March 2011 Archives

This is an important victory for scholars and educators all over the United States. I want first to express my gratitude to General Counsel at the University of Minnesota, and in particular to Brent Benrud, for his outstanding work on this case. I applaud Judge Frank's decision, as it bears witness to the high esteem in which the judicial system in this country holds academic freedom. This outcome honors the principles of freedom of speech, and is a remarkable example of the law's protection of free inquiry into matters of public interest.

Bruno Chaouat, CHGS director

For more information on the law suit, please click here.

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (03/30/2011) --U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank today dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Turkish Coalition of America against the University of Minnesota. The lawsuit arose from materials posted on the university's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS) website, including a list of websites CHGS considered "unreliable" for purposes of conducting scholarly research. The Turkish Coalition claimed the university violated its constitutional rights, and committed defamation, by including the Turkish Coalition website on the "unreliable" websites list.

Special screening of the award-winning documentary
No. 4 Street of Our Lady
Sabes Foundation Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival

Tuesday, April 5
7:00 p.m.
Sabes Jewish Community Center
4330 Cedar Lake Road South
St. Louis Park, MN

Introduction and Question and Answer with Jodi Elowitz, Outreach Coordinator Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

No. 4 Street of Our Lady
If your neighbors were being hunted down and came to your door begging for help, would you risk your life to save theirs?

No. 4 Street of Our Lady tells the remarkable, yet little-known, story of Francisca Halamajowa, a Polish-Catholic woman who rescued 16 of her Jewish neighbors during the Holocaust, while cleverly passing herself off as a Nazi sympathizer.

View the trailer

Ticket Information or contact the box office at 952-381-3499.

Godard's Wars
Philip Watts, Associate Professor of French, Department Chair, Columbia University

Thoughts on Giorgio Agamben's Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive
Jeffrey Mehlman, Professor of French, Department of Romance Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, Boston University

Wednesday, April 13
4:00 p.m.
Humphrey Forum, Humphrey Center

Godard's Wars

jean-luc-godard.jpg There has been much controversy about French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard's relation to the Jews and the Holocaust. Godard was recently accused of anti-Semitism. Philip Watts will return to this recent affair by focusing on Godard's filmic representation of WWII, the Middle East conflict and the Holocaust.
How has the Holocaust figured in Godard's films since his earliest days as a filmmaker of the New Wave? What role has the memory of the Holocaust played in Godard's radical politics? What is the relation between the representation of the Holocaust in his films and his anti-Zionism? Do Godard's films somehow distort the memory of the Holocaust? Watts will tackle these questions by revisiting three Godard's films: "A Married Woman" (1964), "Ici et ailleurs" (1975) and "In Praise of Love "(2001) to examine Godard's problematic construction of the memory of the Second World War and of the Holocaust in particular.

Philip Watts, Associate Professor of French, Department Chair, Columbia University, received his BA at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1982 and his PhD from Columbia University in 1991. His research and teaching focuses on 20th-century French literature and film and the relation between politics and aesthetics.

Keith David Watenpaugh
Thursday, April 14
4:00 p.m.
Room 710 Social Science Building

watenpaughtie.jpg Dr. Watenpaugh will explore how aspects of Armenian Genocide denial first emerged around a discrete historical moment, in particular international humanitarian relief efforts on behalf of Armenian Genocide survivors in the early interwar period. Thinking about denial in this fashion creates a space in which to reflect critically about how history as both a discipline and practice operates in the spheres of power and public opinion, especially across political and cultural divides.

Fatma Muge Gocek
Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Michigan

The Ninth Annual Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Lecture

Friday, April 1, 2011
7:00 p.m.
Mississippi Room
Coffman Memorial Union

The third meeting of the Reading Discussion Group, initially scheduled for March 22nd, has been postponed until Thursday, April 14th. The discussion will be led by Dr. Keith David Watenpaugh, historian and Associate Professor of Modern Islam, Human Rights and Peace who teaches in the Religious Studies program at UC-Davis. Dr. Watenpaugh will also present a lecture, "Hate in the Past Tense: Understanding Armenian Genocide Denial's Origins as a Problem of Contemporary Reconciliation" on campus that evening.

We will be discussing chapters 10, 11 and 12 of Remembrance and Denial: The Case of the Armenian Genocide, edited by Richard G. Hovannisian. The excerpts are available on-line on the CHGS Reading Discussion blog.

