Center Newsletters

December 2018 Newsletter

Sat, 12/22/2018 - 12:00am -- Isabella

The Center wrapped up a busy year of cutting-edge programs and activities in December.

My travels brought me to Washington, DC for a meeting of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and some research in their archive on the destruction of Jewish homes during Kristallnacht, which will be included in our conference volume. At the annual Association for Jewish Studies conference in Boston, associate director Martha Stroud and our 2018-2019 Center Postdoctoral Research Fellow Gabor Toth participated in the roundtable session "Unlocking Holocaust Testimony: Scholarship, Teaching, and Public History in the Digital Age". 

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 important work in 2018.

We are already looking forward to 2019 with great anticipation. January will bring the arrival of our first Spring semester fellow Lukas Meissel, the 2018-2019 Greenberg Research Fellow, and we have exciting announcements in store about our next Sara and Asa Shapiro Scholar in Residence and our next cohort of PhD candidate fellows for the 2019-2020 academic year.

We express our thanks for your ongoing support during the last year. We hope you are enjoying a happy holiday season and wish you a peaceful, productive, and happy new year 2019!

Wolf Gruner

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

 Research 

2018-2019 Center Research Fellow Jean-Marc Dreyfus (University of Manchester) concludes his residency

This month, Jean-Marc Dreyfus, reader in Holocaust studies at the University of Manchester, concluded his semester-long residency at the Center. He presented the results of his research in the Visual History Archive last month in a public lecture entitled “Corpses of the Holocaust.” He explored how Holocaust survivors and liberators discuss corpses and exhumations in 63 testimonies in the Visual History Archive.

Read more about Professor Dreyfus here.

Watch a video of his lecture and read a summary here.

Outreach

 This month, Center Director Wolf Gruner participated at the meeting for members of the Academic Committee of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, where members discussed strategic academic plans as well as recent developments in Poland affecting research and academic freedom. He extended his stay beyond the meeting to meet with colleagues and staff of the USHMM Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. He also met with a staff member of the Smithsonian Museum who works on repatriation of indigenous remains, in preparation for the Center's planned Fall 2020 conference “Mass Violence and Its Lasting Legacy for Indigenous Communities". Professor Gruner also used the time to undertake research on two subjects in the vast collections of the USHMM archive: the overlooked destruction of Jewish homes during Kristallnacht in 1938 and individual Jewish resistance.

At the annual Association for Jewish Studies conference held in Boston, Massachusetts this month, the Center’s Senior Research Officer Martha Stroud and Center Postdoctoral Research Fellow Gabor Toth participated in the roundtable session "Unlocking Holocaust Testimony: Scholarship, Teaching, and Public History in the Digital Age". The roundtable participants discussed research projects and digital initiatives related to Holocaust testimonies from the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive and the Fortunoff Video Archive at Yale University. In their discussion, panelists explored how digital tools are transforming perceptions and uses of Holocaust testimonies as historical sources, enriching traditional scholarship and teaching, and how some projects are facilitating broader public engagement with testimony. Dr. Stroud also hosted a booth to introduce conference attendees to the VHA, which is an indispensable resource for researching and teaching the global Jewish history of the 20th century. She showed testimonies, answered questions, and helped scholars with research questions, providing tips and tricks on successfully navigating the archive.

Opportunities

Call for Papers

USC-Yale Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

The Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University Libraries and the University of Southern California Libraries Collections Convergence Initiative invite applications from postdoctoral scholars for their 2019-2020 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. The fellowship will be awarded to an outstanding postdoctoral scholar from any discipline who will advance genocide research through the comparative analysis of testimonies by Holocaust survivors who gave interviews to both the Fortunoff Video Archive and the USC Shoah Foundation. There are over 1,000 survivors who gave interviews to both archives. (Potential comparisons include not only the content of the testimonies, but also the interview process, methodology, etc.) The recipient will be expected to split the time of the residency between Yale and USC. The fellowship offers a salary of $50,000, medical benefits, as well as a fixed amount for moving expenses between New Haven and Los Angeles. The chosen fellow will be expected to provide each institution with fresh research perspectives and to play a role in each institution’s activities. To conclude the fellowship period, during Spring 2020, the fellow will have the opportunity to present their research at an event that will be organized in partnership between the two institutions 

Deadline for applications is February 28, 2019.

For more details, click here


2019-2020 Center Junior Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

The USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research invites applications from postdoctoral scholars for its 2019-2020 Center Junior Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. The fellowship offers an annual salary of $70,000, plus fringe benefits and will be awarded to an outstanding junior postdoctoral scholar from any discipline who will advance genocide research through the use of the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive and other USC resources. The chosen fellow will teach one course during the fellowship period in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences and will be expected to provide the Center with fresh research perspectives, to play a role in Center activities, and to give a public lecture during his or her stay.

Deadline for applications is February 28, 2019.

For more details, click here

Our Year in Review 

Conferences in 2018 

"New Perspectives on Kristallnacht: After 80 Years, the Nazi Pogrom in Global Comparison," November 5-7, 2018

The Center’s 2018 international conference was held November 5-7, 2018 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and Villa Aurora in Pacific Palisades. The conference convened 22 scholars from five countries (the United States, Germany, Israel, Canada, and the United Kingdom). The scholars represented various academic disciplines, including history, literature, philosophy and religion, film and cultural studies, French, political science, and Jewish studies.

Read a summary of the conference here

Watch videos of the conference sessions here.

Lectures and Screenings in 2018 

In addition to the public lectures given by each of our research fellows, the Center organized lectures by these scholars in 2018. 

