'Manufacturing Denial' conference delves into multi-disciplinary genocide scholarship

The closing panel of the conference “Manufacturing Denial: the Assault on Scholarship and Truth,” in Dana Commons at Clark University (Oct. 25): From left, Massimo Pigliucci, biologist and philosopher at the City University of New York; Johanna Vollhardt, assistant professor of psychology, Clark University; Richard Hovannisian, professor of Armenian and Near Eastern History at the University of California, Los Angeles; and Khatchig Mouradian, editor of the Armenian Weekly and the coordinator of the Armenian Genocide Program at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University. Mouradian is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Strassler Center at Clark The closing panel of the conference “Manufacturing Denial: the Assault on Scholarship and Truth,” in Dana Commons at Clark University (Oct. 25): From left, Massimo Pigliucci, biologist and philosopher at the City University of New York; Johanna Vollhardt, assistant professor of psychology, Clark University; Richard Hovannisian, professor of Armenian and Near Eastern History at the University of California, Los Angeles; and Khatchig Mouradian, editor of the Armenian Weekly and the coordinator of the Armenian Genocide Program at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University. Mouradian is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Strassler Center at Clark

Historians, social scientists, philosophers, and natural scientists gathered recently at Clark University to discuss the phenomena of genocide denial and the denial of scientific truth—from evolution to climate change—during an academic conference held at both Clark and Worcester State University.

“Manufacturing Denial: the Assault on Scholarship and Truth” (Oct. 24-25) was co-sponsored and organized by the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the  Kaloosdian/Mugar Chair in Modern Armenian History and Genocide Studies, Clark University; Worcester State University; the Armenian Genocide Program at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights (Rutgers University); and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR).

The conference opened at Worcester State University on Oct. 24 with a keynote address by Brendan J. Nyhan, assistant professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College and a former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan. A response was offered by Henry Theriault, chair of the Philosophy Department at Worcester State University.

On Oct. 25, sessions held at Clark University explored “Modern Strategies and Rhetoric of Denial,” “Political Uses of Denial,” and “Countering Denial: How and When?”

COMING UP - April 9-11, 2015: The Strassler Center will host the Third International Graduate Students' Conference on Genocide Studies, “The State of Research 100 Years After the Armenian Genocide,” in cooperation with the Danish Institute for International Studies, Department of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Copenhagen. This interdisciplinary conference will reflect the full range of issues, concepts, and methods in current Genocide Studies research. The keynote address and a focus on papers that explore the Armenian Genocide are planned in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the events of 1915.

The Strassler Center at Clark University is home to the world's first doctoral program in Holocaust History and Genocide Studies. The plan for an international conference organized by and for students was collectively envisioned by the Center's Ph.D. candidates. The organizers seek to provide a forum for students from around the globe to present original research on the Holocaust and other genocides to an audience of peers and scholars. Their purpose: to foster an international community of future scholars.

For more information, please contact Sarah Cushman, Strassler Center Academic Program Liaison Officer, at 508-793-7764 or scushman@clarku.edu.

Related Links:

The varieties of denialism (Massimo Pigliucci reflects on the “stimulating” conference in his blog at Scientia Salon, where he is editor-in-chief.)
Sept. 11: Best-selling author Bohjalian at Clark to discuss ‘Narrating Genocide’
April 17 lecture to commemorate anniversary of Armenian Genocide