The University of Nevada, Reno’s departments of Political Science and Gender, Race and Identity have collaborated with the Religious Studies Committee to host guest speaker Jelena Subotic, author of the award-winning book: “Yellow Star, Red Star: Holocaust Remembrance After Communism.”
In the L.J. and Linda Kutten Religious Studies Lecture from 5 to 7 p.m. April 18 in the University’s Wells Fargo Auditorium (MIKC 124), Subotic will explore how post-communistic Eastern European countries pursued new strategies of Holocaust remembrance where the memory, symbols and imagery of the Holocaust became appropriated to represent crimes of communism.
“Jelena Subotic's work reminds us that political memory is not simply a matter for the past, but one that actively shapes our social and political landscape today,” Ian Hartshorn, associate professor of political science and chair of the Religious Studies Committee, said. “Narratives of oppression and resistance form core frames for social movements even generations removed. We appreciate Subotic joining us at the University to take on these important topics.”
“Faculty often hear from students that they learn little detail about the Holocaust or its effects while in high school,” Emily Hobson, chair of the Department of Gender, Race and Identity, said. “This is a widespread problem nationally and contributes to denialism, antisemitism and the growth of white nationalism. In an effort to address that, GRI is working to revise and expand our minor in Holocaust, Genocide and Peace Studies (HGPS).”
One new course in the HGPS minor will be "Legacies of the Holocaust" taught by James McSpadden, assistant professor of history.
“There is an intense desire among our undergraduates to learn more about the history of the Holocaust and about genocide more broadly,” McSpadden said. “I have never before had students email me weekly to share social media stories about survivors they came across, to recommend I watch documentaries that moved them, or to ask for additional reading recommendations.”
The annual Religious Studies lecture is made possible by the generosity of L.J. and Linda Kutten. The 2022-23 lecture is additionally supported by a grant from the Holocaust Education Foundation of Northwestern University and is hosted by the departments of Political Science and Gender, Race and Identity.