UMass Amherst Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies to Host Symposium Honoring James Young

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The Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies will host a daylong symposium honoring the work of James Young, Distinguished Professor emeritus of English and Judaic and Near Eastern studies and founding director of the institute, on Tuesday, Feb. 5 from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., at the institute, 758 North Pleasant St.

The symposium, “Edges, Textures, Stages: James Young and the Field of Memory Studies,” will be followed by a reception until 6:30 p.m. The symposium and reception are free and open to the public.

Young, an important figure in the field of memory studies, taught at UMass Amherst from 1988 until his retirement in 2018. He also has consulted with municipal agencies in developing memorials and was a jury member for the National 9/11 Memorial competition.

He is the author of “Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust,” “The Texture of Memory,” “At Memory’s Edge: After-images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture,” and “The Stages of Memory: Reflections on Memorial Art, Loss, and the Spaces Between.”

The symposium will feature panel talks by visiting scholars, including:

  • Lawrence Douglas, James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College and author of “The Right Wrong Man: John Demjanjuk and the Last Great Nazi War Crimes Trial”

  • Alice M. Greenwald, president and chief executive officer of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum

  • Debórah Dwork, Rose Professor of Holocaust History, founding director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University and co-author of “Flight from the Reich: Refugee Jews, 1933-1946” and “Auschwitz”

  • Horst Hoheisel, sculpture artist and designer of “counter-monuments” such as “The Crushed Brandenburg Gate”

  • Laura Levitt, professor of religion, Jewish studies and gender at Temple University and author of “American Jewish Loss after the Holocaust”

  • Samuel Kassow, Charles H. Northam Professor of History at Trinity College and author of “Who will Write our History: Emanuel Ringelblum and the Oyneg Shabes Archive”

The Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies is a center for research and teaching on the Holocaust, genocides, and events of mass violence as well as on the memory and representation of these historical occurrences.

The symposium was organized by Jonathan Skolnik of German and Scandinavian studies and Hannah Pollin-Galay of Tel Aviv University.