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2017 “Where Memory Leads”

Holocaust Lecture Series 2017/2018
40th Anniversary

In 1979, then university chaplain, now emeritus, Rev. Bev Asbury organized what would prove to be the first of the now longest continuous Holocaust Lecture Series at any American university. Under the rubric “Holocaust: Jewish and Christian Perspectives,” prominent theologians and philosophers Irving Greenberg, Emil Fackenheim, and Franklin H. Littel, as well as one of the leading survivor memoirists, Gerda Klein, spoke to the greater Vanderbilt community. Since then our ongoing examination of ourselves and our society in the wake of the Holocaust has brought such notable figures as Elie Wiesel, Simon Wiesenthal, Claude Lanzmann, Lawrence Langer, Nechama Tec, Deborah Lipstadt, among many other scholars and survivors, along with an array of artistic engagements with the Shoah (dance, film, music, painting, photography, theater) to campus. The series has also been committed to drawing our community’s attention to past and present acts of genocidal violence, including those wreaked upon Armenians, Kurds, Native Americans, Roma, Tutsis, and Yazidis. It has addressed such general themes as art, gender, law, medicine, and theology, as well as the particulars of perpetration, resistance, standing by, and living on.

Almost seventy years since the UN’s adoption of the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, we still find genocide and institutional discrimination. The fortieth anniversary of the series seems an appropriate time to reflect on the history of the series, and of our society as well, so as to look ahead to our common future. And beyond reflection and anticipation lies responsibility. Our responsibilities to teach, to learn, and to stand up do not end with Fall Semester final exams.

Please join the fortieth annual Vanderbilt University Holocaust Lecture Series throughout the 2017-18 academic year as it explores, through lecture, music, film, conversation, and genocide prevention simulation, the many places (borrowing from the title of the recent memoir of leading Holocaust scholar and this year’s plenary speaker, Saul Friedländer) where memory leads.

Fall Semester, 2017

Where Memory Leads
The 40th Anniversary Keynote Address by Professor Saul Friedlander
September 26, 7 p.m.
Flynn Auditorium, Vanderbilt Law School

Saul Friedlander is a Pulitzer Prize-Winning Israeli/American historian and currently professor emeritus of history at UCLA. Professor Friedlander, a historian and a memoir writer, will explore how these disparate genres intersect and, more importantly, where these disciplines of knowing can lead us to a faithful and enduring memory of the Holocaust in the twenty-first century and beyond.

Voices of Hope & Resistance: Courage Was My Only Option with Roman Kent
October 24, 7 p.m.
Board of Trust Room, Student Life Center

Born in Lodz, Poland, Kent spent the war years in the Lodz Ghetto and in the Auschwitz, Mertzbachtal, Dornau, and Flossenburg concentration camps.  He arrived in the United States in 1946 under the auspices of the children’s quota of the United States Government’s “Displaced Persons Act.” Mr. Kent serves as President of The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, Chairman of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, and has received the Interfaith Committee of Remembrance Humanitarian Award and the Elie Wiesel Holocaust Remembrance Award. Roman Kent has lived a life dedicated to bearing witness and playing an active role in Holocaust education and philanthropy.

Out of Darkness: A Chamber Performance and Lecture
The Blakemore Trio and Friends
Lecture by Joy H. Calico, Professor of Musicology
October 28, 7 p.m.
The Blair School of Music—Ingram Hall

Blair musicians—The Blakemore Trio: Amy Dorfman, piano; Carolyn Huebl, violin; Felix Wang, cello; and friends Evan Bish, bass; Bil Jackson, clarinet; Amy Jarman, soprano; Christina McGann, viola; along with Joy H. Calico—offer this lecture and performance to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the Vanderbilt Holocaust Lecture Series, a legacy program of the Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life. The program will bear witness to the Holocaust through these compositions:

Prayer (Three Pieces from Jewish Life) (1924), Ernest Bloch; Rhapsody No. 3 on Moldavian Themes Op. 47 (1949), Mieczysław Weinberg; String Trio (1944), Gideon Klein; ANOTHER SUNRISE (2012), Music by Jake Heggie, Libretto by Gene Scheer, based on the life and writing of Krystyna Żywulska. Commissioned and premiered by Music of Remembrance (Mina Miller, Artistic Director) and first performed at MOR Holocaust Remembrance Concerts at Benaroya Hall, Seattle WA.

Documentary Film—Monsieur Mayonnaise
November 9, 7:30 p.m.
Belcourt Theatre, 2102 Belcourt Avenue

Australian artist and film-maker, Philippe Mora, investigates his father’s clandestine role in the French Resistance in WWII and his mother’s miraculous escape enroute to Auschwitz. Philippe, a Hollywood cult-horror movie director and pop-artist, adopts a Film Noir persona to tell his family’s story of survival and the Holocaust.

Monsieur Mayonnaise is co-sponsored by the Holocaust Lecture Series and the Nashville Jewish Film Festival

Spring Semester

Genocide Prevention Response Simulation
Saturday, January 20, 5-9 p.m.; Sunday, January 21, 9 a.m.— 6 p.m.
Vanderbilt Divinity School

Participants in this interactive experience will meet in one of six groups, which will in turn assemble in plenary sessions designed to develop appropriate responses to an impending mass atrocity. The scenario is quite realistic and exposes groups to detailed information relevant to an evolving potential mass atrocity situation in Zimbabwe. Groups will debate available options for dealing with a set of real world challenges based on shifting and often incomplete information.  Participants will be exposed to the difficulties of making judgements about impending genocides and a structured decision-making process for generating better policy and legal judgments.

Note: Individuals who desire to participate in this Simulation need to contact Professor Michael Newton at the Law School by October 2, 2017: mike.newton@Law.Vanderbilt.Edu

My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past
January 26, 7:00 p.m
Benton Chapel, Vanderbilt University

Jennifer Teege, an international best-selling author, will be the HLS keynoter for spring semester. At age thirty-eight Teege happened to pluck a library book from the shelf having no idea that her life would be irrevocably altered. Recognizing photos of her mother and grandmother in the book, she discovered a horrifying fact: Her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the vicious Nazi commandant chillingly depicted by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List.

Although raised in an orphanage and eventually adopted, Teege had some contact with her biological mother and grandmother as a child. Yet neither revealed that Teege’s grandfather was the Nazi “butcher of Plaszów,” executed for crimes against humanity in 1946. The more Teege reads about Amon Goeth, the more certain she becomes: If her grandfather had met her—a black woman—he would have killed her. Jennifer Teege will share her emotional pilgrimage that wrestled with depression, race and identity, and what it takes to be a liberated human being.

Violins of Hope
February 27. 7 PM
Sarratt Cinema

Reflections on Yom HaShoah and the 75th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
April 11
Shaul Magid, the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Chair of Jewish Studies in Modern Judaism at Indiana University

Post-Holocaust Theology—Secular and Orthodox Histories in Dialogue
April 12
Shaul Magid, the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Chair of Jewish Studies in Modern Judaism at Indiana University