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Gendered Experiences in and Memories of the Nazi Holocaust

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
12:10-1:40 pm
Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center
Main Exhibit Space
Queensborough Community College
Oakland Gardens, Queens, NY

Gender, Mass Violence, and Genocide

Pictured at the December 2, 2015, panel discussion at Queensborough Community College are, left to right, Dr. Amy Traver, Dr. Azadeh Aalai, Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel, Dr. Marianne Hirsch, and Dr. Dan Leshem, Executive Director of the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center.

In this event, part of the College’s 2015-2016 "Gender, Mass Violence, and Genocide" colloquia series, Dr. Azadeh Aalai, Dr. Rochelle Saidel, and Dr. Marianne Hirsch discussed victims' gendered experiences in and memories of the Nazi Holocaust. Dr. Dan Leshem, Executive Director of KHRCA and Dr. Amy Traver introduced the event. Dr. Aalai, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Queensborough Community College, drew on her research on warfare and genocide, as well her seminar work at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, to reveal gendered variations in Holocaust experiences. Dr. Saidel, the founder and executive director of the Remember the Women Institute, offered insights from her co-edited volume, Sexual Violence against Jewish Women during the Holocaust. Dr. Hirsch, the William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and Professor in the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, completed the panel with thoughts on the gendered transmission of memories of violence across generations.

Azadeh Aalai 

Dr. Azadeh Aalai is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Queensborough Community College, CUNY. Her research interests include media framing during times of war, the psychology of aggression, violence, warfare & genocide, media and pop culture, as well as interdisciplinary interests that include political psychology, history, and literature/creative writing. She is the author of a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Mass Communication and Journalism, as well as the textbook Understanding Aggression: Psychological Origins and Approaches to Aggressive Behavior (National Social Science Press). She is a regulator contributor to Psychology Today.

Marianne Hirsch 

Dr. Marianne Hirsch is William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and Director of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She is past president of the Modern Language Association of America. Hirsch's work combines feminist theory with memory studies, particularly the transmission of memories of violence across generations. Her recent books include The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust (Columbia University Press, 2012), Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory, co-authored with Leo Spitzer (University of California Press, 2010), and Rites of Return: Diaspora, Poetics and the Politics of Memory, co-edited with Nancy K. Miller (Columbia University Press, 2011). She is one of the founders of Columbia's Center for the Study of Social Difference and of its global initiative "Women Creating Change."

Rochelle Saidel 

Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel is the founder and executive director of the Remember the Women Institute, a not-for-profit organization based in New York City that carries out and encourages research and cultural projects that integrate women into history, especially Holocaust history. She is the author or editor of six books on various aspects of the Holocaust, including Mielec, Poland: The Shtetl That Became a Nazi Concentration Camp (Gefen Publishers, 2012), The Jewish Women of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004), Fiorello's Sister: Gemma La Guardia Gluck's Story (Syracuse University Press, 2007), and Sexual Violence against Jewish Women during the Holocaust (co-edited with Dr. Sonja M. Hedgepeth, Brandeis University Press/University Press of New England, 2010). She has curated exhibits on women and the Holocaust and has written and lectured on the subject throughout the United States and internationally for more than 35 years.

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