IAGS Elections, Executive Board and Advisory Board, 2015-2017
IAGS ELECTION, Executive and Advisory Boards, 2015-2017
I. Executive Board
I. 1. President
Dr. Andrew Woolford
Department of Sociology
University of Manitoba
I have been an IAGS member since 2007, and IAGS Second Vice President since 2013. In the latter role, I have valuable experience in the IAGS decision-making process, as well as in addressing the various issues, both large and small, that IAGS faces. This experience, along with a degree of leadership continuity, is important to building upon our current foundation.
As Second Vice President, I organized the Eleventh Conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars in Winnipeg. As our first off-cycle meeting, the conference presented unique challenges, but attracted 120 presenters and over 200 attendees to a stimulating conference. I also worked with the membership committee to devise recommendations on further internationalizing IAGS and enlarging its membership. These recommendations are in the process of being implemented. As president I would ensure that they are not forgotten.
To the best of my ability my formal and informal interactions with others are marked by modesty, fallibilism, and a distrust of dogmatism and cant. In the context of IAGS, this disposition requires that I listen attentively to others and facilitate membership engagement and discussion on key issues. The next Executive Board faces ongoing challenges such as ensuring that there are tangible benefits to membership in IAGS, fostering more active discussion on IAGS electronic media, raising the public and scholarly profile of IAGS, and bridging differences both within the association and with other associations, such as INoGS. These are objectives I intend pursuing in an open, transparent, reasonable and consultative manner.
I am currently head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Manitoba. In this capacity my role involves supporting my colleagues while doing my best to negotiate productively with institutional power structures. I work for conditions that allow my colleagues to excel as teachers and researchers. In this sense, my role resembles that of the IAGS president, whom I see as likewise working for more favorable conditions that will allow IAGS scholars to advance the public and political understanding of genocide and its many harms. I have also served as president of the board of directors for the John Howard Society of Manitoba, where I took an agency on the verge of collapse and helped transition it to a healthy and growing NGO. Although the IAGS is currently financially sound, I do have considerable experience managing crises of various kinds, in the face of which I tend to be collected, creative, and calm.
My research covers the areas of post-genocide reparations and justice, colonial genocide, and the criminology of genocide. Most recently, I am author of This Benevolent Experiment: Indigenous Boarding Schools, Genocide, and Redress in Canada and the United States (2015) as well as co-editor of Colonial Genocide and Indigenous North America (2014,), The Idea of a Human Rights Museum (2015), and a forthcoming special issue of the Journal of Genocide Research on “Genocide in Canada.” My current project, Embodying Empathy, involves a community-based design and build of a virtual Indian Residential School as an educational and commemorative resource.
I. 2. First Vice President
Dr. Elisa von Joeden-Forgey
Assistant Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Incoming Director, Masters of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program,
Elisa von Joeden-Forgey is Assistant Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton University in New Jersey as well as the incoming director of the Masters of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program. She teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on the Holocaust, comparative genocide, gender, sexual violence, war, human rights and genocide prevention. Prior to this she was a Visiting Scholar and Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her BA in History from Columbia University and a PhD degree in modern German and African history from the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation, “Nobody’s People: Colonial Subjects, Race Power and the German State, 1884-1945” examined the colonial roots of National Socialist ideology through the lens of the debates surrounding the African presence in Germany.
Dr. von Joeden-Forgey has received research grants from the Fulbright Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Ford Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation, and has published widely in the fields of comparative genocide and German history. Her current research on race, gender and genocide has appeared in the Journal of Genocide Studies and Prevention, the Oxford Handbook on Genocide, New Directions in Genocide Research, Genocide: A Bibliographic Review, Hidden Genocide: Power, Knowledge and Memory, and the forthcoming collected volumes Reconstructing Atrocity Prevention and Economic Aspects of Genocide, Mass Killing, and Their Prevention. She is currently completing a book on gender and the prevention of genocide that will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.
