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Events & Programs

An important component of the Strassler Center’s mission is education and outreach to the general public and the scholarly community. On this page you will find links to past events and academic conferences. We also invite you to learn more about our conferences and to visit our speaker archives, where you can listen to audio recordings.

For information on upcoming events and conferences, please contact the Center’s program manager Robyn Conroy.

Upcoming Events & Conferences

20 February 2019 | 2:00 p.m. | Rose Library
Cohen-Lasry House, Clark University

Especially for Students Lecture

Who Was Anton Bruckner and Why Did the Nazis Care So Much About His Music?

Speaker: Benjamin Korstvedt (Professor of Music, Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Clark University)

During the 1930s, the legacy of the Austrian composer Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) became an object of intense political and ideological attention as the Nazi movement sought, in effect, to annex his music. This talk will outline why and how this came about and also consider what this episode reveals about the fate of music and the historical record in a totalitarian culture.

Join us for a post-lecture reception.

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


27 March 2019 | 4:30 p.m. | Rose Library
Cohen-Lasry House, Clark University

Vanishing Vienna: Modern Art and Representations of Jewish Absence in Post-Nazi Central Europe

Speaker: Frances Tanzer (Visiting Assistant Professor, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies)

Introduction: Omer Bartov (John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History, Department of History, Brown University)

After 1945, Austrians deemed images of pre-Nazi Vienna essential for projects to re-imagine Viennese, Austrian, and European identities at home and abroad. Yet, the celebration of a world in which the Jewish minority had been central ensured that representations of Jewish absence would be constitutive of postwar Viennese cultural identities. Focusing on postwar exhibitions of Viennese modernism, Tanzer will explore the paradoxical role that Jews and representations of “Jews” played in the construction of post-Nazi cultural identities in Central Europe. At the heart of Vienna’s postwar cultural reorientation was a contradiction: nostalgia for the pre-Nazi Jewish presence in the city and a population of postwar Austrians who had little desire for the return the Jewish population. Tanzer reveals philosemitism and representations of Jewish absence as crucial to ongoing discussions of national identity and European integration in Vienna, Austria, and beyond.

Sponsored by Laura and Wayne Glazier, MD



11 April 2019 | Conference Keynote | 7:00 p.m.
Dana Commons | Higgins Lounge, Clark University

Bad Memories

Speaker: Ian Buruma (Paul Williams Professor of Human Rights, Democracy, and Journalism, Bard College)

Buruma will discuss how history affects contemporary politics, focusing on memories of World War II.  Scholars have written extensively about the ways in which the Germans and Japanese have dealt with their darkest years. Less attention has been paid to how history is remembered on the other side, in countries that were the victims of Nazi or fascist powers, or in countries that were victorious. The problems of dealing incompletely or dishonestly with a tainted past are well known. Buruma will focus instead on the negative effects of recalling only victimhood or triumph. The discussion will be global in scope, encompassing examples in Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Sponsored by the Asher Fund and the Cutler Charitable Foundation

12-13 April 2019 | 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Dana Commons
Higgins Lounge, Clark University

E Pluribus Unum? Memory Conflicts, Democracy, and Integration

Comparative perspectives on memories of racism, slavery, and genocide in the United
States and the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes against humanity in Europe will be the focus of
E Pluribus Unum?  Participants will inquire into the tension between memory conflicts and processes and problems of social cohesion, integration, and identity. Can the US learn from societies that have mustered the memory of such events to strengthen inclusion and diversity in the present? Processes of healing from traumatic pasts are reversible at any time. Why can’t the US overcome its pernicious tendencies toward discrimination, violence, and exclusion? Why are 150-year-old symbols of slavery and oppression—confederate flags and monuments—kept alive, even glorified, in the present? Intensifying conflicts over memory raise concerns about the stability of democracies, which depend upon pluralism, competition, different ideologies, interests, and identities.

Sponsored by an anonymous family foundation