Digital Presentation of “The Soap Myth,” followed by a Q&A with playwright Jeff Cohen , 09/26/13
The horrific possibility that the Nazis turned Jews into soap is the catalyst for “The Soap Myth,” a play by Jeff Cohen. Cohen’s lead characters, a survivor and a young investigative journalist, go on a collision course to ascertain how much fact is needed for something not to be fiction . See www.TheSoapMyth.com.
Jeff Cohen is an American theater director , playwright , and producer. His play, “The Soap Myth,” was produced by the National Jewish Theater Foundation at the Roundabout Theater Company’s Steinberg Theater Center in the Spring of 2012. The production, directed by Arnold Mittelman, featured Andi Potamkin, Greg Mullavey, Dee Pelletier, and Donald Corren. That production caught the attention of prominent Holocaust scholar, Michael Berenbaum, who, in an editorial in the Jewish Forward (among other places), has championed the play as authentically capturing the tension between Holocaust survivors and Holocaust historians, and promoting a detente between the two groups.
“Narratives of Belated Experience: Musical Testimony from the Holocaust,” Dr. Joseph Toltz, Lecturer and Tutor, Sydney Conservatorium of Music and University of Western Sydney, 11/6/13
Music has featured as a discourse in Holocaust narrative and has served a commemorative function for the Jewish community, a pedagogical tool in performance, a feature of testimony, and a complement of historical narrative. This presentation drew on three unique collections of musical testimony from survivors from distinct periods.
Dr. Joseph Toltz is Research Associate and Lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. His specialty is musical memory and recall in Jewish Holocaust survivors. Toltz has published in Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History, as well as book chapters and articles on the electronic group Kraftwerk, the children’s opera Brundibar, and the Jewish approach to illness. In 2011, Toltz was a Barbara and Richard Rosenberg Fellow of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the USHMM , and his presentation was co-funded by the Campus Outreach Lecture Program of the USHMM’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, supported by the generosity of the Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation, Inc., and Arlyn S. and Stephen H. Cypen. Formerly a Cantor for 13 years, Toltz continues to work as a professional musician.
“Disabilities and the Holocaust : A History Revealed,” Dr. Simi Linton and Christian von Tippelskirch, coordinated by Dr. Amy Traver , Sociology, QCC, 11/20/13
This one-hour lecture on disability and the Holocaust was followed by a viewing of the documentary Liebe Perla , which introduces the history of brutality toward and murder of people with disabilities in Nazi Germany. There was also an audience Q&A with Dr. Linton and Mr. von Tippelskirch.
Simi Linton has been at the forefront of disability studies since its early days. While on the faculty at Hunter College, she wrote the groundbreaking study of this field, Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity (New York University Press, 1998). Linton was a CUNY faculty member from 1985 to 1998. She was awarded a Mary E. Switzer Distinguished Fellowship by the US Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, and has been the Co-Director of the University Seminar in Disability Studies at Columbia University since 2003.
Christian von Tippelskirch is a US filmmaker originally from Germany, where he studied Psychology and Sociology in the 1970s. He was an active member of the movement against the institutionalization of people with psychiatric diagnoses that emerged in Germany in response to the treatment of disabled people before, during, and after the Holocaust
Simi and Christian are the Directors and Producers of the documentary film, Invitation to Dance.
“The Body, Disabilities and the Holocaust,” Dr. Sarah Chinn, coordinated by Dr. Amy Traver , Sociology, QCC, 12/4/13
This lecture by Dr. Sarah Chinn, Associate Professor of English at Hunter College and author of Technology and the Logic of American Racism: A Cultural History of the Body as Evidence (Continuum, 2000), focused on the historical intersections of legal, medical, and racial discourses in the United States.
“Being ‘Other’ in America Today,” coordinated by Dr. Trikartikaningsih Byas, English, QCC, 2/19/14
This event featured speakers who discussed the prison population and issues of legal justice in America. These speakers included Dr. Rose-Marie Äikäs , professor of Criminal Justice at QCC; Ms. Jessica Rogers, a lecturer in the English Department at QCC; Mr. Jordan Schneider, a lecturer in the English Department at QCC; New York City Councilman Daniel Dromm; and Dr. Genny Beemyn, director of the Stonewall Center at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
“Jewish Community Cookbooks,” Dr. Megan Elias , Department of History, QCC, 3/5/14
Although there were a few very well-known cookbooks for Jewish families published before the World War II in America, the postwar period saw a tremendous increase in the numbers of this genre. In particular, Jewish groups all over America published community cookbooks, usually for the purpose of fundraising. These books represent a new pride in identity that was intimately tied to the very public nature of Jewish suffering during the Holocaust. This presentation, which drew on the important collection of Jewish Community Cookbooks at the Dorot Division of the New York Public Library, sought to put these cookbooks into the context of postwar American culture and an emerging sense of global citizenship.
“Mentally Ill People as Unfit for Society,” Dr. Christian Perring , Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Dowling College, 4/2/14
This lecture examined the concept of unfitness in 1930s Germany that led to the Nazi persecution of people with mental illness and its relation to eugenic movements in other parts of Europe and the United States.
“Developing Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness,” Ms. Lorraine Cupelli, Department of Nursing, QCC, 4/23/14
This seminar presentation was aimed at nursing students and those interested in health fields. It focused on developing cultural sensitivity and awareness and bridging cultural gaps to foster improved health outcomes. Topics included pursuing the impact of the Holocaust on survivors and spotlighting cultural beliefs as they relate to decisions regarding health, prevention of illness, treatment of illness, and end-of-life issues.