Two USC Students Will Share the 2020 Beth and Arthur Lev Student Research Fellowship

Mon, 06/08/2020 - 3:35pm

Two promising USC scholars – undergraduate student Lucy Sun and graduate student Rachel Zaretsky -- will share the Beth and Arthur Lev Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2020.

The Beth and Arthur Lev Student Research Fellowship provides support for USC students at any academic level and from any discipline to conduct a month of research in residence at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research focusing on testimonies of the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive (VHA) and/or other related USC resources and collections.

Lucy Sun will be a senior in the Fall 2020 semester. She is majoring in History and minoring in Psychology and Law. She will conduct research with survivor testimonies from the Nanjing Massacre collection in the Visual History Archive to contribute to her history honors thesis entitled “Escapes and Deceptions: Chinese Women’s Resistance During the Nanjing Massacre.” Her thesis expands on her previous research on women’s resistance to sexual violence during the Nanjing Massacre, a topic largely unacknowledged in the scholarly literature. The 101 testimonies by Nanjing Massacre survivors in the VHA are essential to her project. Ms. Sun is fluent in Mandarin, and in her proposal, she expressed her commitment to amplifying the voices of women survivors and her motivation to learn more about her hometown’s infamous atrocity. In her project, Ms. Sun will explore important and neglected topics (resistance, women’s resistance, sexual violence) and will be the Center’s first research fellow to focus exclusively on the Nanjing Massacre collection. She is an engaged young scholar, with past research experience at the USC Culture, Diversity, and Psychophysiology Lab and employment at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture.

Rachel Zaretsky just completed the first year of her MFA in Art at the USC Roski School of Art and Design. She will begin investigating VHA testimonies related to her family’s hometown -- Ostrów Mazowiecka, Poland -- where much of her family originated and perished during the Holocaust. She plans to use her research with the Visual History Archive to inspire an artistic response to the archive. Ms. Zaretsky earned her BFA in Visual and Critical Studies from The School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York, and her art practice takes the form of performance, video installation and photography. She has created past artistic responses to the Miami Beach Holocaust memorial and to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Berlin. In her innovative proposal, she outlines several stages of her process that will culminate in her creating a work of art responding to the testimonies. The Center is excited about welcoming her to the Center as an intriguing illustration that research not only results in papers, theses, or books, but can result in artistic expressions as well.


Martha Stroud