professor Barna here.
2018-2019 Center Research Fellow Jean-Marc Dreyfus (University of Manchester) begins his residency
Jean-Marc Dreyfus, PhD, Reader in Holocaust Studies in the History department at the University of Manchester (United Kingdom) and 2018-2019 Center Research Fellow, arrived at the Center for his semester-long residency in mid-August.
Professor Dreyfus is former director of the European Research Council’s Corpses of Mass Genocide and Violence Program and a renowned scholar who has been awarded numerous fellowships at institutions including the Harvard University Center for European Studies, the Centre Marc-Bloch in Berlin, the Yad Vashem Center for International Holocaust Studies, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is the author of seven monographs and two co-edited volumes, including Human Remains and Mass Violence: Methodological Approaches (2017) and Dictionary of the Holocaust (2009). He has appeared on numerous television programs and his work has been published by the Brookings Institute, The European Review of History, Le Monde and others.
During his time at the Center, Professor Dreyfus will conduct research in the Visual History Archive for his research project on the treatment of corpses and human remains during the Holocaust. He aims to learn how corpses and human remains from the Holocaust were thought of and spoken about by survivors and will research questions concerning the treatment of corpses during the Holocaust, such as the existence of rituals in the transfer of human remains and the role of status in their treatment. With his research he hopes to broaden our understanding of the aftermath of genocide and add to the burgeoning field of Holocaust forensics.
He will deliver a public lecture about the research conducted during his residency on November 13, 2018.
Read more about Professor Dreyfus here.
Center welcomes Center Graduate Research Fellow Honorable Mention Sanna Stegmaier (King’s College, London and Humboldt University, Berlin)
Sanna Stegmaier, a second-year joint PhD student in German Studies and Cultural Studies at King’s College, London and Humboldt University, Berlin and a 2018-2019 Center Graduate Research Fellow Honorable Mention arrived at the Center for her two-week residency.
Sanna is investigating how contemporary witness projects such as Dimensions in Testimony, which she calls posttestimony, constitute original, self-reflective forms of engagement that pose new ethical questions for the field of memory studies and Holocaust education. During her time at the Institute, she has been conducting interviews with staff from the Dimensions in Testimony project, the Media department and the Center for Advanced Genocide Research and Institute managers and staff in order to gain insight into the development of and production process of Dimensions in Testimony, the interactive survivor testimony project.
Read more about Sanna here.
Beth & Arthur Lev Student Research Fellow Virginia Bullington concludes her residency
Virginia Bullington, an undergraduate student in American Studies and Narrative Studies at USC and the 2018 Beth and Arthur Lev Student Research Fellow, concluded her month-long residency at the Center with a lunchtime lecture to the staff.
Virginia spent a month in the VHA researching how the way in which sexual violence is discussed in testimony reflects concepts of gender within societies post-conflict. She consulted survivor testimonies from the Armenian, Rwandan and Guatemalan collections in the Visual History Archive in order to study cultural differences in how survivors of sexual violence, and their communities, speak about the role and impact of sexual violence during genocide.
She will present the results of her research to the campus community in a public lecture later this academic year.
Read more about Virginia here.
Visiting scholar Anne-Berenike Rothstein arrives for two weeks at the Center
Anne-Berenike Rothstein, a researcher in the Department of Romance Literature and Comparative Literature and an Academic Counselor at the University of Konstanz, Germany, arrived at the Center at the end of August to begin her two-week residency.
During her time at the Center, Dr. Rothstein will conduct further research on a project re-conceptualizing and digitizing a guided visitor tour for a satellite camp of Dachau. She will consult with staff from the Center, the Dimensions in Testimony team and the Media department.
Read more about Dr. Rothstein here.
This month, Center staff hosted introductions to the Visual History Archive for visitors, research fellows and the USC undergraduate class International Relations 437: Comparative Genocide. We also welcomed visitors from ProQuest for a day of collaborative discussion about the Visual History Archive.
This month, Center Director Wolf Gruner will travel to Berlin to present at two events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Evian Conference in July 1938 and the deportation of thousands of former Polish Jews from Berlin in October . The Center will also welcome students from Professor Gruner’s undergraduate research seminar Mass Violence and Comparative Genocide in Modern World History for an introduction to the Visual History Archive.
