Letters

Letters Archive
Fall 99, Vol. 8, No. 1 (requires Adobe Acrobat)
  • Deconstructing Nature
  • John K. Roth Named Consultant to the 1999/2000 Holocaust Program
  • Kathleen Hall Jamieson to Present the 1999 Harry C. Howard Jr. Lecture
  • Inventing Work Conference
  • 2000/20001 Fellows Program
  • 1999/2000 Fellows
  • Second Annual Robert Penn Warren Lecture on Southern Letters: Reynolds Price

  • John K. Roth Named Consultant to the 1999/2000 Holocaust Program

    During the 1999/2000 academic year, the Warren Center will host "The Holocaust, Genocide, and the Teaching of Ethical Values," a project funded by the Zimmerman Foundation and the Tennessee Holocaust Commission. Scholars and teachers from across Tennessee will meet regularly to discuss the creation of curricula for secondary schools and universities that will teach about the Holocaust and promote strategies for the prevention of similar atrocities. Participants, selected in a statewide competition, include professors from five universities and eight disciplines, as well as two high school teachers recognized for their outstanding contributions to the teaching of the Holocaust. In the summer of 2000, an intensive three-week seminar for high school teachers will be held at the Warren Center to create materials for curricula based on the work of the faculty colloquium.
    The Holocaust Program was orginally conceived by Beverly Asbury, University chaplain emeritus at Vanderbilt and former chair of the Tennessee Holocaust Commission. Asbury has long been concerned about the failure of Christians to come to terms with the Holocaust. He will serve as an adviser to the project. Ernest G. Freudenthal, adjunct associate professor of management of technology in the School of Engineering at Vanderbilt, will serve the program as liaison with the Tennessee Holocaust Commission.
    John K. Roth, Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, has been named as a consultant to the program. Roth, who also teaches at Claremont Graduate University, is a nationally recognized expert in Holocaust studies. In 1988, he was named the U.S. National Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. His postdoctoral appointments have included a Graves Fellowship in the Humanities, Fulbright Lectureships in Austria and Norway, and a fellowship from the National Humanities Institute at Yale University. He has also served as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. His books include A Consuming Fire: Encounters with Elie Wiesel and the Holocaust; Approaches to Auschwitz: The Holocaust and Its Legacy (with Richard L. Rubinstein); Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust (edited with Carol Rittner); and, most recently, Private Needs, Public Selves: Talk About Religion in America.
    Biographical information about the participants follows:

    William James Booth, professor of political science at Vanderbilt University, is the author of Households: On the Moral Architecture of the Economy and Interpreting the World: A Study of Kant's Philosophy of History and Politics. He has also co-edited two collections of essays and published articles on Marxist political economy and classical Greek economic theory. His research considers the relationships between political identity, moral accountability, and the politics of memory. In particular, he is interested in the ethics of remembrance associated with the Holocaust in Germany and the Vichy years in France.

    Penelope H. Brooks, professor of psychology at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, is a specialist in cognitive and moral development. She has published numerous articles on the development of cognitive processes in mental retardation and on issues of public policy surrounding the prevention of children's injuries. She is interested in applying the insights of psychology to the study of how people come to commit atrocities, and to the challenge of teaching moral reasoning.

    Joel Dark, assistant professor of history at Tennessee State University, received his Ph.D from Vanderbilt in 1998. He specializes in modern European history and is interested in the question of how to bring the significance of the Holocaust to ethnic and social groups with histories of oppression.

    Paul B. Fleming teaches ninth grade government and tenth grade world studies at Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School in Nashville. He has received several awards and grants for excellence in Holocaust education, including a Mandel Teacher Fellowship from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum for the 1999/2000 school year and the Belz-Lipman Award from the Tennessee Holocaust Commission in 1997.

    Jay Geller, lecturer in religious studies at Vanderbilt University, explores the relationship between the narrative ordering of events and Jewish identity. He has published extensively on Jewish identity in the work of Sigmund Freud and has co-edited the volume Reading Freud's Reading. He is at work on a two volume essay collection that will relate the discourse of Jewish identity to the discourses of psychoanalysis and modernity. He is also interested in the controversy surrounding the authenticity of Wilkomirski's Fragments.

    Sue Chaney Gilmore teaches Latin and Advanced Placement European History at Hillsboro High School in Nashville. She is also a member of the core faculty at the Tennessee Governor's School of International Studies and has served on the Tennessee Holocaust Commission Teachers Council. Her awards and honors include Fulbright and Mellon Grants, as well as the Tufts University Outstanding Teacher Award.

    Teresa A. Goddu, associate professor of English at Vanderbilt University, specializes in American literature and culture. She is the author of Gothic America: Narrative, History, and Nation, and of articles on Edgar Allan Poe, country music, Gloria Naylor, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. At present she is at work on a book that examines the relationship between the representation of slavery in antebellum literature and the culture of the marketplace. Her other research interests include the pedagogical and ethical issues surrounding the representation and remembrance of historical trauma.

    Peter J. Haas, associate professor of religious studies and associate professor of Jewish literature and thought at Vanderbilt University, is a co director of the Holocaust Colloquium. He is the author of four books, including Morality After Auschwitz: The Radical Challenge of the Nazi Ethic and Responsa: Literary History of a Rabbinic Genre. His recent work explores the relationship between science and moral discourse.

    Sonja Maria Hedgepeth, associate professor of German at Middle Tennessee State University, has published a book and several articles on the work of Else Lasker-Schüler. Her research interests include the discourses of Jewish-German identity and the literary representation of exile. Her book in progress, Wesenhaft anders, traces the writing career of Paula Buber.

    David Alan Patterson, Bornblum Chair of Excellence in Judaic Studies and Director of the Bornblum Judaic Studies Program at the University of Memphis, has published ten books on a wide variety of subjects, including Holocaust diaries and memoirs, alienation in modern Russian literature, the criticism of Mikhail Bakhtin, and the relationship between religion and literature. His most recent book, Along the Edge of Annihilation: The Collapse and Recovery of Life in the Holocaust Novel, is being published this year by the University of Washington Press.

    Gary A. Phillips, professor of religion at the University of the South, is at work on a project that examines the ethics of biblical reading and the ways that the Bible has been used to perpetuate violence and anti-Semitism. He is the editor of the volume Poststructural Criticism and the Bible: Text/History/Discourse, and author of articles applying the work of Derrida and Emmanuel Levinas to biblical exegesis.

    Helmut Walser Smith, associate professor of history at Vanderbilt University, is a co-director of the Holocaust Colloquium. A specialist in German history, he is the author of German Nationalism and Religious Conflict: Culture, Ideology, Politics, 1870-1914, and of articles on the discourse of anti-Semitism in the German Kaiserreich. At present he is at work on a book that examines the experience of totalitarian rule in the former East German city of Bitterfeld from 1930 to 1961.

    Margaret Vandiver, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Memphis, has published articles on capital punishment and the relationship between crime and casino gambling. She is also at work on projects that examine genocide, war crimes, and human rights violations from a criminological perspective.

    Meike G.J. Werner, assistant professor of German at Vanderbilt University, has co-edited forthcoming collections of letters by Karl Korsch and Wilhelm Flitner, as well as the essay collection German Literature, Jewish Critics. Her published articles include work on Eugen Diederichs and on early twentieth century student movements in Jena and Weimar.

    Letters Archive Index

    For more information, contact the Center's executive director, Mona C. Frederick.


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