Name: Prof. Eliyana Adler
Position: Eliyana R. Adler is Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, where she teaches and studies East European Jewish history. Her most recent book, Survival on the Margins: Polish Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Union (Harvard UP, 2020) was co-winner of the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust Studies and the Rachel Feldhay Brenner Award in Polish Jewish Studies. She is also the author of In Her Hands: The Education of Jewish Girls in Tsarist Russia (Wayne State UP, 2011) and the co-editor of Jewish and Romani Families in the Holocaust and its Aftermath (Rutgers UP, 2020); Polin 30: Jewish Education in Eastern Europe (2018); Reconstructing the Old Country: American Jewry in the Post-Holocaust Decades (WSUP, 2017); and Jewish Literature and History: An Interdisciplinary Conversation (UP of Maryland, 2008). She has published articles in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Yad Vashem Studies, East European Jewish Affairs, Polin, Jewish Social Studies and other journals and held fellowships sponsored by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Yad Vashem, and the German Historical Institute, among other institutions. Dr. Adler’s current work focuses on East European Jewish memorial books.
Name: Prof. Natalia Aleksiun
Position: Natalia Aleksiunis the incoming Harry Rich Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Florida-Gainesville. Until recently, she served as a senior fellow at the Polish Institute of Advanced Studies in Warsaw, Poland, and as a Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Graduate School of Jewish Studies, Touro College New York. Prof. Natalia Aleksiun is a specialist in the social, political, and cultural history of modern East European and Polish Jewry and has written extensively on the history of the Jewish intelligentsia in East Central Europe, Polish-Jewish relations, modern Jewish historiography, the history of medicine and the Holocaust. She holds doctoral degrees from Warsaw University, Poland, and NYU, U.S. She has published widely in English, Polish, and Hebrew. In addition to her 2021 study Conscious History, she is the author of Dokad dalej? Ruch syjonistyczny w Polsce 1944–1950 (Where To? The Zionist Movement in Poland, 1944–1950) (Warsaw, 2002) and co-editor of several volumes, including Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, vol. 29: Writing Jewish History in Eastern Europe (2017) (with Brian Horowitz and Antony Polonsky) and European Holocaust Studies, vol. 3: European Holocaust Studies (Places, Spaces and Voids in the Holocaust) (with Hana Kubátová). She also serves as co-editor of East European Jewish Affairs.
Name: Prof.Joseph Bathanti
Position: Joseph Bathanti,former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-14) and recipient of the North Carolina Award in Literature, is author of nineteen books, most recently, a volume of poems, Light at the Seam, from LSU Press in 2022. Bathanti is McFarlane Family Distinguished Professor of Interdisciplinary Education at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. He served as the 2016 Charles George VA Medical Center Writer-in-Residence in Asheville, NC, and is the co-founder of the Medical Center’s Creative Writing Program. The Act of Contrition & Other Stories, winner of the EastOver Prize for Fiction, is forthcoming from EastOver Press in fall of 2022.
Name: Prof. emeritus Gabriel N. Finder
Position: Gabriel Finder taught in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Virginia and was an affiliate faculty member in the university’s Jewish Studies Program, which he directed for seven years. His research addresses the Holocaust, Jewish rebuilding and relations between Jews and non-Jews in Europe in its aftermath, Jewish cultural production after the Holocaust, and postwar justice. His most recent publications include Justice Behind the Iron Curtain: Nazis on Trial in Communist Poland, which he coauthored with the late Alexander V. Prusin (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018); and Laughter After: Humor and the Holocaust, which he co-edited with David Slucki and Avinoam Patt (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2020). He was guest coeditor of “Interrogating Evil: A Special Issue of the Journal of Holocaust Research for Lawrence L. Langer on His Ninetieth Birthday,” Journal of Holocaust Research 34, no. 4 (2020), coedited with Dawn Skorczewski and Dan Stone. His current book projects are Honor Court: Jews in Poland Turn Inward after the Holocaust and a“spoken book”—a book on the life and thought of Israeli historian and child survivor Shimon Redlich from the mid-1950s till the turn of the century that is based on conversations with Redlich.