In 2010 and 2011 Dr. von Joeden-Forgey was a workshop coordinator for the Raphael Lemkin Program in Genocide Prevention hosted by the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation in Krakow and Oswiecim, Poland. In 2014 she was chosen as one of thirty-six scholars to join the Stephen S. Weinstein Symposium on Post-Holocaust Ethics at Wroxton College in Oxfordshire, England. At Stockton College she is working to develop a master's-level program in genocide prevention and is co-chairing a faculty research and teaching committee on the subject of sexualized violence on campuses in a global framework.
Believing that genocide specialists bring irreplaceable expertise and insight to conflict analysis and prevention, Dr. von Joeden-Forgey, as First Vice President of the IAGS, would continue to further collaboration between the IAGS, IAGS members and other organizations and groups working towards human security and world peace in the long- and short-term; she would also seek to continue and extend IAGS efforts to serve scholars and practitioners around the globe through conferences, collaborative initiatives, online resources, and international networks.
Dr. Armen T. Marsoobian
Chairperson and Professor of Philosophy
Southern Connecticut State University
New Haven, CT 06515
As a child of survivors of the Armenian Genocide I have long been aware of cruelties that humans are capable of committing against their fellow human beings. Understanding human behaviour both on the individual and the communal level led me to the study of history, political science and ultimately philosophy. I hold a B.A. in history from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
My recent scholarship focuses on issues arising from collective moral responsibility, especially as it relates to crimes against humanity. I have published in this area both in philosophical and genocide studies journals. I co-edited a book, Genocide’s Aftermath: Responsibility and Repair (Blackwell) that examines a range of important ethical issues arising from genocide. I am currently co-editing an interdisciplinary volume for Springer titled, Genocide, Memory and Representation: Interdisciplinary Approaches. I have lectured extensively on topics related to my work in genocide studies both at the meetings of the IAGS and INoGS. I have been an active member of IAGS since 2004, attending every conference since. I am currently on the program committee for the 2015 Yerevan meeting.
I teach comparative genocide courses in my university’s Honours College. My interest in the arts and literature strongly influence the way I teach. I have incorporated poetry, film, drama, novels, dance, and the visual arts into all my courses. My students are often more engaged in the subject when it is approached through the arts. I also teach more specialised courses focused on the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust. I have twice been the Ordjanian Visiting Professor at Columbia University, teaching a graduate course on the Armenian Genocide. I have also taught workshops for high school teachers on genocide studies and the Armenian Genocide.
I see myself as a scholar/activist who is committed to social justice, accountability and reconciliation. In this regard I have partnered with a Turkish NGO to bring the “forgotten” story of the Armenians to the Turkish public. Members of my family were photographers in the late Ottoman period. I have been privileged to own thousands of photographs and extensive memoirs that tell of their lives and struggles. Using the photos and textual materials we have created highly successful exhibitions in Istanbul, Merzifon and Diyarbakir. Future exhibitions are planned for Ankara and other cities in Turkey. Our textual materials often use the word “genocide” which would have been unheard of only five years ago. In conjunction with these exhibitions we have hosted groundbreaking lectures and panel discussions. Future exhibitions are planned for the Armenian Genocide Museum in Yerevan, the Weiner Library for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in London and additional venues in the US and Europe. I just published a richly illustrated book about my family’s story titled, Fragments of a Lost Homeland: Remembering Armenia (I. B. Tauris). A Turkish translation will appear this summer. Additionally two bi-lingual books of the photography will appear in Turkey and Armenia.
My goals for the IAGS are reflected in my work as a scholar/activist. Education is the key to genocide prevention. I would like to see the IAGS organise workshops for teachers and work with NGOs to foster awareness of the root causes of genocide. I look forward to serving you.
I. 3. Second Vice President
Dr. Kjell Anderson
Coordinator Master Holocaust and Genocide Studies
The Netherlands Institute for War Documentation
I am running for the position of Second Vice President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars out of a commitment to the organisation and a desire to work towards its continued growth.
My involvement in the IAGS includes presenting at the last four IAGS conferences, as well as holding positions as a Special Advisor, member of the Evaluation Committee, Chair of the Journal Transition Committee and Interim Journal Editor, and as an elected member of the Advisory Board.
