Events

Wednesday, November 6th, 12:10-2:10 p.m., KHRCA Classroom
“Narratives of Belated Experience: Musical Testimony from the Holocaust”
Dr. Joseph Toltz, Lecturer and Tutor, Sydney Conservatorium of Music and University of Western Sydney, co-sponsored by The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Music has featured as a discourse in Holocaust narrative. From the earliest forms of recorded testimony, literary works of recognized authors and expert accounts of musicians in SS-commissioned orchestras, music has served as a commemorative function for the Jewish community, a pedagogical tool in performance, a feature of testimony and a complement of historical narrative.

This presentation draws on three unique collections of musical testimony from survivors from distinct periods. The first collection comes straight after the war, in the Displaced Persons camps in 1946. Dr. David Boder’s collection of musical recordings has not been addressed by scholars, despite the keen interest in his work by historians. Professor David Bloch, one of the first academic pioneers of Terezin music research, spent years collecting musical testimony from prominent survivor musicians, in order to inform his own understanding of the place of performance in the ghetto. The final collection is personal ethnographic research, undertaken over the past twelve years with approximately one hundred survivors living on four different continents. How has our understanding of musical testimony changed with the passage of history? How do we treat this material today? Does it contain a greater potential for future commemoration and understanding of the function of music in times of extreme trauma?

Dr. Toltz is Research Associate and Lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. His specialty is musical memory and recall in Jewish Holocaust survivors. In 2011 he was the Barbara and Richard Rosenberg Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In 2011, Dr. Toltz published in Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History (Vol. 16:3), as well as book chapters and articles on the electronic group Kraftwerk, the children’s opera Brundibar and the Jewish approach to illness. Formerly a Cantor for 13 years, Toltz continues work as a professional musician.

Joseph Toltz was a Barbara and Richard Rosenberg Fellow of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and his presentation is co-funded by the Campus Outreach Lecture Program of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, supported by the generosity of the Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation, Inc. and Arlyn S. and Stephen H. Cypen.

Wednesday, TBA (November 20?), 12:10-2:10 p.m., KHRCA Classroom
“Disabilities and the Holocaust: A History Revealed,” Dr. Simi Linton and Christian von Tippelskirch, coordinated by Dr. Amy Traver, Sociology, QCC

A one-hour lecture on disability on the Holocaust, followed by a viewing of the documentary Liebe Perla, which introduces the history of brutality toward and murder of people with disabilities in Nazi Germany. There will be an audience Q&A with Dr. Linton and Mr. von Tippelskirch.

Liebe Perla is an astounding and intimate documentary film that traces the friendship of two disabled women as they resurrect a lost history – the history of violence and murder of disabled people in Nazi Germany. Simi Linton has toured with Liebe Perla to over 50 places in the U.S. and Canada and the film received several significant prizes at international film festivals.

Simi Linton and Christian von Tippelskirch will discuss the implications of the film for understanding both the Holocaust and the present moment as well. Simi Linton has been at the forefront of disability studies since its early days. While on the faculty at Hunter College she wrote the groundbreaking study of this field, Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity (New York University Press, 1998). She was awarded a Mary E. Switzer Distinguished Fellowship by the US Department of Education National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, 1995-1996 and has been the Co-Director of the University Seminar in Disability Studies at Columbia University since 2003.

Simi Linton is the author of Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity and the memoir My Body Politic. She was a CUNY faculty member from 1985-1998.

Christian von Tippelskirch is a U.S. filmmaker originally from Germany, where he studied Psychology and Sociology in the 70s. He was an active member of the movement against the institutionalization of people with psychiatric diagnoses that emerged in Germany in response to the treatment of disabled people before, during, and after the Holocaust

Simi and Christian are the Directors and Producers of the forthcoming documentary film, Invitation to Dance.

Wednesday, December 4th, 12:30-1:30 p.m., KHRCA Classroom
“The Body, Disabilities and the Holocaust,” Dr. Sarah Chinn, coordinated by Dr. Amy Traver, Sociology, QCC

Lecture by Dr. Sarah Chinn, Associate Professor of English at Hunter College and author of Technology and the Logic of American Racism: A Cultural History of the Body as Evidence (Continuum, 2000).