Finder’s presentation at the Memorial Conference for Rosemary Horowitz z"l draws on his research interest in Jewish survivors’ excavation and representation of the human remains of Holocaust victims.
Name: Henry (“Hank”) Greenspan, PhD
Position: Hank Greenspan, PhD, is a psychologist, oral historian, and playwright who has been interviewing, teaching about, and writing about Holocaust survivors since the 1970s—now nearly fifty years. He holds a B.A. and M.Ed. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University. Rather than one-time “testimonies,” Greenspan’s approach has been to meet with survivors in sustained conversation: over months, years, and, in a few cases, decades. His multiple-interview approach is most fully described in On Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Beyond Testimony, now in its second and expanded edition, and Reflections: Auschwitz, Memory, and a Life Recreated, co-authored with Agi Rubin, a survivor with whom Greenspan had collaborated since 1980. He is the author of numerous articles on survivors’ retelling, including the chapter on survivors’ accounts for the Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies. In 2000, he was the annual Weinmann lecturer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). In 2011, he co-led with Wendy Lower the annual Hess Seminar for Professors of Holocaust Courses at the USHMM. In 2012, he was the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University in Montreal. His play, REMNANTS--also based on survivors' recounting--was originally produced for radio in 1991 and distributed on NPR across the U.S. Greenspan has since presented it as a one-person stage performance at more than 300 venues worldwide, including the John Houseman Theater in New York, the New British Library, the USHMM, and the Magdeburg Attic Theatre in the former Theresienstadt camp. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
Name: Dr. Elvira Groezinger
Position: Born 1947 in Lower Silesia, Poland, as child of Holocaust survivors, the physicians Dres. Maria Weissberg and Roland Weissberg. Because of anti-Semitic campaign forced to emigrate to Israel in 1957. Grew up in Israel. There, external General Certificate of Education (GCE) also in Polish Language and Literature from the University of London (1964). B. A. from the Hebrew University Jerusalem (English and Civilisation Francaise, Jewish History, History of Arts, 1967). Since 1967 in Germany, studied at the University of Heidelberg German Literature and Translation (Translator’s Diploma) and at the University of Frankfurt on the Main German Literature and Jewish Studies. Doctorate in General and Comparative Literature from the Freie Universitaet (FU) Berlin. Was scientific researcher at several Universities and Research Institutes, also working with Karl Dedecius at the Deutsches Polen Institut in Darmstadt. Last position as Lecturer in Yiddish Language and Jewish as well as Comparative Literatures at the FU Berlin, before that Lecturer and Scientific Researcher in Jewish Studies until 2006 at the University of Potsdam. Author and editor of 9 books and over 300 articles mainly on Jewish culture and literature, and book reviews.
Name: Faith Jones
Position: Faith Jones is a librarian and translator in Vancouver, Canada. Her co-translation of Celia Dropkin’s poetry, The Acrobat, has been widely adopted in classrooms and is a poetry bestseller. She is a member of the editorial collective at the Digital Yiddish Theatre Project, and a regular contributor to the Yiddish Book Center’s Pakn Treger and the online Yiddish studies journal In Geveb. Her translations of Shira Gorshman’s short fiction is forthcoming from White Goat Press.
Name: Kathy Kacer
Position: Kathy Kacer is the author of more than 20 books that focus on the Second World War and the Holocaust. A child of Holocaust survivors, she has written unforgettable stories inspired by real events. She is a winner of numerous awards including the Jewish Book Council Awards in Canada and the U.S., as well as the Yad Vashem award for Children’s Holocaust Literature in Israel.Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages and sold in Germany, China, Italy, Thailand, England, Japan, Korea, Israel, Brazil, Belgium, and many other countries. Her novels are stories of hope, courage, and humanity in the face of overwhelming adversity. Although she has been writing for many years, Kathy only became a published author in 1999. Before that, she worked as a psychologist with troubled teens. Kathy teaches writing at the University of Toronto, Canada (Continuing Studies). She lectures in universities and colleges on the topic of teaching sensitive material to young people. She also speaks to children and educators in schools and libraries around the world about the importance of understanding the Holocaust and keeping its memory alive.