My achievements in these positions include helping to increase the involvement of emerging scholars in the organisation, increasing the social media presence of the IAGS, and ensuring the financial sustainability of the journal of Genocide Studies and Prevention. Over these past several years we have seen the organisation become increasingly international and membership has also risen significantly.
I would propose to contribute to the organisation’s continued growth and development through the following measures:
1. Increasing the involvement of researchers in the Global South through organising smaller regional workshops between the main IAGS conferences.
2. Building the IAGS website as a resource through the implementation of the proposed image bank, as well as through the creation of a database of genocide education programs and a members’ forum. We should also create a public database of IAGS members’ research profiles in order to encourage collaboration and share our expertise.
3. Building the capacity of emerging scholars through the creation of a student conference on genocide to run immediately before the main IAGS conference.
4. Implementing policy-oriented workshops and collaborative research.
My personal commitment to the study of genocide is evinced through my diverse engagement with the field. I have taught at universities in Rwanda, Ireland, and the Netherlands, worked for a Rwandan NGO assisting victims of genocide (FACT-Rwanda), a think-tank (The Hague Institute for Global Justice), an international organisation (the Organisation of American States), as well as on a case at an international tribunal. My research has been similarly interdisciplinary and international – focused on perpetrators in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Bosnia, Bangladesh, India, and Cambodia. I have co-organised a triple panel on perpetrator research with Erin Jessee for the upcoming Yerevan conference.
I am currently a researcher in the Transitional Justice Program at the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies (NIOD), as well as being the coordinator of the MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Amsterdam. I also serve on the advisory boards for the Post-Genocide Education Fund, the Coalition des Volontaires pour la Paix et le Dévelopement en République Démocratique du Congo, and the Sentinel Project for Genocide Prevention.
Thank you for considering my candidacy for the position of Second Vice President. I look forward to meeting all of you in Yerevan!
I. 4. Media and Communication Officer
Dr. Stephanie Wolfe
Political Science and Philosophy Department
Weber State University
Dr Wolfe's appointment is in the field of International Politics where she focuses on atrocities and the aftermath. Her specialisation is the German genocides of Jews and Roma; the genocide in Rwanda,the United States internments of Japanese Americans and Japanese Latin Americans, and the Japanese ‘comfort women’ system. Her research has led to the publication in 2013 of The Politics of Reparations and Apologies, in addition to several other works forthcoming.
She has also been an IAGS member since 2009 and is currently the IAGS Facebook Administer. During her time working with the Facebook account, it has grown from 79 individuals following IAGS to almost 2,000 individuals following.
I. 5. Secretary Treasurer
Lawyer, National University of La Plata, Argentina;
Master of Laws, LLM - Indiana University, USA;
Master in Human Rights, (MA - University of London, UK;
Chair Professor of “Introduction to Criminology” and Associate Professor of “Penology” (National University of Lomas de Zamora, Argentina),
Adjunct Professor of “Human Rights and Constitutional Law”, National University of José C. Paz;
Assistant Professor, and Human Rights Researcher, “Human Rights and Guarantees”, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
I am writing to confirm my acceptance to run for the position of Secretary-Treasurer of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. I am profoundly thankful and delighted to have been offered the opportunity of becoming a more active tool in the work and growth of such prestigious organisation.
Although my previous work experience does not quite fulfil the requirements of the abovementioned position, I have vast administrative knowledge as part of my legal and non-governmental work, and I believe I can quickly learn the skills and make a significant contribution to the organisation.
My human rights experience as a dedicated scholar, lawyer and activist shows the commitment I have with the goals of the IAGS - of which I have been a member for almost two years now - and makes me an excellent candidate to run for the position of Secretary-Treasurer.
I look forward to working with the administrative team of the IAGS in order to contribute to its goal of studying and preventing genocide. Thus, and once again, I thank you for this possibility, which I hope will be soon materialised.
Ziad Al Achkar
Seton Hall University
My application for the position of secretary and treasurer stems from my interest in conflict prevention and human security. My professional experience and research scholarship have focused on the intersection of human security and technology. While at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative I worked alongside our team to build geocoded databases to monitor ongoing security related events and utilised satellite imagery to corroborate incidents where human rights violations, troop buildup and property destruction were occurring. This work culminated in three dozen publications over the course of two and a half year.
