Monday, May 21, 2018

[388] MTSU Holocaust and Genocide Studies Conference scheduled for April 19-21

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. —Attorney Raphael Lemkin coined the term “genocide” in 1944 to describe violent crimes against members of a group with the goal of destroying the whole group.

The 13thbiennial MTSU Holocaust and Genocide Studies Conference is an effort to document these atrocities and share knowledge about them. The 2018 event is slated for April 19-21 in the James Union Building.

All three featured speakers’ addresses are free and open to the public. The speakers include:

  • Niemat Ahmadi, Darfuri liaison officer for the Save Darfur Coalition, a U.S.-based nonprofit group formed to raise awareness of the atrocities in western Sudan;
  • Ronald G. Suny, director of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Michigan, expert on violence and genocide in Ottoman Turkey;
  • Gerhard L. Weinberg, professor emeritus, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, authority on Nazi Germany and the origins and course of World War II.

The featured panel discussion, which also is free and open to the public, will be “Rescued: Child Survivors of the Holocaust.” Weinberg, who emigrated from Germany to the U.S. with his family in 1938, and Esther Rosenfeld Starobin, who was sent by her parents from Germany to Great Britain in 1939, will participate. Today, Starobin is a volunteer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

As child survivors, Weinberg and Starobin will talk about the Kindertransport, an organized effort to rescue children from the horrors of Nazi Germany by getting them out by any means available, even though it separated them in some cases from their parents.

Other panel discussions will tackle issues such as “Gender, Film and the Holocaust;” “Morality Challenged;” “Generational Impacts of the Holocaust;” “Laying the Groundwork for Genocide;” and “Teaching the Holocaust.”

In addition to conference organizer and English professor Elyce Helford, conference participants from MTSU include Sonja Hedgepeth, professor of German and Hebrew; Poushali Bhadury, assistant professor of English; Andrei Korobkov, professor of political science and international relations; Nancy Rupprecht, professor of history; and Donna Baker, archivist with the Albert Gore Research Center.

The conference is free to all MTSU employees and students. The registration fees are $150 for presenting participants and $75 for the unemployed and other students. Registration fees include conference materials, information technology services, conference shuttle and/or campus parking and conference meals. Registration is available online only at

A printable campus parking map is available at visitors attending daytime events should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at

For more information, contact Helford at 615-898-5961 or or go to

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