September 27, 2018 at 12pm (Location TBA)
Public lecture by 2018-2019 Breslauer, Rutman & Anderson Research Fellow Kimberly Cheng (NYU): "American Dreams: Jewish Refugees and Chinese Locals in Post-World War II Shanghai"
October 4, 2018 at 4pm (Location TBA)
Public lecture by Geoffrey Robinson (UCLA): “The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66”
October 16-18, 2018 at USC
November 5-7, 2018 at USC
November 13, 2018 (Location TBA)
Public lecture by 2018-2019 Center Research Fellow Jean-Marc Dreyfus (University of Manchester
(As part of our Librarian’s Corner Series, we hope to introduce librarians and researchers elsewhere to the wealth and breadth of our Visual History Archive collections. In this issue of our newsletter, we focus on the Contemporary Antisemitism collection.)
The Contemporary Antisemitism collection is part of the USC Shoah Foundation’s Countering Antisemitism Through Testimony project, which was initiated in 2013 as a response to the rise of antisemitism in the world, most immediately manifesting in a series of attacks on individual Jews and Jewish public property. One such attack on a Jewish synagogue in Copenhagen, Denmark, prompted the recording of the first group of interviews that were added to this collection in 2015. (To learn more, click here.)
Since 2013, 61 interviews have been recorded for the Contemporary Antisemitism collection. The interviews were collected in seven countries, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Sweden, United States, and United Kingdom. Of these 61 interviews, 42 have been fully integrated into the Visual History Archive, the latest 27 of which were released as recently as August 25, 2018. The collection includes interviews with survivors and witnesses of anti-Semitic attacks, but also scholars and experts in the fields of Holocaust and genocide studies. To learn more, click here.
One of the experts interviewed in France is Jean-Marc Dreyfus, a Reader in Holocaust Studies in the History Department of the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. Professor Dreyfus is currently in residence at the Center for Advanced Genocide Research as the 2018-2019 Center Research Fellow. While reflecting on his experience being interviewed for the collection, Professor Dreyfus noted that he accepted the invitation for an interview because of the importance of public discussion about the rise of antisemitism. He recalls how, in the light of terror attacks on a Jewish school and a kosher market in France, he and a group of other French intellectuals realized the urgency of speaking about and against antisemitism. Giving testimony for the Contemporary Antisemitism collection is one of the ways he hopes to do so.
All the testimonies housed in the Contemporary Antisemitism genocide collection have been digitized, and 42 of them are indexed (including 2 Danish, 18 English, and 21 French testimonies). To explore the entire collection, visit http://vha.usc.edu/search. All 42 testimonies from the collection are also available in VHAOnline.
Call for Papers
2020 Interdisciplinary Research Week
The USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research invites proposals for its 2019-2020 Interdisciplinary Research Week that will provide support for an interdisciplinary group of international scholars to develop and discuss a collaborative innovative research project in the field of Holocaust and Genocide Studies using the video testimonies of the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive (VHA) and other related resources at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Each year, the Center hosts an interdisciplinary team of scholars from different universities and countries and/or continents for one week so that they can meet in person and work together intensively to address a particular challenge within the field of genocide studies and start creating or keep advancing a cooperative research project. The week spent at the Center allows researchers to prepare the groundwork for future cooperative research grant applications.
The Center for Advanced Genocide Research will cover travel costs and accommodation for a team of five or six scholars for up to seven days and will provide them with expert staff assistance for their research as well as a dedicated workspace at the USC Shoah Foundation during the stay.
Deadline for applications is November 15, 2018. To view the call for applications and learn more, click here.
Memory through the Screen: Polish Cinema and WWII
International conference at the University of Southern California, October 18-19, 2018
The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Southern California is pleased to announce its third annual film conference this fall. This year’s conference, which is co-sponsored by the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, will highlight cinema concerning World War II and the Holocaust. While a big part of the conference will concern Polish cinema, conference organizers welcome papers about the representation of War and Holocaust in other cinematic traditions as well.
What do we witness when we watch cinema on the Holocaust? Cinema offers a unique archive of war memory, and Polish Cinema especially as six million of Poland’s population perished in WWII. Of the six million lost, three million were Jews, which constituted ninety percent of Polish Jewry. This two-day event will explore how the stories of these lost voices have been —and can be — told in film. As scholars have noted, the memory of WWII depicted in Polish cinema is layered, perhaps even split between the memory of the Poles and the memory of the Jews. Polish cinema captures and transmits this double memory, which complicates the notion of a collective memory.
For more information on the conference and the application process, click here.