At the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, I was in charge of monitoring the security situations of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and the Golan region. I collected and organised relevant security incidents, economic data and political material, drafted situation reports and security assessments. I designed and updated maps to reflect the changing security landscape in areas of interest.
I hope to bring in to this organisation a new perspective on the studies of genocide and the field of prevention. I believe in the power of technology and early warning systems and their ability to prevent escalation of violence in timely manner
II. Advisory Board
Dr. Donna-Lee Frieze
Deakin University, Melbourne
I am seeking a 2015-2017 position for the Advisory Board for IAGS. I strongly believe in the internationalisation and inclusivity of the IAGS and I support active regional representation for the Association. As an advisory board member of IAGS from 2011-2013, I observed its evolutions and strongly supported its direction and goals. As 1st Vice President of IAGS from 2013-2015 I have had the pleasure of working with the current President Daniel Feierstein, as we both made a contribution to the Siena conference and with 2nd Vice President Andrew Woolford working together on the Winnipeg conference in 2014.
As 1st Vice President, I also helped organise the forthcoming conference in Yerevan. I feel that the Executive Board is now ready for younger scholars who have much to contribute. I see a position on the Advisory Board as a commitment to continuity and am hoping to add a voice of experience should it be needed. The IAGS has grown in the past few years to include members from around the globe and has supported emerging and young scholars, which has been a healthy advance for the Association. The South Pacific region has many well-renowned genocide studies scholars who are underrepresented in the voices of the organisation, including young scholars, and I would encourage their participation in the various roles a more regional and inclusive IAGS would offer.
Dr Donna-Lee Frieze is a Research Fellow and teaches the Holocaust at Deakin University, a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University and a genocide scholar in residence at the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne. She taught a graduate unit, Genocide, for over 10 years and has published widely on the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust and the Bosnian genocides in relation to testimony, film and philosophy. She was the 2013-2014 Prins Senior Scholar at the Centre for Jewish History in NYC. She is the editor and transcriber of Raphael Lemkin’s autobiography, Totally Unofficial and co-author with Steven Cooke of “The Interior of Our Memories”: A History of Melbourne’s Jewish Holocaust Centre, (Hybrid, forthcoming 2015). She is the First Vice-President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars.
Dr. Adam Muller
Department of English, Film, and Theatre
University of Manitoba
I am an interdisciplinary scholar and associate professor in the Department of English, Film, and Theatre at the University of Manitoba. I bring to the IAGS an active and intellectually cosmopolitan scholarly agenda, good management skills, and considerable experience working collaboratively across (and facilitating exchange between) the artistic, academic, and activist life-worlds.
My research and teaching lie at the intersection of art and mass violence. In addition to articles on war and genocide (most recently forthcoming book chapters on Canadian settler-colonial genocide and the Armenian Genocide), I am the editor or coeditor of three books: Concepts of Culture: Art, Politics, and Society (2006); Fighting Words and Images: Representing War Across the Disciplines (2012); and The Idea of a Human Rights Museum (2015). I have also published the catalogue of Photrocity, an exhibition I recently curated of Soviet World War Two atrocity photographs that comprised part of the cultural program of the 2014 IAGS conference in Winnipeg.
I have a particular interest in the aesthetic modes and strategies through which the creative imagination achieves interpretive purchase on experiences of genocide. I am working to understand the way artists – primarily visual artists but also writers, poets, filmmakers and others – work to imagine and in some way breathe life into intense and horrific events that quite literally beggar reason. My main focus is on the overwhelming character of experiences of extreme violence, their tendency to overload the cognitive and affective resources through which human beings – victims, survivors, and secondary witnesses alike – confront traumatic adversity and struggle in various ways to work through it.
I am currently co-directing Embodying Empathy, a multidisciplinary critical and creative project using digital technologies to construct a virtual and immersive Canadian Indian Residential School. The overarching goal of our project is to ascertain whether or not such a “story-world” may help bridge the empathetic distance separating victims from secondary witnesses to settler-colonial violence. Along the way, the project seeks to refine methods for working with genocide survivors and indigenous stakeholders in ways that do justice to their experiences, genocidal histories, and cultures.
