Framing the Conference
This conference is based on an NEH-funded seminar in June 2021 at Kean University. Click here for more information.
The conference is an opportunity for scholars, especially at early stages of their careers, and NGO and other non-profit practitioners to compare and reflect, in a spirit of reciprocity, on the search for post-atrocity humanity or at least order and stability, if not reconciliation, with an emphasis on victims’ perspectives. The conference will culminate with proposals designed for enactment. The main concerns for discussion and debate are:
Collective memory: How do societies, and social groups within a society, remember or seek to forget atrocities in official and unofficial ways? How do societies, and social groups within a society, reinterpret atrocity over time? How do these memory modalities help or hurt the search for humanity after atrocity?
Civil Society-State Relationship: What is the role of civil society, particularly in relationship with the state, to promote a post-atrocity social order or, broadly, humanity? What structural conditions enable civil society to play a role vis-à-vis government?
Lingering Adversarial Relationships: How do survivors and perpetrators find ways to participate in public life after atrocity? How does living through atrocity inform survivors’ intra- and inter-relationships? How do survivors manage relationships with known perpetrators particularly when perpetrator accountability is absent or compromised? When do survivors’ testimonies help and when do they hurt the chances for post-atrocity humanity or stability?
Strategies for Mending Relationships: When has geographical partition worked? When and why is past wrongdoing deflected, acknowledged, suppressed, or confronted? How effective is education as a preventative measure? When do social media encourage or discourage favorable post-conflict trajectories? How is resource revitalization reimagined in the wake of environmental depletion? Are restorative/transitional justice and other peacemaking schemes effective?
The Arts, Memorials, and Material Culture: Are music, architecture, storytelling and other forms of artistic expression redemptive? Do these particular fields have the ability to help survivors and/or the broader community seek humanity after atrocity? How does commemoration of victims inform the direction of the search for humanity after atrocity?
Program Committee (comprised of NEH-Funded seminar participants)
- Dr. Dennis Klein, Professor, Kean University
- Stephanie Reese, Graduate Student, Kean University
- Dr. Clinton Nichols, Assistant Professor, Dominican University
- Madelon Rosen-Solomon, Communications Liaison, Kean University
- Dr. Merose Hwang, Associate Professor, Hiram College
- Dr. Myra Houser, Associate Professor, Ouachita Baptist University
- Kimiko Ichikawa, Doctoral Candidate, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
- Dr. Ñusta Carranza Ko, Assistant Professor, University of Baltimore
- Dr. Jungah Kim, Associate Professor, City University of New York - Borough of Manhattan Community College
The conference is sponsored and hosted by Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Kean University.
Cosponsors: The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace & Conflict Resolution, George Mason University; Sutton School of Social Sciences at Ouachita Baptist University - Arkadelphia, Arkansas; College of Public Affairs, University of Baltimore; Hiram College; Human Rights Institute, History Department, Jewish Studies Program, Kean University