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Holocaust Expert Among Speakers in Jewish Studies Center's Lecture Series

Holocaust expert Deborah Lipstadt will headline the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies’ spring lecture series at UNC with a talk on April 10. The series begins on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

Lipstadt, the Dorot professor of modern Jewish and Holocaust studies at Emory University, is the author of several books, including History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving; her April lecture will discuss her successful defense against Irving, once thought of as the world’s leading Holocaust denier. In a libel case that was front-page news worldwide, Lipstadt proved that Irving and the claims by deniers of the Holocaust were distortions of history.

The spring lecture series includes six lectures that are free to the public. The series concludes on April 10.

All lectures except the Wednesday lecture will be held at 7:30 p.m. in room 116 of Murphey Hall. Wednesday’s lecture will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Hanes Art Center auditorium.

In addition to Lipstadt, spring speakers include:

  • Wednesday: Samantha Baskind, assistant professor of art history at Cleveland State University, who will discuss the life of American Jewish artist Raphael Soyer (1899-1987) and explore larger questions of how to define modern Jewish art.
  • Feb. 8: Historian Leonard Rogoff ’69 (MA, ’76 PhD) and filmmaker Steve Channing ’68 (PhD) present the 400-year story of Jewish settlement from Roanoke Island in 1585 to the Sunbelt cities of today. Their presentation will preview the Down Home project, which will create a film, book, school curriculum and traveling museum exhibition on the untold story of Jewish life in North Carolina.
  • March 2: Paula Hyman, professor of modern Jewish history at Yale University, will deliver the Kaplan-Brauer Lecture on the Contribution of Judaism to Civilization. In her lecture, “Anti-Semitism and Jewish Identity in Europe Around 1900,” she will explore how Jewish men and women fashioned their identities at the turn of the 20th century.
  • March 21: Joyce Antler, a professor at Brandeis University, will present the Sylvia and Irving Margolis Lecture on the Jewish Experience in the American South. Her topic is “Passing the ‘Torch of Idealism’: Gertrude Weil as Southern Jewish Citizen-Activist.”
  • March 23: Mark Slobin, professor of music at Wesleyan University, will discuss a revival of interest in klezmer music in the United States and beyond. The title of his lecture is “Fiddler on the Move: Exploring the Klezmer World.”

The Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, provides scholars and students with an understanding of Judaism and the historic Jewish experience. The center brings together faculty from a range of academic departments including English, Germanic languages, history, religious studies and Slavic languages and literatures.

These lectures are co-sponsored by a variety of other units on campus, including the departments of art, Slavic languages and literatures, music and history; the Center for the Study of the American South; the Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies; the School of Social Work; the Curriculum in Peace, War and Defense; and North Carolina Hillel.

Lipstadt’s lecture is made possible by a special gift from Lyn and Michael Green in memory of Bernard Szabo and by a grant from the Charles H. Revson Foundation in honor of Eli N. Evans ’58.


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