It’s the end of another exciting and eventful year with lectures, conferences, visiting researchers, fellows, and international outreach. In this newsletter, we review this year’s highlights and accomplishments, providing links to articles and videos that will allow you to read and see more about the Center’s successful work in 2016.

We're already looking forward with excitement to the new year, which will bring the residencies of several fellows, including the Center's inaugural Katz Research Fellow in Genocide Studies and the Greenberg Research Fellow, who will be giving talks in February and March. Our Center Research Fellow will also be arriving in the Spring. And we have already begun planning for our next conference, focused on digital approaches to genocide studies, which will be held in October of 2017. (See below for more info.)

We’ve had a year of tremendous growth at the Center this year. We welcomed two new staff members, Emilie Garrigou-Kempton in the Spring and SJ Crasnow in the Fall. Much of our work this year went into the overhaul of the Visual History Archive that will get a new interface for scholars and offer improved functionality.

The global and national developments of 2016 reinforce the importance of the academic work we are doing at the Center. We appreciate your continued interest in and support for the Center’s expanding programs and activities. We hope you are enjoying happy holidays, and wish you a peaceful new year!

Wolf Gruner

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

Recent Events

Center presents its work at the Ambassadors for Humanity Gala

On December 8th, USC School of Cinematic Arts alum and patron George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson were honored with the USC Shoah Foundation - Institute for Visual History and Education’s 2016 Ambassador for Humanity Award for their dynamic and innovative humanitarian efforts and their longtime support of USC Shoah Foundation. At the gala, we introduced the work of the Center to the honorees and other invited guests. Recent Center research fellows Nisha Kale and Erin Mizrahi
joined us and were on hand to discuss their Center-supported research with the guests.

Read more here.

Left to right: Stephen Smith, Shefali Deshpande,
Wolf Gruner, Emilie Garrigou-Kempton, George Lucas, and Mellody Hobson








Left to right: Nisha Kale, Wolf Gruner, Emilie Garrigou-Kempton, Erin Mizrahi, and Shefali Deshpande






"Witnessing, Rembering, and Writing the Holocaust"

A lecture by Liliane Weissberg, 2015-2016 Rutman Research and Teaching Fellow at University of Pennsylvania

On December 6th, the Center hosted a lecture at University of Pennsylvania by the 2015-2016 Rutman Research and Teaching Fellow Liliane Weissberg. This fellowship provides annual support for a member of the University of Pennsylvania faculty to integrate testimonies from the Visual History Archive into a new or existing course. Each selected fellow visits the USC Shoah Foundation for a week for research assistance and in-depth consultation with staff. Professor Weissberg visited the Shoah
Foundation last summer. Her undergraduate course in Spring 2016 was entitled “Witnessing, Remembering, and Writing the Holocaust” and was cross-listed in the German, Art History, Comparative Literature, English, Jewish Studies, and Psychoanalytic Studies departments. In the course, students investigated how survivors’ memories are translated into testimonies, fiction, art, music, architecture, and other forms. In her lecture at Penn, Professor Weissberg shared insights about her experience creating and teaching the course and using testimonies in the classroom. She especially drew on her personal experiences as the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and the partnership between Penn and the USC Shoah Foundation. Lori Rutman Fife, who endowed this research and teaching fellowship in memory of her parents Sherry and Henry Rutman, was a special guest at this public lecture.

Read more about Professor Weissberg

Read about her visit to the USC Shoah Foundation


Call for Applications - Center Postdoctoral Research Fellowship - Deadline extended to Feb. 15th, 2017

The Center Postdoctoral Research Fellowship will be awarded to an outstanding postdoctoral scholar from any discipline who will advance digital genocide research through the use of the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive (VHA). The Center welcomes proposals from researchers who use innovative digital methodologies to approach the testimonies of the Visual
History Archive.

