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Events and Conferences

audience revewing an event

An important component of the Strassler Center’s mission is education and outreach to the general public and the scholarly community.  For more information on upcoming events and conferences, please contact the Center’s program manager Robyn Conroy.  To receive notifications about all upcoming events and to join our mailing list, contact Alissa Duke.

If you would like to learn more about past events and academic conferences, we invite you to visit our previous events page, where you can listen to or watch audio/video recordings.

Upcoming Events

02 February 2022 |4 p.m.| Zoom

Speaker: Alexandra Garbarini (Professor of History and Jewish Studies, Williams College) 

What did it mean for victims to bear witness to mass violence in the aftermath of the First World War? This lecture takes up the question of victim testimony in relation to two widely publicized murder trials in Berlin and Paris in the 1920s, which spotlighted the genocide of Armenians and the pogroms against Jews in Ukraine. Decades later, Hannah Arendt and Raphael Lemkin, among others, would continue to reference the centrality of testimony. Paradoxically, the trials muted victim testimony while making it a central theme.

Sponsored by the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies 

We will also offer a livestream of the event through the Strassler Center’s Facebook page.

Zoom registration is required

Email Program Manager Robyn Conroy at for more information.



17 March 2022 | 4 p.m. | Higgins Lounge
Dana Commons

Living in Climate Refuge 

Speakers: Justin Hosbey (Assistant Professor, Emory University), Tessa Rose Farmer (Assistant Professor in the Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures Department and the Global Studies Program at the University of Virginia) and Caterina Scaramelli (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Boston University)

Climate activists often draw our attention to future climate catastrophes and project ever-growing numbers of refugees as a result. To be sure, the projected numbers are startling. This roundtable discussion, however, will focus on the present realities and historical evolution of climate refugees. Climate change has already forced increasing numbers of people to flee their homes due to natural disasters, droughts and other environmental changes. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), for instance, estimates that the number of people displaced by climate change-related disasters since 2010 has risen to 21.5 million– an estimate that only captures those cases that count as an international humanitarian issue. On a seemingly less dramatic level is the phenomenon of internal refugees and migration due to climate change. This panel brings together three scholars to discuss the relation of climate and refuge from three national case studies, post-hurricane New Orleans, water-scarce Cairo, and the Turkish Wetlands. The discussion will provide insights into how societies already live with and after man-made climate change and ongoing political catastrophes.

Sponsored by the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies 

7 April 2022 |5 p.m.| Higgins Lounge
Dana Commons

Keynote: TBD
Speakers:  Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer

8 April 8| 9 a.m.  6 p.m.| Higgins Lounge
Dana Commons

Absence is a core, but often overlooked, component of the experience of forced displacement. Unlike the willingness to remember the atrocities that drive people from their homes, absence does not wax or wane. Rather, it becomes a foundational aspect of both refugee experience and the societies they flee. How do displaced peoples think about—and sometimes reinvent—the homes they left behind through art, music, theater, and everyday practice? How do the populations that remain experience and confront the absence of displaced populations? What cultural and political landscapes do they form around their negative relief? Finally, what methodologies have scholars, artists, and writers developed to confront archives riddled with the holes and ellisions produced by displacement and erasure? Foregrounding such questions, this workshop will investigate the absences produced by forced migration and mass violence together with their long-term consequences.

Keynote is free and open to the public. The conference is by reservation only.

Sponsored in memory of Lisl Hirsch with gratitude to the friends and colleagues of Dr. Michael Hirsch


12 April 2022 |4:00 p.m. | Rose Library
Strassler Center

From Holocaust Denial to Holocaust Distortion

Speaker: Jan Grabowski (University of Ottawa, Professor of History) is  co-founder of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research in Warsaw (2003) and a specialist in Jewish–Polish relations in German-occupied Poland during World War II and the Holocaust in Poland. He is the recipient of the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland (2013).

Grabowski will discuss the patterns of Holocaust distortion currently practiced by institutions of the Polish state. Holocaust denial, today, is the preserve of a fanatical fringe. Those who deny the factuality of the Jewish catastrophe remove themselves beyond the margins of civilized debate. While they no longer threaten the memory of the Shoah, distortion of the Holocaust has become a much more insidious phenomenon. Unlike the deniers of yesteryear, people, states, and institutions engaged in Holocaust distortion do not reject the factuality of the event. They argue that their nation, their people, had nothing to do with it.

Sponsored by Michele and Robert Simpson in memory of Herbert M. Rein

Contact Information

Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

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