For the last five years I have served on the editorial board of TOPIA: The Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, and for three years I was the journal’s book review editor. I was also for several years the director of the U of M’s English Media Lab, during which time I was responsible for overseeing every aspect of the lab’s operation, including its budget. I have organised local and international conferences and workshops, and was on the organising committee for the 2014 IAGS conference in Winnipeg. In the fall of 2014 I also organised an international conference on human vulnerability. I write for, and speak regularly to, non-academic audiences, and have made it a priority to try and introduce the leading edge of genocide scholarship to a wider public. Such mediations and translations are, I believe, vital to improving the success of ongoing efforts to prevent genocide.
Dr. Lior Zylberman
Professor of Sociology in the University of Buenos Aires;
Researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET);
Member of the Centre for Genocide Studies (UNTREF)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
I am running again for the Advisory Board of the International Association of Genocide Scholars with the desire to accompany and work with the new Executive Board in order to continue promoting the genocide studies in Latin America.
I joined IAGS in 2011, in that time I was a PhD candidate. Nowadays, I am a full time researcher and professor, and IAGS has witnessed my academic growth. I am not only member of the outgoing board but also member of the Editorial Board of our Journal, Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal, in which I work as Film Review Editor.
My PhD thesis analysed the relation between memory, image, and imagination in Atom Egoyan's film work. In addition, I have received a Master degree in Communication and Culture in 2011, whose thesis analysed film representation of the last military dictatorship in Argentina. Both degrees were given by the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Currently, my main research project is focusing in a comparative study of the filmic representations of the Shoah, the Rwandan genocide and the Argentine last dictatorship. As secondary themes, I research about collective memory´s processes, articulating sociological theory with visual studies. Also, I’m about to begin a research project between the Centre for Genocides Studies and the University of Valencia, Spain, about the visual representation of massacres, wars and genocides.
The theme of genocide concerns me not only for academic issues but also for family reasons: besides being grandson of survivors of the Shoah, I was born under the last military dictatorship in Argentina.
The aspects aforementioned provide me with a perspective that is not limited on Latin America issues, but includes the articulation and comparison of the various genocidal practices around the world. This, I think, can be an interesting contribution to the Advisory Board of IAGS.
Dr. Nélida Elena Boulgourdjian,
Free Chair of Armenian Studies at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature,
University of Buenos Aires, Argentina;
Professor and Senior Researcher in MAs on Cultural Diversity, University of Tres de Febrero,
My field of research is Armenian Diaspora communities in particular the Armenian community of Argentina and the Armenian genocide.
As a member of the Advisory Board my aim is to continue to promote studies on genocide as I have done until now; to publicise the activities carried out by IAGS and particularly encourage membership in Spanish-speaking researchers.
Since 1997 I have co-organised conferences on genocide, providing me with expert experience on the subject. I organise free undergraduate and graduate courses on diasporas and genocides in general and the Armenian diaspora and genocide in particular.
I was one of the founders of the Study Group of Genocide with the Chair of Armenian Studies (Faculty of Philosophy and Literature) and the Armenian Centre since 1997. This group organised meetings on genocide studies every two years and opened a space for academic studies on Armenian Genocide and other genocides (1997-2009). I was the editor together with Juan Carlos Toufeksian and Carlos Alemian of five books and one CD.
Furthermore I am a member of the editorial boards of the Journal for the Society for Armenian Studies, and Diversidad.net, an online journal dedicated to Cultural Diversity at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero. I am also a member of the Society for Armenian Studies, The University of Michigan-Dearborn; the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS); the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INoGS) and Asociación Argentina de Investigadores en Historia (AsAIH) (Argentine Association of Researchers in History).
I am the author of academic articles, book chapters and books in my field. In 2013 Juan Carlos Toufeksian and I published: Inmigración armenia en la Argentina. Perfiles de una historia centenaria a partir de las Listas de Pasajeros (1889-1979), Buenos Aires, Fundación Memoria del Genocidio armenio.
