Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Students talking at Graduate Conference

Speaker's Archive

26 October, 2016
7:30 pm Tilton Hall

Holocaust History and Survivor Testimony: The Case of the Starachowice Factory Slave Labor Camps

Speaker: Christopher Browning (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).  Listen to audio from the event.

Dr. Browning is the Frank Porter Graham Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ,and the author of serveral landmark works in the field of Holocaust istory, including Ordinalry Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (Harper Collins, 1992); and Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave Labor Camp (W.W. Norton, 2010). His talk will examine the history of the Starachowice labor camp in central Poland, where between 1942 and 1944 thousands of Jews were forced to work under brutal conditions to produce munitions for the German war effort.  The Testimonies of the nearly three hundred camp survivors comprise some of the only evidence of the camp's existence, and Professor Browning's lecture will pay particular attention to the methodological challenges historians face when using survivor testimony to document the crimes of the Nazi regime. 

This lecture was made possible through the generous support of Clark University alumni Judi and Lawrence Bohn.  Co-sponsored by the W. Arthur Garrity Sr. Professorship in Human Nature, Ethics and Society at the College of the Holy Cross, the Philosophy Department at Worcester State University, and the Departments of History and Political Science at Clark University.

6 October, 2016
4:30pm Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons

The Challenges in Indian Country in the 21st Century: Planning, Law, Community.

Speakers: Judy Dworkin and David Pijawka, in conversation with Jody Emel and Thomas Kühne, Clark University. Listen to audio from the event.

Judy Dworkin is Head of Indian Law and Tribal Relations Practice Group for SacksTierney Law in Phoenix, Arizona.  She is appellate justice of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council Court, judge pro tem for the Tohoono O'odham Nation and special judge to the Fallon-Paiute Shoshone Tribe.  She is also a solicitor to the Hualapai Tribe.  She also teaches at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. 

David Pijawka is associate Director, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University.  He is also Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability.  He has been involved in various community projects, including the evaluation of Scottsdale's Green Building program and workshops on Tribal community planning. 

5 October, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                3:00pm Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons

The Failed Military Coup in Turkey and Being an Armenian Deputy in Ankara

Speaker: Garo Paylan, Armenian Deputy of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.  Listen to audio from the event.

Garo Paylan represents Istanbul as a deputy in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.  He is a member of the Peoples' Democratic Party (known as the pro-Kurdish party) and one of the first Armenian members of Turkey's parliament in decades.  Renowned as a thorn in the side of the Turkish government, especially ultra-nationalists, Paylan has delivered several courageous parliamentary speeches including one with the picture of Armenian deputies of the Ottoman Parliament during the genocide.  As a result, he has been the suject of physical attacks and hate speech. 

Paylan will dusicuss recent political developments in Turkey, including the latest coup attempt and subsequent developments, Kurdish questions, and his personal experience as an Armenian deputy in the Turkish parliament.

15 April, 2016
7:30 pm Razzo Hall, Traina Center for the Arts

President's Lecture: Colonial Genocides in Native North America - Varying Methods and Approaches

Speaker: Ned Blackhawk (Yale University)  Listen to the audio from the event

A member of the Te-moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada, Blackhawk is a Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, where he coordinates the Yale Group for the Study of Native America.  He is the author of Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West (Harvard, 2006), a study of the American Great Basin, which garnered numerous professional prizes, including the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize from the organization of American Historians.  In his lecture, he will examine approaches to the study of genocide in native North America.  He will chart the increased attention to the indigenous genocide in Canadian history and explore the reasons for the ongoing erasure of the subject in the study of U.S. history. 

Keynote Lecture for a Special Symposium of the Strassler Center

With the generous support of Ellen Carno '79 and Neil Leifer '76

16 April, 2016
8:45am - 6:30pm Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons

Genocide of Native Americans? Indigenous Identity and Mass Violence in North America

Open to the Public             For panelist information please click here.


