Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Students talking at Graduate Conference

2017-2018 Events
Free and Open to the Public

13 September, 2017
4:00pm, Rose Library

Workshop: Research with Genocide Surivor Testimonies of the USC Visual History Archive.

Speaker: Wolf Gruner, Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies and Professor of History and Director, Shoah Foundation

Wolf Gruner will introduce the USC Shoah Foundation Visual Hisotry Archive. A repository with over 55,000 video testimonies of survivors and other eyewitnesses of the Holocaust, the Rwandan, Armenian, Cambodian, and Guatemalan genocides, and the Nanjing Massacre in China. The interviews, conducted in 41 languages and 62 countries, are life histories and their subject matter covers the history and culture of the countries of the interviewees’ birth and their lives before, during, and after genocide. Gruner will describe how testimonies can enrich research and change perspectives and understanding of the Holocaust and other genocides.

Sponsored by the William P. Goldman & Brothers Foundation

28 September 2017
4:00pm, Rose Library

From the Hamidian Massacres and Armenian Genocide to the Islamic State: the Dynamics of Mass Violence in the Middle East

Speaker: Hamit Bozarslan, Director of Studies and Professor of History at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris

The wide-scale massacres of Armenians under Sultan Abulhamid (1894 – 1896) ushered in a period of mass violence that reached its acme during the Armenian Genocide. This genocide was the most brutal consequence of the articulation of Social-Darwinist theories and “Total War” practices. Far from being a “local event”, it also constituted a pattern for other 20th century genocides. It was also a decisive moment in the brutalization of Near-Eastern societies, which one-century later experienced new mass-violence and ethic/sectarian cleansings. Bozarslan will discuss the historical dimensions of the violence and place it in a long-term theoretical perspective.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor in Armenian Genocide Studies

19 October, 2017
7:00pm Dana Commons, Higgins Lounge

Children and Mass Violence

Keynote: Stories from Syria's children: Growing up in the Age of Genocide and Displacement

Speaker: Lina Sergie Attar, Karam Foundation

What does "home" mean to a child growing up as a refugee? What kind of future do we envision for the millions of people fleeing war, searching for sanctuary, and longing to belong? In this personal talk about the Syrian humanitarian crisis and its devastating toll on children, Attar describes living through the deep layers of unimaginable loss when conflict hits home and explores innovative and meaningful ways to nurture hope in a time of despair.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor in Armenian Genocide Studies, Alan Edelman and Debbie Sosland-Edelman, and Fran Snyder and David Voremberg ’72

9 November 2017
4:00pm, Rose Library

Man or Monster? The Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer

Speaker: Alex Hinton, Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, and Professor of Anthropology and Global Affairs, Rutgers University

During the Khmer Rouge’s brutal reign in Cambodia (mid- to late-1970s), a former math teacher named Duch served as the commandant of the S-21 security center, where as many as 20,000 victims were interrogated, tortured, and executed. In the 2009 UN-backed Khmer Rouge Tribunal, the prosecution painted Duch as evil, while his lawyers claimed he simply followed orders. Hinton will discuss Duch’s trial and how it might help us reconsider Arendt’s notion of the banality of evil in terms of “the banality of everyday thought.”

Sponsored by Judith T. ’75 and Lawrence S. ’76 Bohn

For past events please refer to our Speaker Archives page.