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Educating about Genocide and Mass Atrocities

The history of genocide, mass atrocities, crimes against humanity and their continuing consequences stand at the core of the Strassler Center at Clark University. 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 1998, it has gained international standing as the foremost PhD program training students in Holocaust History, the Armenian Genocide, and other genocides perpetrated around the globe.  Center faculty and students foster important scholarship and germinate significant ideas as conveners of a robust series of international symposia, workshops, and conferences that broaden the boundaries of genocide studies by introducing less known cases and novel approaches. The causes, conduct, and consequences of genocide are complex and require multifaceted approaches. The Strassler Center is committed to pushing boundaries in order to foster greater knowledge as well as to train professionals who hope to find solutions, offer healing and aid, education, and opportunities for memorialization.

 

Statement on Anti-black Racism and Police Violence

We write you as faculty members at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies to express our deepening concern regarding both anti-Black racism and the violence of the police this past weekend.

This is not the story of a single episode of violence. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor at the hands of the law enforcement officials are the most recent chapter in a longer history of violence, systems of oppression, and prejudice. As scholars of mass violence that is often racially motivated, we know that what makes these acts of brutality all the more devastating are their long-term consequences. The ongoing violence that cuts short the lives of Black Americans reflects and reinforces the structural inequalities that have reverberated long after the eradication of slavery. It also produces a vast silence created by the unrealized potential of lost generations of poets, artists, teachers, politicians, scholars, activists, mothers, and fathers.

The protests that emerged across the country over this past weekend and the brutality of the police response have inspired a national conversation about police reform and anti-Black racism. It is not the first time we have had such a conversation. One only has to check the newspaper headlines following the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice in 2014, Sandra Bland in 2015 to trace the rise and subsequent disappearance of national discussions. As a community committed to the study of injustice and violence we then ask: how can we support sustained discussions about the ongoing violence in our midst and what can we do to encourage those discussions to contribute to tangible change? Such inquiries are all the more important in a moment when some political leaders condone the militarization of our communities.

The pandemic makes examining these challenging questions even more difficult, because it forces us to sustain our intellectual community at a distance. Nevertheless, as a center dedicated to the study of genocide and extreme violence, we have the intellectual resources necessary to analyze histories of race, racism, and police brutality. In the coming months, we will continue to deepen our commitment to creating programming, courses, and research that provide opportunities to think critically about histories of violence, racism, and justice in our own context and far beyond it.

A statement like this is merely one step. It will be of much greater importance how we collectively and individually take actions to realize the commitments we have made in this moment of crisis.

Taner Akçam, Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian & Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor
Ken MacLean, Professor
Thomas Kühne, Strassler Colin Flug Chair
Frances Tanzer, Rose Professor
Executive Director Mary Jane Rein

Our Faculty and Expertise

Dr. Kuhne Teaching Class

Thomas Kühne, Ph.D.

Director, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies; Strassler Colin Flug Chair in the Study of Holocaust History;  Professor, Department of History

Research Highlights

 

Dr. Akcam teachingTaner Akçam, Ph.D.

Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies; Professor, Department of History

Research Highlights

Dr. MacLean Teaching

Ken MacLean, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of International Development, Community, and Environment; Associate Professor, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies; Director of Asian Studies

Research Highlights

Information about our faculty, and also visiting and affiliated faculty

Strassler Center in Focus

Agency and the Holocaust: Essays in Honor of Debórah Dwork

Thomas Kühne and Mary Jane Rein announce the publication of their co-edited volume of essays honoring Professor Debórah Dwork. Contributions by Strassler Center alumni recognize the scholarly achievements of their mentor and doctoral advisor.

For More Information

Year-End Report

A comprehensive report on the activities of the Strassler Center.

View Current Report
Colin Flug Wing

The Colin Flug Graduate Study Wing

Take a closer look and learn more about our growing Rose Library and the newest edition, the Colin Flug Graduate Study Wing.

News

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Clark observes 20 years of Holocaust education

Commemoration includes lectures, notes expansion of academic footprint

Clark undergrads spend summer on human rights

Stipends support student work in France and Bosnia

Colin Flug Wing is a haven for genocide scholars

Event celebrates wing, 20 years of doctoral education at Strassler Center

Akçam offers proof of plan to annihilate Armenians

Historian: Ottoman leaders ‘spoke openly’ of how to exterminate population

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Contact Information

Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Contact Us
  • Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
    Clark University
    950 Main Street
    Worcester, MA 01610
  • 508-793-8897
  • 508-793-8827 Fax