8:45 am: Welcome
Thomas Kühne, Clark University

9-10 am: “The History of Violence, the Violence of History: Locating Genocide in the North American Past”
Karl Jacoby, Columbia University    Listen to the audio

10:15-11:15 am: “The U.S. Legal History and the On-Going Genocide of Native Americans”
Angelique EagleWoman, University of Idaho    Listen to the audio

11:30-12:30 pm: “The State is a Man: Theresa Spencer, Lorraine Saunders and the Gendered Cost of Settler Sovereignty in Canada”
Audra Simpson, Columbia University    Listen to the audio

2-3 pm: “Genocide in the Americas: Complexities, Contradictions, and Contested Narratives”
Alex Alvarez, Northern Arizona University   Listen to the audio

3:15-4:15 pm: “Historical Trauma as the Legacy of Genocide in American Indian Communities: Complications and Critiques”
Joseph P.Gone, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor     Listen to the audio

4:30-5:30 pm: “So-ver(y)-e(mp)ty in the Space of Abjection: U.S. sovereign immunity, Indigenous Truth-seeking and historical clarification the Shadow of the Wall, Ndé narrative, memorialization, and reparation processes, 2007-2015.”
Margo Tamez, University of British Columbia     Listen to the audio

18 November, 2015
7:30 pm Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons

Recognizing Painful Legacies through Memorial Construction

Speakers: Julian Bonder, Deborah Martin (Geography), and Kristen Wilson (Art History)

The question of how communities address painful legacies through memorial construction is the starting point for a discussion between architect Julian Bonder and Clark Professors Deborah Martin and Kristina Wilson. Bonder's well-known Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery in Nantes, France, a port from which hundreds of Atlantic slave-trading expeditions set forth, will serve as the cornerstone. The trio will also look at Bonder's Holocaust-related work and other memorials to mass atrocity.

Listen to audio of the event »

Co-Sponsored by the Graduate School of Geography and Department of Visual and Performing Arts

23 October, 2015
4:00 pm Rose Library, Cohen-Lasry House

Empire, Nation-State, and Genocide

Speakers: Peter Holquist and Ronald Suny

Ronald Suny (University of Michigan) and Peter Holquist (University of Pennsylvania) discuss genocide in the comparative contexts of the Ottoman and Russian Empires respectively. Recent scholarship, including that of Suny and Holquist, challenges the common understanding of the Armenian Genocide in the context of the Young Turks' plan to eliminate Christians and homogenize Anatolia as part of the founding of Turkey. Instead, scholars are coming to understand genocides of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (including the Armenian Genocide) as a reorganization of empire based on new demographic policies.

Listen to audio of the event »

Co-sponsored by the Political Science and History Departments

12 April, 2015
11am Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons

Graduate Student Conference Closing Panel

Speakers: Taner Akçam, Lerna Ekmekçioglu, Donna-Lee Frieze, and Eric Weitz

Closing thoughts by senior scholars about ideas discussed during the Third International Graduate Student Conference- Emerging Scholarship in Holocaust and Genocide Studies 100 Years after the Armenian Genocide

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In partnership with the Danish Institute for International Studies

9 April 2015
7:30 pm Tilton Hall

The Armenian Genocide, The Holocaust, and the Study of Human Rights

Speakers: Eric Weitz, Dean of Humanities and Arts and Distinguished Professor of History at The City College of New York

Dean Weitz opened the conference, Emerging Scholarship in Holocaust and Genocide Studies 100 Years after the Armenian Genocide. Comparative genocide research and education are now rooted in university centers, scholarly associations, and journals. Weitz argued that the field should grow to include the issue of human rights. Genocide is about human destruction, in response, systems of rights to protect human life and culture have emerged and deserve close attention. Weitz's book, A World Divided: A New Global History from the French Revolution to the Present, is a history of human rights and the segmentation of populations defined by nation or race in the modern era. This lecture commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Listen to audio of the event »

In partnership with the Danish Institute for International Studies

18 March, 2015
4pm Rose Library, Strassler Center For Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Public History of the Holocaust

Speakers: Simone Schweber, Harold Marcuse and Andrew Port

As part of its series on Public History, the Strassler Center brought together three eminent scholars to examine how historical events, particularly genocide, are interpreted, used, or manipulated toward specific ends. Harold Marcuse, University of California, Santa Barbara; "Teaching the Holocaust to the Millennial Generation: The New Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust." Andrew Port, Wayne State University; "To Intervene or not to Intervene — in Foreign Genocides; The Political Use of the Holocaust in German Intervention Debates in the 1990s." Simone Schweber, University of Wisconsin; "Mystifying History: Holocaust Narratives in Fundamentalist Schools."

