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Center for Justice, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies Conference

Center for Justice, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies Conference

Center for Justice, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies Conference
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Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33965

Dr Paul Bartrop
Office: (239) 590-7239




The Holocaust in Hungary, 70 Years On:
New Perspectives
Author Biographies

Paul R. Bartrop, PhD is Professor of History and Director of the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida. In 2011-2012 he was Ida E. King Distinguished Visiting Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, prior to serving for many years at Head of the Department of History at Bialik College, Melbourne, Australia. The author or editor of 14 books relating to the Holocaust and Genocide, he serves as Vice-President of the Midwest Jewish Studies Association, and is a former President of the Australian Association of Jewish Studies.

Julia Bock, PhD is Associate Professor at Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus), New York. Presently she is an Acquisitions Librarian, where she is teaching historical methodology. Previously she worked at New York University Law School Library, Columbia University Archives; she was the chief librarian at the Leo Baeck Institute, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Her research agenda is related to Hungarian Jewish history, as well as subjects on library related areas. She is the president of the American Hungarian Educators Association.

Benjamin E. Brockman-Hawe, JD is presently a Visiting Professor at the University of North Dakota's School of Law. In 2008 Ben received his J.D. from Boston University, where he graduated with honors in the concentration of Public International Law. Between 2009 and 2010 he conducted research for the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, the American Bar Association's Rule of Law Initiative in Kosovo and the American Society of International Law. He also interned with the Trial Chamber II of the Special Court for Sierra Leone as well as the Office of the Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Prior to accepting his current position, Benjamin worked as an International Legal Officer in the Appellate Chamber of Section I (International Crimes) of the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as an Associate with Bosman Law in New York.

Julia Creet, PhD is an Associate Professor of English at York University, Toronto, Canada, where she teaches memory studies, literary nonfiction and Queer Theory. She is the co-editor (with Andreas Kitzmann) of Memory and Migration – multidisciplinary approaches to memory studies (University of Toronto Press 2011), and the producer and director of a documentary, "MUM," (2008) about the memoirs of a holocaust survivor who tried to forget. She is currently working on "A Genealogy of Genealogy," a book project that looks at the industry behind the "innate" need to know one's past and a documentary film on the same topic called "Datamining the Dead: the business of family."

Gyorgy Csepeli, PhD, DSc is Professor of Social Psychology, head of the Interdisciplinary Social Research Doctoral Program at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. He has been a visiting professor at various universities. Recently he has been at Montclair State University. He is visiting professor of the University at Gorizia where he teaches a course on minorities. His research areas cover the social psychology of intergroup relations including national identity in a comparative perspective, antisemitism, anti-Gypsy feelings.

George Csicsery is a writer and independent filmmaker based in California. He has produced 32 documentaries on historical, ethnographic, and cultural subjects, including Where the Heart Roams (1987), Hungry for Monsters (2003). Troop 214 (1997) and Songs along A Stony Road (2011) explore recent Hungarian history and culture. Many of his films have been broadcast internationally on public TV stations in the United States, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Hungary, and the Netherlands. Four are available via Netflix.

Michael Dickerman is an Adjunct Professor in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He holds a Master of Arts in Jewish Studies from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and a Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from Richard Stockton College. He also conducts classes in the Holocaust at Gratz College, Pennsylvania.

George Eisen PhD is Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs & Executive Director for International Education at Nazareth College, Rochester, New York, where he is a Professor of Sociology and History. Prior to his current position he served as the Coordinator of Graduate Programs (California State Polytechnic University), and organized and later served as Acting Director for the Baltic Center of North American Studies (University of Tartu, Estonia), Director of the Institute for Regional & International Studies (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona), Director of the George R. Muirhead Center for International Education (Central Connecticut State University), and the Executive Director of the Center for International Education (William Paterson University).

Richard Esbenshade PhD has taught East European, European and World History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign for several years, and is currently Research Associate at the university's Russian, East European and Eurasian Center. He has been an active participant for over a decade at the Center's Jewish Studies Workshop, and collaborated with the program on Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies since its founding in 2009. He has work extensively on the writer Béla Zsolt, who was heavily involved in prewar writers' polemics and then was a prolific producer of both journalism and Holocaust literature in the immediate postwar period.

Doreen Eschinger is a doctoral candidate at Humboldt-University of Berlin, currently employed as an editor in the department of history, C.C. Buchner publishing house for educational media in Bamberg, Germany. In 2011-2013 she was a collaborator to the new main exhibition at Ravensbrück Memorial and Museum, Fürstenberg. She has held fellowships with the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, Paris (2009/2010) and the German Historical Institute, Washington D.C. (2007). She was also a Sosland Foundation fellow at the USHMM, Washington D.C. (2006).

