U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, UM to Host Symposium

October 28, 2015

MISSOULA – The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the University of Montana’s African-American Studies program are convening a symposium on historical trauma Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 4-5, at UM. The interdisciplinary program will explore emerging Holocaust research on historical trauma, as well as current research on the topic in Native American studies, African-American studies, and women’s, gender and sexuality studies.

Sara Horowitz, professor of comparative literature at York University, will deliver a keynote address titled “The Inheritance of Trauma across the Disciplines: A View from Holocaust Studies” at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, in UM’s University Center.

The symposium also will feature four panel discussions that will consist of scholars and professors from the region as well as throughout the U.S. delivering papers on victim- and survivor-centered histories of trauma, the impact of trauma on children in the wake of war, the psychological effects of the boarding school system in contemporary Native American communities, legal responses to trauma, and how histories of trauma unfold in the realm of gender and sexuality.

UM President Royce Engstrom and Robert M. Ehrenreich, director of University Programs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Mandel Center, will offer opening remarks. Participants on the closing roundtable will discuss with the symposium’s audience how these issues are addressed in the classroom.

The symposium is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. View the conference program and register at http://ushmm.org/historical-trauma-symposium.

The event is co-sponsored by the UM’s African-American Studies Program, College of Humanities and Sciences, Davidson Honors College, Department of Anthropology, Department of Communication Studies, Department of History, the Mansfield Library, Native American Studies Department, the Office of the President, University Center, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. It is supported by a generous grant from the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The symposium is held in conjunction with UM’s DiverseU, a campuswide series of events focused on topics of diversity. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members discuss, present, perform and exhibit art throughout the program. For more information, visit http://www.umt.edu/diverseu.

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to promote human dignity, confront hatred and prevent genocide. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.ushmm.org.

By bringing together scholars, teachers, students and community members, the Mandel Center’s outreach symposia seek to enrich campus dialogue and forge connections with diverse audiences that will ensure the vitality of Holocaust studies in an increasingly interdisciplinary and multicultural academic landscape.

African-American Studies at UM is the country’s third oldest such program and one of the fastest growing programs at UM, having experienced fivefold growth in the past seven years. According to Director Tobin Miller Shearer, students in the program are equipped to speak with nuance and precision about this country’s racial fracture lines. For more information visit http://hs.umt.edu/aas/.


Contact: Tobin Miller Shearer, director, UM African-American Studies, 406-243-6225, tobin.shearer@umontana.edu; Krista Hegburg, program officer, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 202-488-0459, khegburg@ushmm.org.