Listen to audio of the event »

13 November, 2014
7:30 pm Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons

Geographies of the Holocaust

Speakers: Anne Knowles

The Holocaust separated families, destroyed communities, displaced millions, created new kinds of places — densely crowded Jewish ghettos and concentration camps — where people labored and died. Each of these traumas was fundamentally geographical, yet few scholars have examined geographies of the Holocaust. Professor Anne Knowles (Middlebury College, Geography Department) highlighted the work of the Holocaust Geographies Collaborative, an international team of historians and geographers who explored this complex event using geographic and methods of analysis — notably Geographic Information Systems (GIS) — and data visualization.

Listen to audio of the event »

Co-Sponsored by the Graduate School of Geography; Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning; Human-Environment Regional Observatory; and Liberal Education and Effective Practice (LEEP).

11 September, 2014
7:30 pm Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons

Narrating Genocide; Literary Representations and Historical Accounts

Speakers: Chris Bohjalian and Khatchig Mouradian

Strassler Center Director and Rose Professor Debórah Dwork moderated a conversation between Strassler Center doctoral candidate Khatchig Mouradian and best-selling author Chris Bohjalian. They discussed different routes to the past (literature and history) and how each genre informs the other. Bohjalian is the author of The sand Castle Girls (2012), an epic novel about the Armenian Genocide and, most recently, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands (2014). Mouradian is completing his dissertation on The 'Ground Zero' of the Armenian Genocide: Destruction and Agency in the Concentration Sites of Syria (1915-1918) and serves as Coordinator of the Armenian Genocide Program at Rutgers University.

Listen to audio of the event »

Co-Sponsored by the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research

2 April, 2014
4:15pm rose Library, Cohen-Lasry House

Antisemitism and Catholicism in Postwar Poland

Speaker: Brian Porter-Szücs

Professor Brian Porter-Szücs (University of Michigan) discussed Polish antisemitism after 1945. Drawing on his then new book, Poland in the Modern World: Beyond Martyrdom, which pushed discussion of Polish Antisemitism beyond the familiar emphasis on Polish tragedy and suffering, Porter-Szücs discussed the context for understanding modern Polish history within a global framework.

Listen to audio of the event »

13 March, 2014
7:30 pm Rose Library, Cohen-Lasry House

Lies, Truth, and Fiction: The Holocaust in Literature

Speakers: Ruth Franklin, Contributing Editor at the New Republic

Literature is art and memoir is fact. Franklin explored the limits of this statement in the context of Holocaust memoirs and literature. Can literature help us understand the truth of atrocity? Is memoir as straightforward and truthful as it seems at first glance?

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13 November, 2013
4:15pm Rose Library, Cohen-Lasry House

The Nature of German Antisemitism during the Third Reich

Speaker: Tom Kohut (Williams College)

Professor Thomas Kohut (Williams College) built on his interest in the psychological dimension of the past and how psychology is shaped by culture. Using findings from his current research and his recent book, A German Generation: An Experiential History of the Twentieth Century, he analyzed the psychological nature of German antisemitism.

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3 October, 2013
4pm Rose Library, Cohen-Lasry House

The Challenge of Powerlessness: Writing History from the Victims' Perspective

Speakers: Amos Goldberg (Hebrew University)

From the publication of Anne Frank's diary in 1947 to the more recent availability of other Holocaust diaries and collections, historians and lay readers alike have been intrigued by the window into daily life that diaries offer. Yet using diaries to understand history is not straightforward. Dr. Amos Goldberg, Cutler Distinguished Visiting Scholar, explored why Holocaust diaries are a rich but problematic source, and what the ethical implications of using diaries — and questioning them — are.

Listen to audio of the event »

Co-Sponsored by History Department and The Henry J. Leir Chair
Lecture made possible with support from the Melvin S. Cutler Endowed Fund


For previous speakers please refer to the Event Archive, under Special Collections, in Clark University's Digital Commons.