In July, our outreach efforts intensified as we brought the Visual History Archive (VHA) to Australia and the UK. The convening of the thirteenth meeting of the International Association of Genocide Scholars at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia was a perfect opportunity for Center Research Program Officer Martha Stroud and myself to meet many international scholars and graduate students and share with them the research potential of the VHA. Martha continued on to attend the British Association for Holocaust Studies conference at the University of Sheffield where she gave a presentation about the VHA. See more below.
Meanwhile, in our Los Angeles offices, we still hosted our Center Research Fellow Alexander Korb from the UK. We also welcomed new teaching fellowship recipients and helped them navigate the VHA. Watch out for next month’s newsletter and details about how our teaching fellows are planning to use the VHA in their university classrooms at Rutgers and Texas A&M.
We are excited to be sharing more information this month about the Center’s upcoming international conference “Digital Approaches to Genocide Studies,” which is being co-sponsored by the USC Mellon Digital Humanities Program and which will be held October 23-24 at USC. Plan to join us for two days of lively discussion and analysis of pioneering research, future frontiers, critical engagement, and vital ethical questions raised by new digital projects, methodologies, and practices. Read more about it below.
Hoping you all get to enjoy the remainder of the summer.
Founding Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research
Professor of History and Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies
Center continues planning for international conference
The Center is currently preparing its 2017 International Conference “Digital Approaches to Genocide Studies” that is co-sponsored by the USC Mellon Digital Humanities Program. International scholars from many disciplines will be gathering to examine the relationships between digital methodologies, practices, ethics and contemporary Holocaust and genocide studies. How can digital humanities shape, challenge, or complement contemporary genocide studies and vice versa? The conference will investigate the ways in which digital tools and methods, new media, and information technologies can help us to challenge conventional wisdom regarding Holocaust and Genocide Studies by raising new questions, improving our understanding, deepening our analysis, widening our field of view, or pioneering new approaches.
The conference website is now live where you can view the schedule for the two-day conference and read bios of some of our speakers. (We’re adding bios on an ongoing basis.) Registration will be open soon. Find out more here.
Center director presents his research at the conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars
Center director Wolf Gruner attended the thirteenth conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars at the University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane in Australia, which was dedicated to “Justice and the Prevention of Genocide”. As a participant in the panel “The Holocaust Across Europe,” he gave a paper entitled “Defiance and Protest: Forgotten Jewish Resistance in Nazi Germany.” He also chaired a session about Definitions of Genocide with panelists from the US, Brazil, Argentina and Iraq.
Center director gives talks in Melbourne and Sydney about Jewish resistance
Wolf Gruner’s trip to the conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars in Brisbane was also an opportunity for him to present his research across Australia. At the invitation of Dvir Abramovich, Director of the Program in Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Melbourne, he presented his research on individual Jewish resistance at the Beth Weizmann Community Centre in Melbourne. He also gave a lunch lecture on this topic at the Jewish Museum in Sydney. Both talks were attended by many survivors and their descendants.
Center director co-chairs workshop for Ph.D. candidates working on the Holocaust at Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem
Wolf Gruner and Dan Michmann, Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research and incumbent of the John Najmann Chair for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem, jointly chaired the third workshop for advanced Ph.D. candidates from North American and Israeli universities who are working on the Holocaust at Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust Studies in Jerusalem.
Ten Ph.D. candidates, eight women and two men, from Israel and North America were selected for the quality of their research projects. Among those, five came from Israeli universities, four from American ones and one from Canada. Though each of the participant have a different background (history, political science, Jewish studies, music and literature, to name a few), they are all actively working on a dissertation dealing with the Second World War or the Holocaust.
This workshop was a particularly productive opportunity for students to give and receive feedback from their peers on their own research projects and, because of the interdisciplinary nature of the event, it was also a great venue to address the future of Holocaust research across disciplines. You can read more about the workshop here.
Center awards Greenberg Research Fellowship to Irina Rebrova
Irina Rebrova, a Ph.D. candidate at the Center for Studying Anti-Semitism at Technische Universität Berlin has earned the 2017-2018 Margee and Douglas Greenberg Research Fellowship. During her monthlong residency this fall, Rebrova plans to research not only the testimonies in the Visual History Archive but also the process of recording them and their influence on local memory of the Holocaust in Russia.