Csaba Fazekas, PhD is Associate Professor and Director in the Institute of Political Sciences, University of Miskolc, Hungary. His major research fields have included Church-State relations in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the history of politics and political ideologies in Hungary and Europe. He is a widely published author in these fields, in both English and Hungarian.

Mario D. Fenyo, PhD is a Professor of History at Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland. He has had an extensive and varied teaching career, and is a well-published and award-winning author in the area of twentieth century Hungarian History. Between 2008 and 2010 he was President and President-elect of the Association of Third World Studies, and in 2001 was honored with the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Knight's Cross.

Susan M. Filler, PhD is from Chicago, Illinois, and is a sought-after lecturer at conferences and on campuses in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Hungary and China. She has published articles and reviews in such periodicals as Shofar, Studia Musicologica, Magyar Zene and College Music Symposium, and is the author of Gustav and Alma Mahler: A Research and Information Guide (2008).

Ronit Fisher, PhD is a researcher at the Struchlitz Holocaust Research and Study Institute at the University of Haifa, Israel, and teaches at the university's Department of Jewish History. She is a leading expert on the history of the Jews of Romania during the Shoah. In 2013 she was appointed as Director of the Beit Hameiri Museum in the Old City of Safed, Israel.

Alice Freifeld, PhD is Director of the University of Florida's Title VI funded Center for European Studies. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of History. Her book Nationalism and the Crowd in Liberal Hungary, 1848-1914 (2000), won the Barbara Jelavich Book Prize awarded by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies in 2001, and the Hungarian biennial book prize awarded in the United States. Her current research is a consideration of Displaced Hungarian Jewry, 1945-1948.

David Frey, PhD is an Associate Professor of History and the Director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the United States Military Academy. In 2014 his work entitled Jews, Nazis, and the Cinema of Hungary: The Tragedy of Success, 1929-44, will be published. His articles have appeared in numerous journals and edited volumes, including the award-winning Cinema and the Swastika. He was a 2012 Fulbright Scholar in Hungary researching Hungarian-American relations, 1944-51.

Jeanette Friedman is editor of the Jewish Link of Bergen County, a community newspaper aimed at the Jewish community in Bergen County (NJ), and president of The Wordsmithy, a publishing company specializing in Holocaust memoirs.

András Gero PhD is Head of the Department of Economic and Social History at Budapest Eötvös Loránd University, professor at the Central European University, and Director of the Habsburg Institute of History. His main fields of interest include the history of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy; the transition to modernity; and symbolic politics.

Sara Gottwalles is a graduate student in History at Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida, completing her MA dissertation on the life of Heinrich Himmler. She was formerly Education Director at the Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida, Naples.

James A. Grymes, PhD is Professor of Musicology and the Interim Chair of the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is the author of Ernst von Dohnányi: A Bio-Bibliography and the editor of both Ernst von Dohnányi: A Song of Life and Perspectives on Ernst von Dohnányi. He recently completed his latest book, Violins of Hope, about instruments that were played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust.

Steven Leonard Jacobs, DHL, DD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, and holds the Aaron Aronov Chair of Judaic Studies at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. He holds rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and serves as rabbi for Temple Emanu-El in Tuscaloosa. A much-published author, Dr. Jacobs's primary research foci are in Biblical Studies, translation and interpretation (including the Dead Sea Scrolls), and Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

Peter Kenez, PhD is Distinguished Professor of History (retired) at the University of California, Santa Cruz, California. He has published eight books on Soviet and Eastern European history. His most recent work is entitled From Antisemitism to Genocide: the Origins of the Holocaust. With Professor Murray Baumgarten for many years he has taught a course on "The destruction of the European Jewry." He is a recipient of an excellence of teaching award.

Laura Kidd, PhD is an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. Her research into the Hungarian Holocaust is a result of compiling the memoirs of Teresa Polatsek Raksanyi von Zirzc Zitter, a former slave laborer, actress, member of the Hungarian communist party, a refugee from the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and a fashion designer in New York City. Dr. Kidd's other research interests include white power and neo-Nazi clothing.

Éva J. Kovács, PhD studied sociology and economics at the Universities of Economics in Pécs and Budapest. She is Research Program Director at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) and Head of Department of Methodology and History of Sociology in the Institute of Sociology at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. Her research fields are the history of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, research on memory and remembrance, politics of history and Jewish identity in Hungary and Slovakia. She co-founded the audiovisual archive "Voices of the Twentieth Century".

