Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Students talking at Graduate Conference

Conferences at the Strassler Center

The Strassler Center advances knowledge by organizing and hosting cutting-edge academic conferences. These symposia foster important scholarship while honoring the Center's mandate for community outreach: Leading scholars open with a public keynote address in which they present crucial insights about issues of concern to an educated society.

Fourth International Graduate Student Conference on Holocaust and Genocide Studies

12-15 April 2018, Dana Commons, Higgins Lounge, Clark University

12 April 2018 | 7:30 p.m.

Anthropological Methods for Documenting Human Rights Violations and Genocide

Speaker: Victoria Sanford (Anthropology Professor and Founding Director of the Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies, Lehman College)

Drawing on 25 years of experience investigating human rights violation and genocide in Guatemala, Sanford will discuss the theory and practice of forensic exhumations, victim identification, archival and testimonial research and their interplay in legal processes and community desires for justice. She will explore the ways in which science and law and justice complement and collide with one another as investigations move forward from the field to legal courts and the court of public opinion.  She will also consider the role of the researcher as both documentarian and participant in the production of history as well as legal precedence. 

Sponsored by the Asher Family Fund

12-15 April 2018 | 9am

Fourth International Graduate Students' Conference on Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Sanford's keynote address is the opening event of a three-day interdisciplinary conference that will reflect the full range of issues, concepts, and methods in current Holocaust and Genocide Studies scholarship. Doctoral students will present their work on genocides and other forms of mass violence in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and the Americas as well as on the aftermath and collective memorialization of genocides. 

Open to the public by reservation.  Please contact Robyn Conroy at

Sponsored by the Louis and Ann Kulin Endowed Fund, the Asher Family Fund, the Israel Academic Exchange, and the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich

Children and Mass Violence

19-20 October 2017
Strassler Center

Under the impression of the ongoing conflict in Syria and its devastating toll on children, this conference will explore the traumatic impact of mass violence on the most vulnerable segment of society-children and youth.  Experts will examine the destructive strategies and methods of the perpetrators, the suffering of the victims, their agency, their coping mechanisms, and the lasting injuries of those who survived.  They will discuss these issues through the lens of three historical cases: the indigenous children of North America and Australia who were forcefully removed from their families and communities and assimilated into the white settler culture; the orphaned and destitute children who survived the Armenian Genocide; the Jewish children during the Holocaust who the Nazis deemed dangerous due to their role in continuing the "Jewish race."  Lina Sergie Attar, co-founder of the Karam Foundation will be the keynote speaker.  

Emgerging Expertise: Holding Accountability Accountable

6-9 April 2017
Strassler Center

The conference Emerging Expertise: Holding Accountability Accountable (6-9 April 2017) will put a diverse array of early career scholars, lawyers, policymakers, and NGO staff working on issues germane to the aftermath of mass violence into conversation with one another in order to generate novel ideas about past cases and contemporary ones.  Participants will explore "accountability" as a theoretical concept, methodological concern, moral principle, legal demand, and form of ethical engagement.  Such exploration is needed, as "accountability" is an empty signifier, which permits a wide array of actors to define the term in ways that advance their competing agendas.  Andrea Gualde, the former National Director of Legal Affairs of the Secretariat of Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice (Argentina), will be the keynote speaker.  Author and journalist David Rieff will discuss his book In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies. 

Genocide of  Native Americans?

15-16 April 2016
Strassler Center

The Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University hosted a conference on the investigation and processes that resulted in the near annihilation of Native Americans and the range of responses by Native Americans to that multi-faceted assault.  Questions about intent to commit genocide, how victims were chosen and targeted, what constitutes a victim group, expropriation of land and property, processes of destruction, the psychology and behavior of victims, perpetrators, and bystanders, and efforst to memorialize and promote justice resonate with the Center's research and teaching about a range of cases.  The consequences that resulted from sustained contact between European settlers and America's native populations include a litany of massacres, wholesale displacementl, and cultural obliteration.  Dedicated to critical research about a range of genocide cases, the Strassler Center now seeks to address these issues. 

3rd International Graduate Students' Conference for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

9 – 12 April 2015
Strassler Center

The Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University will host the Third International Graduate Students' Conference on Genocide Studies on 9 – 11 April 2015, in cooperation with the Danish Institute for International Studies, Department of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Copenhagen. The conference will provide a forum for doctoral students to present their research projects to peers and established scholars.

Manufacturing Denial: The Assault on Scholarship and Truth

24 – 25 October 2014

Social scientists, natural scientists, political theorists, and historians will discuss different forms of denial and why they persist in the face of facts. Participants will consider how scholarship has become the battleground in this struggle — which resonates far beyond academe. Presentations will focus on genocide denial, scientific denial, and political denial.

Israel Academic Exchange

3 - 6 April 2014
Strassler Center

The Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University held the first Israel Academic Exchange workshop April 3 – 6, 2014. The aim of the Exchange was to forge ties and build community among advanced doctoral students and postdocs who study the Holocaust and other cases of mass violence. Doing so, we hope to strengthen the field in Israel, as well as to enrich scholarly discourse at the Strassler Center. Our inaugural workshop was held in partnership with the Strochlitz Institute for Holocaust Research, Haifa University.

Policy and Practice; Pedagogy about the Holocaust and Genocide

11 - 13 April 2013
Strassler Center

The Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies hosted an international symposium, Policy and Practice: Pedagogy about the Holocaust and Genocide. The conference opened with a keynote panel History, Politics, and Education: Teaching about the Holocaust and Genocide. Panelists addressed key questions: Is Holocaust teaching in the United States and Europe morally driven, possibly at the expense of historical content? What are the politics of education about genocide in a post-conflict society like Cambodia? And what is the impact of curriculum silence in a denialist society such as Turkey? The symposium continued with a series of closed workshop panels on: Formal and Non-Formal Education; Content Orientation vs Civic Education; Challenges and Best Practice; Politics and Policy; and Looking Ahead. Educators, leading academics, museum curators, and doctoral students from around the world will participate.

The Second International Graduate Students' Conference for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

29 March – 1 April 2012
Strassler Center

The first conference in 2009 was a landmark event co-sponsored with the Center's partner institution, the Danish Institute for International Studies. Collectively envisioned by the Center's doctoral students, the conference provided a forum for these younger scholars to present original research to their peers and invited eminent figures in the field. By sponsoring such an international conference tri-annually, the students assume a leadership role in growing a robust international community of genocide scholars.

Informed Activism: Armed Conflict, Scarce Resources and Congo

24 – 25 September, 2011
Strassler Center

In another first, the Strassler Center collaborated with groups of undergraduate students to organize this international summit. The event featured a list of experts and organizations.

The State of the Art of Armenian Genocide Research

April 2010
Strassler Center

This conference was organised under the guidance of Kaloosdian Mugar Professor, Taner Akçam. The Strassler Center planned a fall 2011 conference, Beyond the Armenian Genocide: The Question of Restitution and Reparation in Comparative Review.

Past conferences include:

  • Holocaust and Genocide in the 20th Century
  • Democracy, Economy, and the Middle Class