Past Events

Cincinnati, Ohio

Zahava was born in Poland in 1941. As a young child, she survived WWII hiding in an underground bunker, living with an unknown Polish woman under a false identity and later being placed in a convent. After the war, she was reunited with her parents. Come hear Zahava’s remarkable story.

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New York, USA

In considering the politics and policies of commemorating the past, this conference probes how public discourses about memory change over time. Papers that explore how the past is known, interpreted, conceptualized, or articulated, and how such representations evolve with the passage of time, are welcome. How has the passage of time changed the way memories of historical violence, atrocity and genocide are represented in the public sphere? In what ways do political, social and cultural forces influence, appropriate, or stifle these memories in different ways as the original event recedes into the more distant past? Related topics include the globalization of memory, and with it the increasing popularity of commemorative memorial practices. The proliferation of museums and memorials, the increase in confessional or memorial literature, and the surge of memory laws against Holocaust and genocide denial are some examples of the historical, cultural and legal phenomena that speak to questions of how individuals and communities remember. These modes of ‘making the past present’ speak not only to the passage of time and the forces of multidirectional memory, but also to the ways in which communities understand issues of justice and accountability, memory and amnesia, prevention and the culture of ‘never again’. This conference thus seeks papers that explore the ways in which communities negotiate narrativization of the past over time, and what the implications of such changes in public discourses of memory suggest in terms of present and future political realities, conflict transformation and atrocity prevention, and the role that history itself has in shaping or re-shaping the ways in which individuals and groups relate to the past and future.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is May 15, 2017. Please note that there is a specific call for a panel on Genocide Prevention for which travel grants may be available. Please e-mail your submission as a single document to Click here to read the full call for papers.

Montreal, Canada

Organized By : Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies

1-3 December 2017

Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication, in collaboration with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) at Concordia University, will host a major international round table - Media and Mass Atrocity: the Rwanda Genocide and Beyond - from Dec. 1-3, 2017, at Carleton.

As the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Rwanda genocide approaches, there is still much to learn about the nexus between mass atrocity and the media, an issue laid bare by the Rwanda tragedy. The roundtable will bring together an international network around the question of media and mass atrocity.

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Event details:

As more information about the Rwanda genocide becomes available and as the narrative of those events continues to evolve, we still have much to learn from the important case study of Rwanda about the role of media in stimulating and responding to mass atrocities. In particular, in an era of social media saturation, near-ubiquitous mobile device penetration, and dramatic shifts in traditional news media, it is more important than ever to examine the nexus between media and mass atrocity. Advances in information and communications technology have reshaped the media landscape, rendering mass atrocities in distant countries more immediate and harder to ignore. And yet, a cohesive international response to mass atrocities has been elusive. Social media tools can be used to inform and engage, but also - in an echo of hate radio in Rwanda - can also be used to demonize opponents and mobilize extremism. With enhanced and relatively inexpensive communications technologies, ordinary citizens around the globe can capture live footage of human rights abuses before journalists have the chance, making social media itself a global actor, affecting the responses of national governments and international organizations to threats against peace and security and human rights. And yet, despite the extended reach that technological advances have afforded traditional news media and social media, the media impact in mass atrocity events is still a complex subject. Specifically, we are left with many troubling questions, still unresolved despite the passage of time since Rwanda. What role do media play in alerting the international community to looming mass atrocity? Could more informed and comprehensive coverage of mass atrocities mitigate or even halt the killing by sparking an international outcry? How do we assess the impact of hate media reporting in a killing spree? What is the role of the media in trying to encourage amelioration of the conflict or post-conflict reconciliation? What do the lessons of Rwanda mean now, in an age of communications so dramatically influenced by social media? Media and Mass Atrocity: the Rwanda Genocide and Beyond, grapples with these very questions.

Gothenburg, Sweden

This is an international conference inviting artists, curators, commissioners, scholars and researchers across the arts, humanities and social sciences to consider the highly specific, but nonetheless pervasive, cultural phenomenon of genocide memorialisation. The conference considers the unsettling intersection of questions of mass murder, historicisation, memory-work, artistic production and public culture at a historical moment marked by a resurgence of xenophobic, ethno-nationalist and racist mobilisations.
The conference is organised by the cross-disciplinary Genocide Memorialisation Seminar, University of Gothenburg, co-convened by the School of Global Studies, Valand Academy, and the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies.  Participation in the conference is free, however places are limited, as the intention is to create a focussed space of generative dialogue across a range of practices and disciplines.

Geneva, Switzerland

Undeniable progress has been made since the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination came into force in 1969. However, racism and its destructive effects persist and have lately been reinforced in a variety of situations in the global context.

While the legacies of slavery continue to be visible in the ongoing discrimination against people of African descent, structural discrimination also continues to blight the lives of minorities and Indigenous Peoples globally. Hate speech continues unabated, including at the highest levels of government, and racist hate crimes, including violence, tear apart lives of minorities, migrants and people on the move today. Most alarming of all is the climbing death toll of people who are killed on the basis of their ethnicity, identity and colour.

In light of the use and abuse of identity for the purposes of exclusion on the grounds of race colour descent national or ethnic origin, as outlined in Article 1 of the ICERD, the Committee decided to hold a thematic discussion that will focus on racial profiling, ethnic cleansing, as well as other associated issues as they affect the experiences of racial discrimination by citizens, non-citizens and people on the move. 

The discussion builds on productive consultations held by the Committee over the past year with States and with civil society, and reflects concerns raised in its concluding observations, general recommendations, statements, and procedures. It seeks to delve deeper into a few of the pressing global challenges of racial discrimination, learning from the concerns and experiences of stakeholders in order to improve the impact of the Committee’s work to fight racial discrimination particularly with regard to racial profiling and ethnic cleansing. 

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