Gellert Kovacs has worked on the Raoul Wallenberg project since 2009. He has received funds from the Swedish foreign ministry for research around the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and his contacts in Hungary. In 2009 he spent six months researching in Hungarian archives. In 2010 he presented a report to a committee of the Swedish Foreign Ministry. He works as consultant for the Royal Museum of Military History for their exhibition on Raoul Wallenberg, and has presented at several seminars relating to Wallenberg and other Swedish rescuers during the Second World War.

Maria M. Kovács, PhD is Professor of History and Chair of the Nationalism Studies Program at the Central European University in Budapest. Her major interests include issues of natonalism and anti-Semitism during the interwar period. Her main research interests are in Jewish history and in the history of self-determination and international minority protection throughout the twentieth century up to the latest developments, including the dissolution crisis in Yugoslavia. In 2012 she published a Hungarian language monograph on the Hungarian numerus clausus. Professor Kovács is a senior member of the Institute of History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Tamás Kovács, PhD is Assistant Director of Documents to 1945 at the National Archives of Hungary, Budapest, Hungary, with responsibility for requisitions, cataloging and maintenance of documents in this area. He was an Historian/Archivist at the National Archives from 2008, until appointed to his current position in 2013. Between 2005 and 2008 he was an Adjunct Professor of history at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, and from 2003 to 2008 was a Research Associate at the Holocaust Memorial Center, Budapest.

Dragan Kujundžic, PhD is Professor of Germanic and Slavic Studies, and Film and Media Studies, at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He has numerous publications on South-Slavic literatures and cultures, Russian literature and culture from the eighteenth to twenty-first century, South Slavic, Russian and Polish cinema, German philosophy, French and American philosophy as well as literary theory. His edited volumes include books and special editions of journals on the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, Jacques Derrida, Walter Benjamin, and J. Hillis Miller. His essays and books have been published in over fifteen countries in Czech, Polish, Russian, German, French, Serbian-Croatian and Slovenian, among others. He is currently working on his fourth monograph book titled Empire, Glocalization, and the Melancholia of the Sovereign, and is editing a volume on Race, Deconstruction and Critical Theory.

Anita Kurimay, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the history department at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania. She specializes in modern European history with an emphasis on East-Central Europe. Her main research interests include the history of sexuality, women's and gender history, conservatism and the politics of the far right, the history of human rights, and the history of sport. She is working on her book manuscript Sex in the "Pearl of the Danube:" The History of Queer Life, Love, and its Regulation in Budapest, 1873-1941 that explores the relationship between the evolution of the modern East-Central European state and sexuality.

Ferenc Laczó, PhD is a Research Fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg, a Center for Advanced Study located at the University of Jena, Germany, devoted to exploring the historical experiences of Eastern Europe in the 20th century. His interests are in cultural and intellectual history, in modern Europe, especially Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th century, in Jewish history and the history of Christian-Jewish relations. Recently, he has conducted researches in Hungarian Jewish history, in the history of political discourses as well as in memory studies.

George Lazar, PhD is an independent scholar from Piedmont, California. Born in Debrecen, Hungary, he is an engineer and an economist. Until his retirement, he worked as a consultant for various Silicon Valley high-tech firms in California. He also writes, and his pieces are published in the Budapest based literary weekly – Élet és Irodalom (Life and Literature).

Mary Maudsley, JD is an Adjunct Professor in the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

Gabriel Mayer, MD is currently undertaking research at the University of Haifa University Postgraduate School.

Istvan Muranyi, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, Institute of Political Science and Sociology, at the University of Debrecen, Hungary. He teaches in the areas of methodology of social science; political sociology; network analysis; contextual analysis; minority and special social groups; and sociological field-work. His research areas include the sociology of youth; political socialization; national identity; prejudice thinking; and methodology of social science.

Jason O'Connor teaches at North Broward Preparatory School, Coconut Creek, Florida, and is currently pursuing MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Gratz College, New Jersey.

Susan Papp is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, Canada, pursuing a dissertation in European History and Holocaust Studies. She serves as an Instructor at the University's Munk School of Global Affairs (in the Hungarian Studies Program), and is on the faculty of the Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies. She has taught in the School of Journalism at Ryerson University. She is Adjunct Scholar at the Multicultural History Society of Ontario, and has written and published widely on Hungarian immigration to and settlement in North America.

Katalin Pécsi-Pollner, PhD is a literary scholar: an essayist and a lecturer in the field of the contemporary Jewish literature and film and numerous issues related to the Holocaust and gender. She works on several projects concerning Jewish women, including book publications, public lectures and an international travelling exhibition. She is the founder and president of Esther's House Association for the Jewish Culture and the Feminist Values – a small, but energetic, Jewish women's group which contributes to the recovery of the lost world of Jewish women and to make these women visible in the male-centered Jewish culture.