You can find out more about her research here.
Center awards Katz Research Fellowship in Genocide Studies to Kathryn Brackney
Kathryn Brackney, a Ph.D. candidate in history at Yale University, has earned the 2017-2018 Robert J. Katz Research Fellowship in Genocide Studies. During her monthlong residency in the Spring semester, Brackney plans to analyze descriptions of “otherworldliness” in the Visual History Archive testimonies – when survivors describe their experiences of the Holocaust as being from an entirely different moment or dimension.
You can find out more about her research here.
Center staff presents Visual History Archive at International Association of Genocide Scholars conference
At the International Association of Genocide Scholars conference in Brisbane, Australia, Research Program Officer Martha Stroud manned a hands-on exhibition of the Visual History Archive, introducing attendees to its interface, search functions, and testimonies over the four days of the conference. Her consultations with scholars and students varied from brief introductions to in-depth consultations about research questions and searches to brainstorming creative ideas about how to use testimonies in university teaching. In addition to supporting people in discovering the Visual History Archive, Martha also discussed the work of the Center for Advanced Genocide Research and the USC Shoah Foundation more broadly. There was great interest from scholars about the Center’s activities and opportunities, and many scholars asked questions about the possible expansion of the Archive in the future to encompass even more genocides and episodes of mass violence.
Center staff attends the British Association for Holocaust Studies conference
In July, Martha also attended the four-day British Association for Holocaust Studies conference at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. The conference’s theme was “Interpreting Archives.” Martha gave a presentation about the Visual History Archive, introducing the archive’s interface, search engine, and controlled vocabulary (index) that is the key to unlocking the potential of the interviews as sources for research. In addition to describing a few case studies of innovative research being conducted with the testimonies, Martha used the presentation to share some of the exciting developments of the Visual History Archive Program, highlighting upcoming changes to the archive that will most support scholars and their research. As Martha attended the conference’s sessions and heard about exciting new research in the field of Holocaust studies, she consulted with many attendees about how their new research projects could be deepened or enhanced by using testimonies from the Visual History Archive.
Center director hosts workshop at the University of Melbourne
Using the opportunity of visiting Australia, Wolf Gruner hosted a workshop “Introduction to the Visual History Archive” at the University of Melbourne which had recently become a full access site for the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive. The VHA workshop was attended by faculty and graduate students from the Medical school, History, Anthropology, and some retired faculty. The attendees showed particular interest in the Holocaust and the Armenian collections during the workshop.
August 24, 2017 at 4 pm
A lecture by the team of scholars participating in the Center’s Interdisciplinary Research Week. Learn more about their research on Holocaust survivors in South America here.
August 31, 2017 at 4 pm
A lecture by Christian Delage (Institut du Temps Présent, Paris) "The Place of the Witness: from the Holocaust to the November 13th's Attacks in Paris."
October 23-24, 2017
CAGR International Conference: “Digital Approaches to Genocide Studies,” at USC.
November 2, 2017
A lecture by Alex Hinton (Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, Rutgers University).
Call for Applications
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for the Study of Racial and Religious Biases on College Campuses
The USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research invites applications for its 20172018 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for the Study of Racial and Religious Biases on College Campuses. The fellowship provides $20,000 support for a period of one semester (four months) and will be awarded to an outstanding postdoctoral scholar from Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, or a related field such as Ethnic or Religious Studies where the scholar is an expert in ethnographic methods. The recipient will be required to spend one semester of the 2017-2018 academic year conducting research on behalf of the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. This research will be a comparative ethnographic study of racial and religious bias in its many forms – especially antisemitism and islamophobia – on university campuses. Deadline to apply is August 15th, 2017.
For more details, click here.
Call for Papers
International Conference: "New Perspectives on Kristallnacht: After 80 Years, the Nazi Pogrom in Global Comparison"
November 4-6, 2018 at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles
The USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research and the USC Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life invite proposals for their 2018 International Conference “New Perspectives on Kristallnacht: After 80 Years, the Nazi Pogrom in Global Comparison” that is being organized 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. Conference topics range from new research on the pogrom itself to comparisons with other anti-Jewish and antiminority pogroms in modern world history. Deadline to apply is August 15th, 2017.
For more details, click here.