Pamela Yates
500 Years film screening and Q&A.
Read more here

Philippe Sands 
(University College London)
"Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity under International Law: A Personal Story"
Read more here

Jennie Burnet
(Georgia State University)
"Good Amidst Evil: Rescue During the Rwandan Genocide"
Read more here

Geoffrey Robinson (UCLA)
"The Killing Season: 
A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66"
Read more here

International Research Fellows in Residence in 2018 

Dianne Marie Amann 
(Leiden University)
2017-2018 Breslauer, Rutman & Anderson Fellow
Read more here

Kathryn Brackney 
(Yale University)
2017-2018 Katz Research Fellow in Genocide Studies
Read more here

Christopher Browning (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
2018 Sara and Asa Shapiro Scholar in Residence
Read more here

Kimberly Cheng 
(New York University)
2018-2019 Breslauer, Rutman & Anderson Research Fellow
Read more here

Jean-Marc Dreyfus 
(University of Manchester)
2018-2019 Center Research Fellow 
Read more here

Sanna Stegmaier 
(King's College, London and Humboldt University, Berlin)
2018-2019 Center Graduate Research Fellow
Read more here

Gabor Toth
(University of Oxford)
2018-2019 Center Postdoctoral Research Scholar 
Read more here.

USC Summer Research Fellows in Residence in 2018 

Virginia Bullington 
(USC undergraduate student)
2018 Beth and Arthur Lev 
Summer Research Fellow
Read more here

Teaching Fellows in 2018

Ildiko Barna 
(Eotvos Lorand University, Hungary)
2018-2019 International Teaching Fellow
Read more here

Karen Painter 
(University of Minnesota)
2018-2019 International Teaching Fellow
Read more here

Visiting Scholars in 2018

Julien Zarifian
(University of Cergy-Pontoise, France)
2017-2018 Visiting Fulbright Scholar
Read more here

Gregory Kleinman
(undergraduate student, Occidental College)
Read more here

Lindsay Klickstein 
(undergraduate student, Williams College)
Read more here.

Aria Razfar
(University of Illinois at Chicago)
Read more here.

Anne-Berenike Rothstein (University of Konstanz, Germany)
Read more here

Research in 2018

In addition to the research the Center has fostered through its programs, activities, conference, visiting scholars and fellows in 2018, which you can read about above, the Center is collaborating with a USC faculty member to pursue its first original research project. USC Psychology professor Beth Meyerowitz and Center Associate Director Martha Stroud are collaborating on a research project investigating the impacts of engaging with testimony from survivors of genocide and mass violence. The two have interviewed over 60 people, from videographers and interviewers to scholars, in order to learn about the challenges and rewards of working with testimony. They will begin the analysis phase of the project in January. Read more about the project here.

Outreach in 2018

The Center conducted outreach far and wide this year through in-depth Visual History Archive demonstrations and workshops in Minnesota, New Orleans, North Carolina, Texas and Pennsylvania, as well as in Germany, France, and Mexico, and back home at USC where scholars, fellows, and classes received detailed introductions to the Visual History Archive at the Center. In addition, the Center hosted exhibits and presentations at the 6th Annual Genocide Awareness Week at Scottsdale Community College (Scottsdale, AZ); the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association conference (Los Angeles, CA); the International Network of Genocide Scholars Global Conference on Genocide (Marseille, France); the Lessons and Legacies XV conference (St. Louis, MO); and the Association for Jewish Studies conference (Boston, MA) 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 on the Holocaust, genocide, mass atrocities, discrimination, languages, world history, and an abundance of other topics across disciplines.  

In addition to traveling to give lectures about his own research, Center Founding Director Wolf Gruner co-taught the 2018 Silberman Seminar, which compared racist ideas and practices in Nazi Germany and the Postbellum American South, at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. This two-week seminar, which was attended by over 20 professors from community colleges and research universities across the country, including Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, Nebraska, Florida, Montana and New York, and Canada. Highlights of the seminar included a screening and discussion of the film The Birth of a Nation and a guided visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, where the group discussed

 the exhibition with some of the curators.

Academic Cooperation in 2018

The Center continued fostering its relationships with other institutes and institutions by partnering with institutions on their events and ours. This year our campus partners have included the USC Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life, which co-organized our annual conference, the USC Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, the USC School for Cinematic Arts, the USC Gould Law School's Center for Law, History and Culture, the USC Gould School of Law International Human Rights Clinic, Doheny Memorial Library, the USC Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies, the USC Institute of Armenian Studies and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Other event partners included the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies at UCLA, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Center for Research on Antisemitism at the Technical University, Berlin and Villa Aurora, Los Angeles. 

Upcoming Events  

January 23, 2019 at 12PM, USC Main Campus

Public lecture by Virginia Bullington, 2018 Beth and Arthur Lev Summer Research Fellow, on gendered violence in the Rwandan and Armenian genocides 

February 12, 2019 at 12PM, USC Main Campus, Doheny Memorial Library 241 

Public lecture by Lukas Meissel, 2018-2019 Greenberg Research Fellow, on photography in concentration camps 

March 28, 2019 at 4PM, USC Main Campus, SOS 250

Public lecture by Gabor Toth, 2018-2019 Center Postdoctoral Research Scholar, on the digital transcript tool "Let Them Speak"

April 11, 2019 - further details to follow 
Save the date for a public lecture by the 2019 Shapiro Scholar in Residence

April 16, 2019 at 4PM, USC Main Campus, SOS 250

Public lecture by Danielle Willard Kyle, 2018-2019 Center Graduate Research Fellow, on refugees in Italian Displaced Persons camps

April 23, 2019 at 12PM, USC Main Campus, Doheny Memorial Library 241

Public lecture by Bieke Van Camp, 2018-2019 Katz Research Fellow in Genocide Studies, on "the enigma of survival" in concentration camps

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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