Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Genocide, mass atrocities, crimes against humanity and their prevention stand at the core of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Home to a uniquely rich undergraduate program and a landmark doctoral program, the Strassler Center is the first and only institute of its kind. Since it was established in 1998, it has gained international standing as the sole program to train students for Ph.D. degrees in Holocaust History and Genocide Studies. The Center's growth and development demonstrate that a small research university can achieve excellence and broad regard with a flagship program.

Our Public Programs

Public programs engage the world in which we live.  Unless noted, all events are free and open to the public.  To learn more about the events listed below, contact Robyn Conroy at  To receive notifications about all upcoming events and to join our mailing list, contact Alissa Duke

Upcoming Events & Conferences

Thursday, September 20, 2018
The Past, Present, and Future of the Rohingya Crisis
4:00pm - 6:00pm - Dana Commons, Higgins Lounge

Speakers: Tun Khin (Burmese Rohingya Organization), John Knaus (Associate Director for Asia, National Endowment for Democracy), Debbie Stothard (Director of Altseam-Burma and Secretary General of International Federation for Human Rights) and Matt Wells (Amnesty International Senior Crisis Advisor)

Who are the Rohingya? And why do so many people in Burma/Myanmar regard them as a threat to the nation? More than 900,000 Rohingya have taken refuge in Bangladesh after a series of attacks by the armed forces of Burma/Myanmar and Buddhist nationalists. Their plight is the fastest growing humanitarian emergency in the world. Panelists will present the historic roots of the contemporary crisis, which the UN has called a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing;” outline the broader political and military context in which the forced migration is occurring; and evaluate proposed solutions.

Sponsored by Judith T. ’75 and Lawrence S. ‘76 Bohn; the Departments of Asian Studies, Peace Studies, Women's and Gender Studies, International Development and Social Change ; IDCE; STAND (the student-led movement to end mass atrocities); the Political Science Department through the Chester Bland Fund; and the Department of Asian Studies at the College of the Holy Cross.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Democratization and Memories of Violence: Ethnic Minority Rights Movements in Mexico, Turkey, and El Salvador
4:00pm - Rose Library, Cohen-Lasry House

Speaker: Mneesha Gellman (Assistant Professor of Political Science in the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, at Emerson College, Boston)

Especially for Students Lecture

Professor Gellman examines six case studies in Mexico, Turkey, and El Salvador to show how memory-based narratives serve as emotionally salient leverage for marginalized communities to facilitate state consideration of minority rights agendas. Shaming and claiming is a social movement tactic that binds historic violence to contemporary citizenship. Combining theory with empirics, Gellman explores how democratization shapes citizen experiences of interest representation and how memorialization processes challenge state regimes of forgetting at local, state, and international levels. 

Sponsored by the Department of Sociology and the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Ina and Haskell Gordon Endowed Fund)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Survival, Hope, and a Lifetime of Service
7:00pm - Dana Commons, Higgins Lounge

Speakers: Michael Ross ’93 (Attorney, Prince, Lobel, Tye LLP and former Boston City Councilor) and Roger Lyons (Writer/Producer/Director)

A survivor of 10 concentration camps, Steve Ross immigrated to Boston after the Holocaust.  He became a civic leader and the driving force behind the creation of the Boston Holocaust Memorial.  We will screen the film Etched in Glass: The Legacy of Steve Ross, which shows how one remarkable Polish man found a second life in America, dedicating himself to helping people. Clark alumnus Michael Ross, whom President Obama appointed to serve on the United States Holocaust Museum Council, and Roger Lyons will introduce the film. Ross will discuss his father’s incredible journey drawing upon his memoir about the Holocaust, Broken Glass: My Story of Finding Hope in Hitler’s Death Camps to Inspire a New Generation.

Reception and book signing to follow

Sponsored by the Worcester Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts, the New England Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League, Clark University Hillel and the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

Thursday, October 25 - Friday, October 26, 2018
Conference: The Abdul Hamid Era and Beyond: Massacres and Reform, Rupture and Continuity
Dana Commons, Higgins Lounge

25 October 2018 | 7:00 p.m | Higgins Lounge
Dana Commons

Opening Panel: Continuity or Rupture? From the Hamidean Massacres to the Armenian Genocide

Speakers: Ronald Suny (William H. Sewell, Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan and Emeritus Professor of Political Science and History at the University of Chicago) and Stephan Astourian (Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley) 

Opening panel is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor

26 October 2018 | 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.| Higgins Lounge
Dana Commons

Conference: The Abdul Hamid Era and Beyond:  Massacres and Reform, Rupture and Continuity

The year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, one of the most polarizing figures in Ottoman history.  This conference will examine key aspects of the Abdul Hamid period (1876-1909) and its aftermath by taking a closer look at policies toward Christians and Armenians in particular and the significant and large-scale massacres committed against them, the impact of reforms (both those initiated by Abdul Hamid and those attempted to be imposed by the Great Powers) on the policies towards these same groups, and the continuities or discontinuities with the catastrophic final years of the Ottoman Empire that saw the almost total annihilation of the Armenians and other Christians through genocide and other forms of mass violence.

Opening panel is free and open to the public. The conference is by reservation only.  Please contact for more information.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor


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