Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Students talking at Graduate Conference

2015-2016 Events
Free and Open to the Public

3 March, 2016
4:00 pm Rose Library, Cohen-Lasry House

The Long Reach of Genocide: The Indonesian Killings of 1965-1966 and the Pursuit of Justice

Speaker: Bradley Simpson (University of Connecticut)

Bradley Simpson examines the ongoing struggle for truth and accountability for the Indonesian genocide of 1965-1966, in which at least 500,000 to 1,000,000 civilians were killed by the Indonesian Army. He will also discuss the disturbing role of the United States in these killings, and its continued relevance for US foreign policy, as well as contemporary efforts to prevent future genocides.

3 March, 2016
7:30pm, Jefferson 218

The Act of Killing a film by Joshua Oppenheimer

In a country where killers are celebrated as heroes, the filmmakers challenge unrepentant death squad leaders to dramatize their role in genocide. The hallucinatory result is a cinematic fever dream, an unsettling journey deep into the imaginations of mass-murderers, and the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit.

Expanding on his lecture earlier in the day, Bradley Simpson (University of Connecticut) will comment on the film and answer questions.


21 March, 2016
4:15pm, Rose Library, Cohen-Lasry House

"Privileged" Victims: Intermarried Jewish-Gentile Families in the Nazi Reich

Speaker: Benjamin Frommer (Northwestern University, Holocaust Education Foundation)

In the Nazi hierarchy of persecution, intermarried Jews and their children formed a separate category of victims.  Jews who had married Gentiles or converted to Christianity were subject to antisemitic persecution, expropriation, and the threat of arrest.  At the same time, they had stronger ties to majority communities, were exempted from certain restrictions and transports, and survived the war in far greater numbers than “full” Jews.  In short, they became the “last Jews” present in Gentile communities.  Frommer explores the Nazi state's gendered policies towards these intermarried families and examines their responses to isolation and separation over the course of the war and after.


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.

Click here to listen to audio of the event.

Co-sponsored by the Political Science and History Departments


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.

Click here to listen to audio of the event.

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