Anna Porter OC, OOnt is an author and publisher. She is currently a member of several professional associations and boards, including the Canada Council for the Arts, PEN Canada, the Advisory Board of Schulich School of Business, and CODE. She is the author of Kasztner's Train, published in October, 2007, winner of the Nereus Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Award as well as the Jewish Book Award for Non-Fiction. She has written extensively for several newspapers and magazines, most recently, for the Globe & Mail and Macleans' Magazine with a series on current events in Europe, and was the founder of the publishing company Key Porter Books. In recognition of her varied achievements in the world of publishing, and specifically for being "instrumental in bringing Canadian titles to the attention of the international market place," Porter was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1992. In 2003 she was awarded the Order of Ontario.

Catherine Portuges, PhD is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is Director of the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies, Curator of the annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival, and served as Graduate Program Director in Comparative Literature from 1995 to 2009. She was awarded the Chancellor's Medal for Distinguished Teaching (2010), the Pro Cultura Hungarica Medal (Republic of Hungary, 2009) for her contributions to Hungarian cinema, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2007). Her research interests include Central European and post-communist national cinemas; French and Francophone cinema; memory and Jewish identity; European minorities, migration, and gender; and cinematic representations of the city. She teaches French Film, Cinema and Psyche, and the Dissertation Research Seminar, and is a frequent lecturer at international conferences, an invited programmer, curator, juror and consultant for film festivals and colloquia, and a delegate to international film festivals.

Gergo Prazsák, PhD is the secretary of the Interdisciplinary Social Research Doctoral Program of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and research fellow at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. He has taught a range of different courses at ELTE and other Hungarian universities focusing on the sociology of deviance, social psychology and information society. He is section president of the Hungarian Sociological Association. His fields of research are the study of social networks, information society, human values and intercultural communication.

Paul Sanders, PhD is an Associate Professor at NEOMA Business School (Reims, France), where he teaches international relations and ethics. He has published monographs on the wartime black market in France and on the German occupation of the British Channel Islands. A new co-authored monograph on resistance in the islands is due to be published in May 2014.

Tamas Stark, PhD is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of History Research Centre for the Humanities Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest. His major area of research interest relates to forced population movement in East-Central Europe (Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia) in the period 1914 -1956, with special regard to the history of the Holocaust, the fate of prisoners of war and civilian internees, and the post-war migrations.

Sean Swenson is a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Humanities and Cultural Studies at the University of South Florida, Tampa. He is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in American Studies. His research interests include the American Horror Film, and he is currently completing a study of masculine performance in the Modern Dystopic Film.

Viktoria Tafferner-Gulyas is a Teaching Assistant in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Florida, Tampa. She has been involved in Holocaust research and education since her undergraduate college years. She was granted a fellowship at the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem on three occasions, attended and organized multiple teacher training courses, professional workshops and conferences all around Europe, as well as one in the United States focusing on Holocaust research and education. She has worked with the government pertaining to Holocaust education in public schools in Hungary.

Fabien Théofilakis, PhD is a researcher (Fritz Thyssen Stiftung) at the Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin, Germany, where is continuing his research on the notes taken by Adolf Eichmann during his trial in Israel in 1961. He was a founding member of the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Germany and France (GIRAF), and a Member of the Centre for Research in Art History and representations, University of Paris Ouest Nanterre. He has taught at universities in France and Germany, and has undertaken extensive research in both countries as well as Israel.

Sarah da Rocha Valente is a PhD student in School of Arts and Humanities, and a Belofsky Fellow, at the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies in the University of Texas at Dallas University of Texas at Dallas. She is pursuing a program of original research on Brazilian Holocaust literature and the history of Brazilian Jewry.

Ann Weiss, PhD has worked as a researcher, writer, documentary filmmaker, librarian and educator. Founder and director of Eyes from the Ashes Educational Foundation, she is an interviewer and analyst for the Transcending Trauma Survival Project at the University of Pennsylvania, and has served on the Second Generation Advisory Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. since its inception. She has taught classes in schools and universities all over the country – and beyond, as well. Her goal is clear, though not so simple – to open minds, and in the process, open hearts.

Siegrun Bubser Wildner, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Languages & Literatures at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls. She teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including courses on Holocaust literature and film. Recent publications and presentations focus on investigations into the interconnections of history, memory, and literary representations of the Nazi concentration camp Mauthausen.