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Kupferberg Holocaust Center-NEH: Cultural and Artistic Responses to Genocide: Introduction

Testimony across the Disciplines: Cultural and Artistic Responses to Genocide


The 2014-15 Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Center (KHC) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Colloquium, Testimony across the Disciplines: Cultural and Artistic Responses to Genocide, was a student-centered, large-scale interdisciplinary pedagogy project that integrated Queensborough Community College's (QCC) cultural and academic resources amongst 300 students, 20 faculty members, 10 academic disciplines and 5 colleges. The pedagogy project both facilitated and documented QCC students' research and cultural and artistic responses to genocide (and organized hate) through work with genocide scholars, Holocaust survivors, interdisciplinary research collaborations, writing workshops, and cultural/artistic immersions. The project culminated with a student-created capstone art/research exhibit at the KHC and a music, dance and poetry recital at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center (QPAC).

This website serves as an archived content and library resource hub for all participating students, professors and scholars in the pedagogy project, as well as the interested public. The website also facilitates interdisciplinary research and provides resources related to NEH Grant lectures and events, themes surrounding genocide and organized hate, course content from participating faculty, student projects, resources for research, and recommended texts.

Map of Current and Historic Genocides

"I am Genocide" by Neil McKnight

Many Queensborough Community College faculty members partner with the Kupferberg Holocaust Center (KHC) to create rich learning experiences. Above is a video of student Neil McKnight reading an original composition that was a creative writing reflection for Dr. Cary Lane's Academic Literacy course. The class collaborated with the KHC and QCC's Office of Academic Service Learning in Spring 2014.


The 2014-15 KHC-NEH Colloquium was conceived of and developed by Dr. Cary Lane, Associate Professor of English at Queensborough Community College (QCC), in collaboration with faculty and experts both within and beyond the QCC community. We are very grateful for Dr. Lane's efforts, as well as those of his grant co-coordinator, Dr. Steven Dahlke, Associate Professor of Music at QCC, and all of the other contributors, including QCC faculty and students and colloquia presenters.

This program was made possible thanks to the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge Grant. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this web resource do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

List of Programs

Program 1. Music and Theater in the Nazi Concentration Camps and Ghettos
Held on September 17, 2014

During this event, Dr. Barbara Milewski from Swarthmore College examines a selection of Krystyna Żywulska's camp songs and the various contexts in which they were created. Next, Dr. Lisa Peschel from University of York, England discusses how she began to investigate theatrical performance in the Terezín/Theresienstadt Ghetto.

Program 2. Graphic Depictions of Genocide
Held on September 23, 2014

Dr. Susan Jacobowitz, Professor of English at Queensborough Community College, discusses graphic texts that depict genocide and its aftermath. 

Program 3. Creative Writing in Conversation with Art
Held on October 8, 2014

Professor Jodie Childers in the Department of English at Queensborough Community College looks at paintings, sculptures, monuments, and photographs that bear witness to oppression—with the goal to attempt to revive these art objects and the stories they tell through empathetic engagement and artistic connection, giving them a new life through language.

Program 4. Dance, Disability and the Holocaust
Held on October 22, 2014

Featuring Heidi Latsky with an introduction by Dr. Amy Traver, Professor of Sociology at Queensborough Community College, CUNY, and joined by QCC Dance Professors Emily Berry and Aviva Geismar. During this conversation, Heidi Latsky presents excerpts from the GIMP project which integrates and is inclusive of dancers with disabilities.

Program 5. Poetry of Conflict: The African American Experience
Held on November 5, 2014

Dr. Joel Kuszai, Associate Professor of English at Queensborough Community College, leads a writing workshop consisting of three parts: a presentation, discussion, and a multimedia survey of poetry that arises from conflict zones, especially focusing on the African American experience.

Program 6. Facilitating Written Engagement with Art
Held on February 11, 2015

Dr. Susan Jacobowitz, Professor of English at Queensborough Community College, CUNY, discusses producing the writing necessary for publication and explores writing with the purpose of interpretation.

Program 7. Documenting Collective Memory
Held on March 4, 2015

Clifford Chanin, Executive Vice President and Director at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, showcases his efforts in archiving and displaying artifacts and responses to mass atrocities. Next, Dr. Edward Paulino, Assistant Professor of History at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, discusses archiving and responding to the Dominican/Haitian Genocide through culture and art. 

Program 8. QCC Students Respond to Genocide through Art, Research and Creative Writing
Held on April 16, 2015

This two-month long exhibition at the Kupferberg Holocaust Center showcased QCC students’ artistic responses to genocide using painting, drawing, poetry, photography, and essays.

Program 9. QCC Students Respond to Genocide through Music and Dance
Held on April 16, 2015

During this event, Queensborough Community College, CUNY, Music and Dance students performed in collaboration with the MOTÝL Chamber Ensemble at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center (QPAC).