“Deportación de la población armenia: herramienta de exterminio, desposesión de derechos y sufrimiento subjetivo” in Prácticas genocidas y violencia estatal en perspectiva transdisciplinar, José Luis Lanata (comp.), IIDyPCa-CONICET-UNRN, 2014, pp. 18-30. ISBN: 978-987-28950-2-0.- http://www.clacso.org.ar/libreria_cm/archivos/pdf_109.pdf
“Gravitación de las fuentes ideológicas en los orígenes del Genocidio armenio. ¿Construcción de un discurso nacionalista y excluyente?”, en Genocidio y Diferencia, V Conference on Genocide, co-editor, Fundación Siranoush y Boghós Arzoumanian, 2007, pp. 53-65. ISBN 978-987-22083-2-5
The Government of the City of Buenos Aires commissioned me to prepare a handbook for teachers and students as material on the Armenian Genocide: Genocidio armenio, Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն, Buenos Aires, Government of the City of Buenos Aires, 2009. http://www.buenosaires.gob.ar/sites/gcaba/files/libro_armenia_gcba_0.pdf
Given my experience in research on genocide studies as well as the organisation of activities concerning the promotion of genocide studies I have carried out in Argentina and other countries in Latin America I feel I can be of great use to members of IAGS .
Dr. Melanie O’Brien,
Postdoctoral research Fellow,
TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland,
As a current member of the IAGS Advisory Board, I am keen to continue my affiliation with IAGS and maintain this role for another term. I have been involved in IAGS since attending the Buenos Aires conference in 2011. As a member of the Advisory Board, I have participated in multiple IAGS committees, including, inter alia, conference peer reviewing and the nomination committee.
Outside the Advisory Board, I have also been involved in the Emerging Scholars group and the By-Laws Committee. Currently I am on the Editorial Board of IAGS’ journal, Genocide Studies and Prevention (GSP), a significant time commitment to IAGS, but one which I enjoy as I am able to get to know many more of our members and learn more about their areas of research. If I am re-elected to the Advisory Board, I will continue to participate in all committees when requested by the Executive Board.
In addition, I believe in supporting Emerging Scholars to participate in IAGS events and encouraging Emerging Scholars to engage, including through publication in GSP. Furthermore, I support the expansion of IAGS globally, with increased reach to regions such as Asia, Africa and South America, not only through membership but conference locations. This will enable scholars to have the opportunity to visit different locations where genocide and other atrocities have taken place, to gain a first-hand understanding of particular genocides from survivors, memorials, museums, and local researchers.
I also promote IAGS in my home country of Australia in order to include the many fantastic scholars here who are often isolated due to distance. The multi-disciplinarity of IAGS is crucial, and my own promotion of the Association aims to include people of a variety of disciplines, from law to history, philosophy, psychology and more. Most importantly, I really enjoy my association with IAGS and engaging with all the amazing scholars that are part of our organisation. This not only serves to enrich my own research but I have also made some fantastic friends through IAGS.
My field of expertise is mainly in international criminal law (ICL) and human rights law. As a research fellow in the TC Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland, I am undertaking a research project tracking human rights violations throughout the genocide process. I do a small amount of teaching in ICL, human rights law, and comparative criminal law. I am also affiliated with the UQ Asia-Pacific Centre for Responsibility to Protect, which has a strong emphasis on genocide prevention, and through which I can bring significant connections to IAGS and its events.
Heitor A. C. Loureiro,
History Graduate Program
São Paulo State University
São Paulo, Brazil
Since my very first day at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil, I have been studying and researching Genocides and Human Rights topics. As an undergrad, I wrote articles published in scientific journals and presented papers in regional and national conferences. Upon graduation (B.A.) in 2010, I moved to Sao Paulo to attend the History Graduate Program at Pontifical Catholic University for a Master of Arts degree (CAPES/CNPq scholarship). In parallel to my Master’s research, I was invited by the Chair of the Armenian Language at University of Sao Paulo to teach an open course titled “The place of the Armenian Genocide in History” which I taught twice a year until 2013.
