New Fellowship in Genocide Studies Funds One Month of Research at USC Shoah Foundation

Fri, 01/15/2016 - 5:00pm

As part of its commitment to serving as an internationally recognized resource and leader in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies, USC Shoah Foundation has established the Robert J. Katz Research Fellow in Genocide Studies. 

The new fellowship, named after long-time volunteer and former Board of Councilors Chair Robert  J. Katz, in recognition of his service to the Institute, will provide an advanced-standing Ph.D. candidate in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies the opportunity to spend up to a month at the Institute’s Center for Advanced Genocide Research in Los Angeles.

It is the latest academic development of the new Center, which is fast becoming an international hub of scholarship for Holocaust and genocide studies. Just a year and a half after its 2014 inception, the Center already offers four fully funded fellowships. The fellows are granted unlimited access to the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive, which contains 53,000 testimonies of survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides.

Robert J. Katz Robert J. Katz
“The Robert J. Katz Research Fellow in Genocide Studies will enable us to enrich our research on genocide and resistance by bringing the most innovative young scholars to the Center," said Wolf Gruner, its founding director.

As with the Center’s other scholars, the selected Robert J. Katz Research Fellow in Genocide Studies will also have access to other Holocaust and genocide resources housed at the University of Southern California. These include the private papers of Jewish emigrants from the Third Reich in the Special Collections of USC Doheny Memorial Library, the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Collection at the USC Doheny Library, the original materials of the historic Nuremberg Trials and the Martin Marootian et al. v. New York Life Insurance Company class action lawsuit resulting from the Armenian Genocide.

The new fellowship is designed for advanced-standing Ph.D. candidates with innovative dissertation research projects in Holocaust and genocide studies. It is open to scholars of all disciplines and from all universities internationally. Suitable candidates will be proposing cutting-edge research projects preferably using the testimonies in the Visual History Archive.  The fellowship will start in the 2016-17 academic year and an official call for applications will be issued this month.

Previous Center research fellows have already made significant contributions to the field.

Dr. Jared McBride, a Greenberg Research Fellow, has used the testimonies in his micro historical research looking into the dynamic of violence in the relationships between Ukranians, Poles and Jews during the “Forgotten Holocaust” that unfolded in the occupied Ukrainian part of the former Soviet Union. 

Dr. Kiril Feferman, a Center Research Fellow, has viewed many of the 7,000 Russian-language testimonies in the Visual History Archive to further his inquiries into the role of religion in influencing the decisions surrounding survival and rescue in the lives of Jews and non-Jews during the Holocaust in the occupied Soviet territories.

Another fellowship endowment, the Sara and Asa Shapiro Annual Holocaust Testimony Scholar and Lecture Fund, was also just recently announced.