In a club-hour talk designed for students and faculty, Dr. Chinn will discuss the historical intersections of legal, medical, and racial discourses in the United States.

Wednesday, February 5th, 12:10-2:10 p.m., KHRCA Classroom
“Developing Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness,” Ms. Lorraine Cupelli, Nursing, QCC
This seminar presentation aimed at nursing students and those interested in health fields will focus on developing cultural sensitivity and awareness and bridging cultural gaps to foster improved health outcomes. Topics will include pursuing the impact of the Holocaust on survivors as well as on the second and third generations and spotlight cultural beliefs as they relate to decisions regarding health, prevention of illness, treatment of illness and end-of-life issues.

Wednesday, February 19th, 12:10-2:10 p.m., KHRCA Exhibit Space or M-136
“Being ‘Other’ in America Today,” coordinated by Dr. Trikartikaningsih Byas, English, QCC.

This event will feature speakers including Dr. Rose-Marie Aikas, professor of Criminal Justice at Queensborough, who will discuss the prison population today and issues of legal justice in America; Ms. Jessica Rogers, a lecturer in the English Department at Queensborough who is knowledgeable about New York’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” policy; Mr. Jordan Schneider, a lecturer in the English Department at Queensborough who will discuss class, race and issues in higher public education; New York City Councilman Daniel Dromm, who will speak on behalf of the challenges facing the LGBTQ community; and Dr. Genny Beemyn, director of The Stonewall Center at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who has published and spoken extensively on the experiences and needs of trans people, particularly the lives of gender-nonconforming students.

Wednesday, March 5th, 12:10-2:10 p.m, KHRCA Classroom
“Jewish Community Cookbooks,” Dr. Megan Elias, History, QCC

Although there were a few very well-known cookbooks for Jewish families published before the Second World War in America, the post war period saw a tremendous increase in the numbers of this genre. In particular, Jewish groups all over America published community cookbooks, usually for the purpose of fundraising. These books represent a new pride in identity which was intimately tied to the very public nature of Jewish suffering during the Holocaust. Working with the important collection of Jewish Community Cookbooks at the Dorot Division of the New York Public Library, this project seeks to put these cookbooks into the context of postwar American culture and an emerging sense of global citizenship.

This offering will have two components. The first will be a lecture for the public, in partnership with the Friends of the Library. This will be followed up with an optional guided visit for any interested audience members to the Dorot Jewish Division at the New York Public Library, where Dr. Elias will be available on a Friday morning. At the Dorot, with the assistance of the special collections librarian of that division, participants will be led through the first stages of research into Jewish American cookbooks.

Wednesday, April 2nd, 12:10-2:10 p.m., KHRCA Classroom
“Mentally Ill People as Unfit for Society,” Dr. Christian Perring,
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Dowling College, NY

This lecture will examine the concept of unfitness in 1930s Germany that led to the Nazi persecution of people with mental illness and its relations in eugenic movements in other parts of Europe and the United States. This presentation will show that these are serious issues facing psychiatry today and that we need to be on guard against too uncritical an attitude to medicating psychiatry as inherently beneficial for society. Yet the argument will be made that these tensions and thoughts apply to any social system of regulation and categorization of people, and so the answer is not to avoid all categorization and differentiation but instead to proceed with it in a historically sensitive and compassionate fashion that is aware of its own fallibility.

Wednesday, April 9th, 12:10-2:10 p.m., KHRCA Classroom
“The Body, Disabilities and the Holocaust,” Heidi Latsky, coordinated by Dr. Amy Traver, Sociology, QCC.

Together with a dancer with disabilities, Ms. Latsky will present and discuss clips from her critically-acclaimed show “GIMP.” As a show grounded in the performances of dancers with disabilities, “GIMP” stays true to Latsky’s mission to exhibit all bodies as creative expressive instruments and to uphold, rather than fear, embodied differences. Heidi Latsky is the founder, artistic director, and choreographer of Heidi Latsky Dance.

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