Jean-Marc Dreyfus, PhD, Reader in Holocaust Studies in the History department at the University of Manchester (United Kingdom) and former Director of the European Research Council’s Corpses of Mass Genocide and Violence Program, has been awarded the 2018-2019 Center Research Fellowship at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. He will arrive at the Center in August and will give a public lecture about his research near the conclusion of his one-semester residency.
During his residency at the Center, Professor Dreyfus will conduct research in the Visual History Archive for his upcoming book project Corpses of the Holocaust: The Treatment of Corpses as Described in the Video Testimonies of the USC Shoah Foundation. He aims to learn how corpses and human remains from the Holocaust were thought of and spoken about by survivors and will research questions concerning the treatment of corpses during the Holocaust, such as the existence of rituals in the transfer of human remains and the role of status in their treatment. With his research he hopes to broaden our understanding of the aftermath of genocide and add to the burgeoning field of Holocaust forensics.
Professor Dreyfus received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Paris I - Pantheón-Sorbonne and since 2007 has been a lecturer in Holocaust Studies within the history department of the University of Manchester, UK. He has written about the anthropology of genocide, the history of the Jews in 19th-20th century France, the politics of memory and forensic Holocaust studies. He has received research fellowships from many institutions, including the Harvard University Center for European Studies, the Centre Marc-Bloch in Berlin, the Yad Vashem Center for International Holocaust Studies, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He has published over five dozen manuscripts, including seven monographs, and has co-edited numerous volumes, including the groundbreaking Human Remains and Mass Violence: Methodological Approaches (2017) and Dictionary of the Holocaust (2009).
His book Looting by Decrees. The Despoilment of Jewish-Owned Banks in France and their Restitution, 1940-1953 (2003) examined the process by which Jewish-owned banks in France were seized during WII, while Nazi Labor Camps in Paris: Austerlitz, Levitan, Bassano, July 1943-August 1944 (2003) unearthed the history of three forgotten Parisian satellite camps, furniture stores that became sites of forced labor during the Holocaust. These works were followed by Friend, if you fall... Deported Resistance Fighters, From Camps to Memory, 1945-2005 (2005), He Called Me Pikolo. A Companion of Primo Levi Tells His Story (2015), and The Impossible Reparation. Deportees, Looted Properties, Nazi Gold, War Criminals (2015). Professor Dreyfus then published The Goering Catalogue (2015) and Pour en finir avec Mein Kampf. Et combattre la haine sur Internet (2016). He has appeared on numerous television programs and has had his work published by the Brookings Institute, the European Review of History, the Le Monde and others.
The Center Research Fellowship, awarded annually, enables one senior scholar from any discipline to spend a semester in residence at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research using the Visual History Archive and other unique research resources for innovative research projects.