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Events & Programs

Audience - Children and Mass Violence Conference

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  conferences or speaker archives pages, where you can listen to audio recordings.


Upcoming Events & Conferences

Colin Flug Graduate Study Wing Open House
19 September 2019 | 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. |Colin Flug Wing
Strassler Center

19 September 2019 |4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m |Tilton Hall
Higgins University Center

President David Angel

Debórah Dwork and the Strassler Center
Mary Jane Rein
Executive Director

Keynote Address:
Americans in Dangerous Territory: Relief and Rescue Operations during the Nazi Years
Debórah Dwork
Inaugural Rose Professor and Strassler Center Founding Director

A number of Americans — Quakers, Unitarians, secular people, Jews — traveled to points around the globe to offer relief, and to rescue victims of Nazi Germany and its allies. Who were these intrepid souls who, unlike so many of their fellow citizens, perceived possibilities for action where others saw none? What did they accomplish, and how did they manage these feats? Exploring the experience of the Americans who undertook these initiatives, Debórah Dwork opens a window on the derring-do and the daily grind of desperate rescue operations.

Concluding Remarks:
The Strassler Center and the Future of Holocaust Studies
Thomas Kühne
Director, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and Strassler Professor of Holocaust History

Sponsored by the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

20 September 2019 | 9:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m.| Higgins Lounge
Dana Commons

Symposium: Agency in the Holocaust and Genocide

A symposium to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Strassler Center’s doctoral program and to celebrate the long-term leadership of founding Strassler Center Director and inaugural Rose Professor Debórah Dwork gathers graduates to respond to the theme of agency in the Holocaust. Agency addresses the choices that individuals have, their decisions and actions, as well as the consequence of these actions. The symposium participants, all of them former advisees of Debórah Dwork, will present diverse research projects that explore agency from multiple perspectives including victims, perpetrators, rescue, youth, gender, sexuality, education, religious observance, identity, humanitarianism, and memory.

Sponsored by the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

26 September 2019 |4:00 p.m. | Higgins Lounge
Dana Commons

The Continuing Impact of Genocide: Islamized Armenians and Genealogy

Speakers: Raffi Bedrosyan (civil engineer, concert pianist, and author of Trauma and Resilience: Armenians in Turkey – hidden, not hidden and no longer hidden (2018)) and George Aghjayan (Director of the Armenian Historical Archives and the chair of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Central Committee of the Eastern United States )

The 1915 Genocide led to mass deportations and the deaths of more than a million Armenians. In addition, forced assimilation and Islamization of Armenian women and children resulted in ‘hidden Armenians’ who became thoroughly Turkified/Kurdified. After one hundred years, the descendants of genocide survivors have learned about their heritage. Genealogy has helped them to discover family members and relatives. In this panel discussion, Raffi Bedrosyan introduces the phenomenon of Muslim Armenians and George Aghjayan presents how genealogical and historical research can help hidden Armenians discover their roots.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor in Armenian Genocide Studies

17 October 2019 | 4:00 p.m. | Higgins Lounge
Dana Commons

Documenting Mass Crimes and Envisioning Justice for Syrians

Speakers: Radwan Ziadeh (Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace), Melinda Rankin (Research Fellow, University of Queensland), Noah Aboueldahab (Fellow in the Foreign Policy Program, Brookings Institution)

The Syrian conflict has claimed the lives of a half-million people since 2011. Nearly five million more people have fled the country. The panelists will explain the key drivers of the conflicts and feature the efforts of local human rights organizations to document the atrocities committed. Discussion will focus on the fact-finding methods the organizations use now to lay the groundwork for transitional justice initiatives in the future.

 Sponsored by the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies; the Political Science Department through the Chester Bland Fund and Peace Studies 



23 October 2019 | 4:30 p.m. | TBD

Genocide. Ecocide. Climate catastrophe.
Naming it, owning it, going from here.

Speakers: Christian Parenti (author, journalist and Associate Professor of Economics, John Jay College) and Roy Scranton (author and Assistant Professor of English, University of Notre Dame)

A powerful shift in American collective awareness of the climate crisis has occurred thanks to scientific reports released in fall 2018, a new level of attention in the media, and lived experiences of wildfires, drought, heavy rains, crop failures, severe cold and more.

Yet, as a culture, we live in a state of cognitive dissonance, continuing to behave as if we are not destroying our planetary home, and facing the gravest existential threat humanity has known.

Beyond the ecological dangers, competition for scarce resources and climate-connected intentional human genocides are on the rise – in the short- and long-term, and in both the South and the North. In fact, in some sense the entire climate phenomenon can be seen as an auto-genocide.

What is it we know? What do we call it? How do we understand an expanding definition of genocide? How do we own that knowledge fully? What does it portend? Where do we go from there?

We will explore these questions with our guests, who bring broad perspectives to these issues, including journalistic and military experiences in war-torn regions of the world.

Sponsored by the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, A new Earth conversation (NEC), Neil Leifer and Ellen Carno.  Made possible in part through the generous funding of the Christopher Reynolds Foundation.




6 November 2019 | 3:00 p.m.| Tilton Hall
Higgins University Center

Especially for Students Lecture

1994 Genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda:  Twenty-Five Years Later

Speaker: Adama Dieng (Special Adviser, Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide (OSASPG))

The Genocide Against the Tutsi took place in 1994, when nearly one million Tutsi and moderate Hutu were killed in just 100 days in the small, land-locked country of Rwanda. What lessons can we learn about UN intervention, genocide prevention, and the power of humanity 25 years after the world’s tragedy? From personal insights based on Adama Dieng’s rich career in public and international service, he will discuss how we can engage to create a world free of identity-based violence.

Reception to follow lecture.

Sponsored by the Undergraduate Program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Ina and Haskell Gordon Endowed Fund)