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International conference "New Perspectives on Kristallnacht: After 80 Years, the Nazi Pogrom in Global Comparison"

Conference Overview

November 5-7, 2018 at the University of Southern California and Villa Aurora

The international conference “New Perspectives on Kristallnacht: After 80 Years, the Nazi Pogrom in Global Comparison” will convene 80 years after the violent pogrom of 1938 against the Jews in Nazi Germany with the aim of gathering the most recent scholarship on the event itself. Scholars from across the United States, Germany, Israel and the United Kingdom will gather at the conference representing a wide variety of disciplines, including history, political science, Jewish studies, French and literature. Talks will discuss reactions to the pogrom by victims and witnesses inside Nazi Germany as well as foreign journalists, diplomats, Jewish organizations and Jewish print media. Presenters will also analyze postwar narratives and global comparisons.  

This conference is organized by the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research and USC Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life and 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.

Event Schedule
November 05, 2018
November 06, 2018
November 07, 2018
9:30 am - 9:40 am
Welcoming Remarks
Doheny Memorial Library, Room 240

Wolf Gruner, Founding Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research

Steve Ross, Director of the USC Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life

Stephen Smith, Finci-Viterbi Executive Director, USC Shoah Foundation

Wolf Gruner, PhD
Stephen D. Smith, PhD
Steve Ross
9:40 am - 10:20 am
Introductory Panel
Doheny Memorial Library, Room 240

Chair: Stefanie Schüler-Springorum (Center for Research on Anti-Semitism, Technical
University Berlin, History)

François Guesnet (University College, London, History), Ulrich Baumann (Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin, History), "Kristallnacht – Pogrom or State Terror? A Terminological Reflection"

François Guesnet
10:20 am - 12:20 pm
The Pogrom
Doheny Memorial Library, Room 240

Chair: Stefanie Schüler-Springorum (Center for Research on Anti-Semitism, Technical
University Berlin, History)

Mary Fulbrook (University College, London, German History), "Bystanders to Violence"

Maximilian Strnad (Town Archive, City of Munich, History), "A Question of Gender! Spaces of Violence and Reactions to Kristallnacht in Jewish-Gentile Families"

Wolf Gruner (University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Jewish Studies and History), "Mass Attack on Jewish Homes and Jewish Responses"

Wolf Gruner, PhD
Maximilian Strnad
Mary Fulbrook
12:20 pm - 1:50 pm
Lunch Break
1:50 pm - 3:10 pm
Protest in Germany and Abroad
Doheny Memorial Library

Chair: Shira Klein (Chapman University, Los Angeles, History)

Michael Geheran (United States Military Academy, West Point, History), "Between Defiance and Conformity: The Case of Julius K."

Dov Ber Kotlerman (Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Literature), "From the Manila Protest to Philippine Visas"

Ber Kotlerman
Michael Geheran
3:10 pm - 3:40 pm
Coffee Break
3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Reactions in Print Media
Doheny Memorial Library, Room 240

Chair: Wendy Lower (Claremont McKenna College and Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Norman Domeier (University of Stuttgart, History), "The 'Reichskristallnacht' and the American Journalists in Nazi Germany"

Paul Moore (University of Leicester, UK, Modern European History), "'La Nuit de Cristal': The November Pogrom as a Transnational Media Moment"

Paul J. Moore
Norman Domeier
9:30 am - 11:30 pm
Reactions in the Jewish Press
Doheny Memorial Library, Room 240

Chair: Marla Stone (Occidental College, Los Angeles, History)

Anne-Christin Klotz (Freie Universität Berlin, Eastern European History), "The Warsaw Yiddish Press and the Persecution of Jews in the Third Reich. 1933-1938, A Comparative Analysis"

Jeffrey Koerber (Chapman University, Los Angeles, History), "What Did Soviet Jews Make of Kristallnacht?"

Kiril Feferman (Ariel University, Israel, History), "Public responses to Kristallnacht in Japan-controlled Harbin"

Jeffrey Koerber
Anne-Christin Klotz
Kiril Feferman
11:30 am - 12:00 pm
Coffee Break
12:00 pm - 1:20 pm
Reactions in Audiovisual Media
Doheny Memorial Library, Room 240

Chair: Michael Renov (University of Southern California, Cinema & Media Studies)

Stephanie Seul (University of Bremen, Cultural Studies), "The Absence of Kristallnacht and its Aftermath in BBC German-language broadcasts during 1938-1939"

Lawrence Baron (San Diego State University, Modern Jewish History), "Kristallnacht in Film: From Reportage to Reenactments, 1938-1988"

Stephanie Seul
Lawrence Baron
1:20 pm - 3:00 pm
Lunch Break
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Reactions in Jewish Communities
Doheny Memorial Library, Room 240

Chair: Paul Lerner (University of Southern California, History)

Hasia Diner (New York University, American Jewish History), "1938: A Moment of Reckoning for American Jews"

Steven Ross (University of Southern California, History), "The Ambiguous Legacy of Kristallnacht: Nazis, Resistors and Anti-Semitism in 1930s-1940s Los Angeles"

Gershon Greenberg (American University, Washington, DC., Philosophy and Religion), "Orthodox Jewish Religious Responses to Kristallnacht: Globally Considered"

Steve Ross
Gershon Greenberg
Hasia Diner
9:45 am - 10:15 am
Coffee and Pastries
10:15 am - 12:15 pm
The Event and Beyond
Villa Aurora, Pacific Palisades

Chair: Jean-Marc Dreyfus (Manchester University, History)

Jason Lustig (Harvard University, Jewish Studies), "Out of the Ashes: Jewish Community Records and Archives after Kristallnacht"

Alexander Walther (Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena, History), "Jewish Anti-Fascism? 'Kristallnacht' Remembrance in the GDR Between Propaganda and Jewish Self-Assertion"

Mark Wolfgram (McGill University, Political Science), "From the Visual to the Textual: How Nazi Control of the Visual Record of Kristallnacht Shaped the Postwar Narrative"

Mark A. Wolfgram
Alexander Walther
Jason Lustig
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Lunch Break
1:15 pm - 3:15 pm
Comparative Perspectives
Villa Aurora, Pacific Palisades

Chair: Brenda Stevenson (University of California Los Angeles, History)

Baijayanti Roy (University of Frankfurt, History), "The Long Shadow of Reichskristallnacht on the ‘Gujarat Pogrom’ in India: A Comparative Analysis"

Nathalie Segeral (University of Hawaii-Manoa, French), "Reclaiming Kristallnacht: The Nazi Pogrom as Transnational Trope in Narratives of the Rwandan Genocide and the Migrants Crisis"

Liat Steir-Livny (Sapir Academic College & The Open University, Israel, Cultural Studies), "The Contemporary Politics of Memory: 'Kristallnacht in Tel-Aviv'"

Liat Steir-Livny
Nathalie Ségeral
Baijayanti Roy
3:15 pm - 4:15 pm
Concluding Discussion
Villa Aurora, Pacific Palisades
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