Peter Hayes Named the 2019-2020 Shapiro Scholar in residence

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 12:00am

Professor Peter Hayes, world-renowned scholar of the history of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, will serve as the 2019-2020 Sara and Asa Shapiro Scholar in Residence at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. Having been awarded the most esteemed fellowship of the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, Professor Hayes will spend one week in residence at the Center this Spring and deliver a lecture for the wider public.

“We are excited to welcome Peter Hayes, a renowned international expert, who dedicated his academic life to the seldom studied participation of German big businesses, for example Degussa and IG Farben, in the Holocaust,” said Center Director Wolf Gruner. More recently, Professor Hayes has coedited or authored several widely acclaimed books for varied audiences. While the Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies that he co-edited assessed the status of international Holocaust research, his most recent books explain the Holocaust for a broader public. These works are based on his decades of inspiring teaching at Northwestern University.

Educated at Bowdoin College, the University of Oxford (Balliol College), and Yale University, Peter Hayes is Professor Emeritus of History and German and Theodore Zev Weiss Holocaust Educational Foundation Professor Emeritus of Holocaust Studies at Northwestern University. He taught at Northwestern for 36 years, from 1980 to 2016, winning the Weinberg College Distinguished Teaching Award, the Northwestern Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Charles Deering McCormick Professorship of Teaching Excellence, the University’s highest honor for teaching.

Professor Hayes is the author or editor of thirteen books. They include the prizewinners Industry and Ideology: IG Farben in the Nazi Era (1987, 2001) and Lessons and Legacies: The Meaning of the Holocaust in a Changing World (1991). From 2006 to 2010, he was the only American member of the Independent Historians Commission on the History of the German Foreign Office in the Third Reich and the Federal Republic. Its report, published as Das Amt und die Vergangenheit, became a bestseller in Germany. Since then, his work on the Holocaust has resulted in four books: The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies (co-edited with John K. Roth, 2010), a wide-ranging anthology entitled How Was It Possible? A Holocaust Reader (2015), a compact analytical overview called Why? Explaining the Holocaust (2017, with subsequent translations into Chinese, German, Polish, and Spanish), and a collection of essays and documents under the title German Railroads, Jewish Souls (with Christopher Browning and the late Raul Hilberg, 2019). He is currently completing (with Stephan Lindner of Munich) Profits and Persecution: German Big Business, the Nazi Economy, and the Holocaust, which is under contract with Cambridge University Press and Beck Verlag.

Professor Hayes has been the recipient of numerous research fellowships, awards, and accolades, including the 2018 National Leadership Award from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the 2016 Distinguished Achievement Award in Holocaust Studies from the Holocaust Educational Foundation. He has served on the academic boards of multiple professional societies and Holocaust memorial sites, including as Chair of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum from May 2014 to May 2019.

Intended to inspire prominent scholars, the Sara and Asa Shapiro Annual Holocaust Testimony Scholar and Lecture Fund enables one senior scholar to spend time in residence at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research.  This prestigious fellowship is only available through an invitation by staff at the Center.

The fellowship, which replaces the USC Shoah Foundation Yom Hashoah Scholar in Residency, offers fellows the opportunity to use the Holocaust and genocide resources at USC, including the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive, which contains more than 55,000 testimonies of witnesses and survivors of the Holocaust, including the testimony of Sara Shapiro.

Professor Hayes is the fifth Shapiro Scholar in Residence, following 2018-2019 Shapiro Scholar Marion Kaplan, 2017-2018 Shapiro Scholar Christopher  R. Browning, 2016-2017 Shapiro Scholar Omer Bartov, and inaugural Shapiro Scholar David Cesarani, who passed away just weeks after being awarded the fellowship and for whom the USC Shoah Foundation hosted a symposium honoring his life and work.

Professor Hayes will be delivering his public lecture “Makeshift Murder: The Holocaust at its Peak” on March 5, 2020. For more information, click here.

Martha Stroud