For more details, click here

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

Our Year in Review

Conferences in 2016


"A Conflict? Genocide and Resistance in Guatemala," September 11-14, 2016

The first international conference about the Guatemalan genocide, this interdisciplinary conference brought together a group of international scholars from disciplines as diverse as International Relations, Anthropology, History, Literary, Latin American and Women’s Studies, and attracted an audience of over 100 people to its academic panels and cultural events.

Read a summary of the conference here

Watch videos of the conference sessions here

Lectures in 2016

Holocaust Geographies Collaborative 
(US and UK)
"Placing Testimony"
Read more here.


Alina Bothe (Berlin) 
"Meeting Survivors Online'"
Read more here.




Atina Grossmann 
(Cooper Union, New York)
“Remapping Survival”
Read more here.


Benjamin Madley (UCLA) 
"An American Genocide"
Read more here.




Dan Stone 
"Concentration Camps: A Global History"
Read more here.



Verena Buser, Andrea Rudorff 
Sari Siegel (USC)
"Reconceptualizing Nazi Camps"
Read more here.

International Research Fellows in Residence in 2016


Kiril Feferman (Israel/Russia)
2015-2016 Center Research Fellow
Read more here.





Julia Werner (Berlin)
2015-2016 Greenberg Research Fellow
(Pictured with Wolf Gruner, Margee and Douglas Greenberg)
Read more here.


Paula Cuellar Cuellar (University of Minnesota)
2016-2017 Center Graduate Research Fellow
Read more here.





USC Summer Research Fellows in Residence 2016

Erin Mizrahi
Graduate Research Fellow
Read more here





Beatrice Mousli Bennett
Faculty Research Fellow
Read more here.





Lacey Schauwecker
Graduate Research Fellow
Read more here.




Piotr Florczyk
Graduate Research Fellow
(Honorable Mention)
Read more here.




Nisha Kale
DEFY Undergraduate Research Fellow
Read more here.





Teaching Fellows in 2016

Mélanie Péron (University of Pennsylvania)
2016-2017 Rutman Research and Teaching Fellow
Read more here.




Visiting Researchers in 2016




Holocaust Geographies Collaborative
(US and UK)
January 2016
Read more here.




Holocaust Geographies Collaborative November 2016
Read more here.





Stefanie Kundakjian (France) Read more here





Anna Holian (Arizona State University) Read more here.






Therkel Straede (Denmark) Read more here.






Jan Lanicek (Australia) Read more here.





Outreach in 2016

The Center conducted outreach far and wide this year through in-depth Visual History Archive demonstrations and workshops in France, Israel, England, New York, Texas, locally in Southern California, and at the Center itself. In addition, the Center hosted exhibits at the Lessons and Legacies Holocaust conference and the Association for Jewish Studies conference to introduce scholars to the Visual History Archive and answer research questions. At these demonstrations, workshops, and conferences, members of the Center staff have supported scholars in discovering the wealth of material in the Visual History Archive and its relevance and power for scholars’ research and teaching across disciplines. 

In addition to the Visual History Archive demonstrations and workshops at many academic institutions this year, Center director Wolf Gruner traveled widely to discuss his research on Jewish defiance and resistance. He gave lectures in Royal Holloway London, Cornell University and University of Texas/Austin  and presented at conferences in the United States, Germany and Israel. His research provides a powerful case study of how survivor video testimonies can complement or challenge other sources, widening our field of view, and bringing new perspectives into our understanding of historical events. 

The Center co-sponsored many events on the USC campus with partners this year, including the USC School for Cinematic Arts, the Institute for Armenian Studies, and the USC Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies. Both the USC Latino Alumni Association and the USC School of International Relations co-sponsored the Center’s conference on the Guatemalan genocide. This institutional cooperation strengthens and expands the Center’s connections, and there are already more, new, and exciting collaborations planned for the new year.

Upcoming Events

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

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

May 8th, 2017: Save the date for a lecture by Shapiro Scholar Professor Omer Bartov (Brown).  

October 23-24, 2017: International Conference: Digital Approaches to Genocide Studies Conference - University of Southern California.