The group will meet on Thursday, April 14th at 12pm, Room 201A in Wilson Library. Space is limited, and reservations are required. If you are interested in attending, please send an email to with your name, email address and phone number (please put RDG in the subject line), or call 612-624-0256.

March 28, 29 and 30, 2011
Great Hall, University of Minnesota Coffman Memorial Union

The Art of Zhen, Shan, Ren (Truth, Compassion, Tolerance) International Exhibition is an extraordinarily moving, intimate and inspiring exhibition detailing both an inner spiritual life and an outer human rights tragedy. Realistic oil paintings and Chinese water-colors from mostly Chinese artists give a unique insight into the spiritual discipline Falun Gong, also called Falun

A human rights success story of a friendship between Lisa Paul, a University of Minnesota graduate in Russian Studies, and Inna Meiman, a Russian Jew who was forbidden by her government to access medical treatment abroad. Their story is told in the form of Paul's memoir as a young American living in the Soviet Union who fearlessly advocated to realize the rights of her friend.

At the event on March 10, the Human Rights Program and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies announced the winners of The Inna Meiman Human Rights Award recognizing students at the University of Minnesota who have made significant personal contributions in the promotion and protection of human rights. Nora Radtke and Morley Spencer became the first recipients of the award, which was presented to them by Lisa Paul.

For more on this story click here.

Swimming in the Daylight

Thumbnail image for antisemitism2.jpgMeïr Waintrater, Editor-in-Chief, L'Arche
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
7:00 p.m.
St. Paul JCC
1375 St. Paul Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55116

For several years, within circles hostile to Israel, there has been a systematic use of the words "Zionism" and "Zionist" where the words "Israel" and "Israelis" would be expected. Meïr Waintrater, French journalist and editor-in-chief of the Jewish magazine L'Arche, will contrast the use of the word "Zionist" in France, Great Britain and the United States. Waintrater will suggest that while criticism of Israel should not be reduced to Jew-hatred, the "anti-Zionist" argument is often used to legitimize genuine anti-Semitism.

Meïr Waintrater was born in 1947 in Paris, and lived and worked as an economist and journalist at various institutions in Israel between 1973 and 1988. As editor-in-chief of L'Arche, he is a major commentator on questions of Jewish importance in Europe and France. France is home to one of the largest Jewish communities, while at the same time being home to one of the largest Muslim populations in Western Europe. Waintrater's perspective is crucial to understanding the tensions between the two communities, as well as the recent increase in French Jewish immigration to Israel which can be seen as a consequence of a new trend in anti-Semitism.

Co-sponsors: Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), St. Paul JCC,
University of Minnesota: Center for Jewish Studies, School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Régine Waintrater.png
Régine Waintrater
Psychoanalyst, Family Therapist, Associate Professor at Université Paris 7-Diderot
Monday, March 28, 2010
Humphrey Forum, Humphrey Center
301 19th Ave. S.

The human catastrophes that marked the 20th century have made survivor testimony an unprecedented issue. For genocide survivors and their descendants, testimony is a means to inscribe a history within a genealogy that has been broken by the violent acts of genocide. As an oral or written account, testimony engages, provokes and challenges disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences. How does the process of witnessing develop? What are the expectations that it provokes--and what are its risks? How can bearing witness restore the victims' identity, rather than re-traumatizing them?

Régine Waintrater's practice as a therapist is critical of the ideology of testimony as catharsis. Waintrater has been involved in the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University Library, and in the USC Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, two important projects of testimony collection. Her experience with these projects will be the point of departure for addressing issues surrounding testimony.

Régine Waintrater is the author of Sortir du genocide (Out of Genocide: Testifying to Learn to Live Again).

Co-sponsors: The Human Rights Center at the University of Minnesota Law School, History Department, Human Rights Program, CHAIM (Children of Holocaust Survivors Association in Minnesota)

8 p.m. Monday, March 14, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.

"Remain Humane Even in Inhumane Circumstances." The University of St. Thomas Symphonic Wind Ensemble will present "Light From the Yellow Star: Art Faith Humanity," featuring the world premiere performance of a St. Thomas-commissioned work by Boris Pigovat. Also featured will be the St. Paul City Ballet. Dr. Robert Fisch will provide art and commentary.

General admission is $6; admission is free for St. Thomas students (with ID). This event is part of interfaith art pARTners, a Twin Cities festival.

For further information click here.

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