Still as a M.A. candidate, I attended my first international conference in Buenos Aires in 2011, the 9th Conference of IAGS. One week later, I was the first Brazilian graduate student admitted to the Genocide and Human Rights University Program at the International Institute for Genocide & Human Rights Studies, Toronto, Canada. The activities that I attended during my Master’s were pivotal to qualify me to apply for a Ph.D. student position at São Paulo State University where I was accepted in March 2013 (receiving a CAPES scholarship). During this period, I was appointed as vice-coordinator of the “Armed Conflicts in the Contemporary Times Research Group” which I was a member since its creation in 2010. Currently, I am visiting student scholar/internship at the “Matenadaran” Scientific Research Institute, in Yerevan, Republic of Armenia (CAPES and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation scholarships, from April to August 2015).
As a young scholar from an emerging country and member of IAGS since 2011, I am able to witness the importance of these scholars for the development of the Genocide Studies in the past few years. Young graduated students from different parts of the world have proposed new studies about less well-known cases of genocide and mass violence, or new approaches about the major case studies. Nevertheless, I believe that we still have work to do. Currently, our main challenge is attracting young scholars from the so-called “Global South” (Latin America, Middle East, Africa, South & Southeast Asia), where mass violence is still a reality.
For this purpose, we should improve our action on social networks in order to reach these scholars and let them know about the IAGS’ discussions, actions, and meetings, since the emerging scholars are the strongest links between the academia and the general public, acting as multiplying agents within their communities, raising awareness of genocide prevention and human rights. Therefore, the policy of covering the emerging scholars’ costs to enable them to attend the biannual meetings has to be kept and increased, especially for those scholars from underrepresented countries. The 2013 special campaign to include students, emerging scholars and scholars from the Global South as new members could be resumed after a detailed analysis of its previous results. Special panels in the meetings and a dedicated section on the GSP journal for emerging scholars might also be discussed as ways of encouraging their participation.
Artist and Genocide Scholar
I respectfully accept the nomination for a position with the advisory board IAGS 2015 – 2017 term with the candidacy goals of support and expertise for the IAGS community in representation of critical arts expression and related research in the cross disciplines of memory; memorialisation; museum studies; and the role of the arts in understanding mass violence. Cultural expression represents the inauguration of creative embodiment of human understanding. Cultural expression and memory, memorialisation and collective psychological recovery are central ingredients to deeper understanding of the causes; consequences and ultimately, prevention of mass violence.
Societies around the world are grappling with regional and international transitions post conflict; and academic institutions are developing bodies of research about these experiences past and present. The development and transmission of scholarly examination in these fields are crucial to understanding successes and problematics of re-fabrication of impacted societies. The IAGS consortium of members has a tentative and small minority population of colleagues dedicated to these fields. I will endeavour, if elected, to broaden the representation and participation of practitioners and professionals in these cross disciplinary fields with the IAGS membership and will assist in advancement of the role of arts and cultural expression in understanding genocide.
My scholarship and qualifications are based on 15 years of independent research in the area of genocide studies as they apply specifically to the visual arts, folk and ceremonial arts, museum studies, alternative media, literature, and performance arts. These include a professional career as a visual artist spanning 30 years, in part, dedicated to an emerging series of contemporary art works examining the history and legacy-narrative of genocide. Orderly and thorough methodology and analysis into, now, many episodes of genocide and mass violence around the world, has refined my research abilities and stimulated a broad interest in the emerging fields of artistic expression and collective memory as the natural offspring of the study and artistic interpretation of such tragedies. The professional application of this work enables me to facilitate innovative educational experiences with students in a university or college setting, high school students and lay audiences. Further relevant expertise is based on 30 years of volunteer civic service serving and representing a variety of agencies for the state of Massachusetts and the US Federal Government. Positions that I have held over the years has exposed me to effective and transparent governance, administration and decision making processes of collectives; and the general laws, rules and regulations that support such governance.
A final and important qualification for this position is my service to the IAGS advisory community with two past positions: the IAGS Journal Transition Committee (JTC) and the IAGS Advisory Board, for the 2011 – 2013 term. Each of these positions facilitated my depth of appreciation of the various responsibilities the advisory community serves the membership; whereby I employed the qualifications listed above and developed an international perspective in the organisational criteria that IAGS represents. It would be my honour to be of service to this community again.