Name: Dr. Thomas Pegelow Kaplan
Position: Dr. Thomas Pegelow Kaplan is the incoming Louis P. Singer Endowed Chair in Jewish History and a Full Professor in the History Department at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is also the outgoing Leon Levine Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies at Appalachian State University. He has been a research fellow at the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, Israel, the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism, Technical University of Berlin, Germany, the Simon-Dubnow-Institute for Jewish Culture at Leipzig University, Germany, the German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C., the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung, Potsdam, Germany and the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C. Pegelow Kaplan has taught at UNC- Chapel Hill, Grinnell College, Davidson College and De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines.
His areas of research and teaching are Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Modern German History, Modern Jewish History, Global Transatlantic Protest Movements in the Twentieth Century, and History and Theory. He is the author of The Language of Nazi Genocide Linguistic Violence and the Struggle Germans of Jewish Ancestry (Cambridge University Press, 2011). Pegelow Kaplan is the co-editor (with Jürgen Matthäus, Director, Applied Research Scholars, USHMM) of Beyond“Ordinary Men": Christopher R. Browning and Holocaust Historiography (Schoeningh Verlag, 2019) and (with Wolf Gruner, Director, USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research) of Petitions Resisting Persecution: Negotiating Self- Determination and Survival of European Jews (Berghahn Books, 2020). Pegelow Kaplan's latest publication entitled Taking the Transnational Turn: The German-Jewish Press and Journalism Beyond Borders, 1933-1943 [in Hebrew] will be forthcoming with Yad Vashem Publications in late 2022. He has also published numerous articles and book chapters on the Holocaust, Nazism and the West German and American protest movements of the 1960s. His work has appeared in English, German, and Hebrew.
Name: Dr. Victoria Nesfield
Position: Lecturer in Religion, School of Humanities at York St John University, UK. Victoria teaches Religion, and within this programme, Holocaust studies, at York St John University, UK. Her PhD (University of Leeds, 2011) compares the representations of Jewish identity in the works of Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel. Victoria's post-doctoral research has focused on a variety of Holocaust-related areas, including education, literary and artistic representation, and religious identity. Currently she is researching the relationship between Holocaust memory and communist memory, in Romania, particularly, Elie Wiesel's hometown, Sighet. Along with Philip Smith, Victoria has co-edited two volumes which Professor Rosemary Horowitz contributed to, The Struggle for Understanding: The Novels of Elie Wiesel (SUNY Press, 2019) and Representing Childhood and Atrocity (SUNY Press, forthcoming 2022).
Name: Dr. Chris J. Patti
Position: Chris J. Patti (PhD) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, and an Affiliate Faculty Member for the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies, at Appalachian State University. His research examines compassionate communication, listening, and navigating suffering through ethnographic work with Holocaust survivors and other trauma survivors. His research is interdisciplinary, crossing fields of communication, oral history, Holocaust studies, education, art, and storytelling studies. He has published journal articles, book chapters, and podcast episodes in national and international venues such as the Journal of Applied Communication Research, Communication Education, the Journal of Autoethnography (University of California Press), Storytelling, Self, Society (Wayne State University Press), the University of British Columbia Press, and the Optimal Living Daily (https://oldpodcast.com/) podcast. His teaching and research bring together his passion for communicating across difference, perhaps best exemplified in he and Dr. Eric Marland’s (Chair of the App State Department of Mathematical Sciences) COM/MAT 3543: Communicating Science course. He also leads an agnostic meditation club in the Department of Communication and is always happy to continue the conversation.
Name: Prof. Emeritus Peter W. Petschauer
Short Bio: Peter W. Petschauer, Ph.D., Dr. h. c., is Professor Emeritus of History of Appalachian State University, as well as a Research Associate of the Psychohistory Forum and a member of the editorial boards of Clio Psyche and The Journal of Psychohistory. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of German Association for Psychohistory and Political Psychology (GPPP). After obtaining a Ph.D. in European and Russian History at New York University, Petschauer taught European history at Appalachian from 1968-2006. In addition to having held a named professorship, he led several programs, including Russian and East European Studies, the Hubbard Center for Faculty and Staff Support, as well as headed Appalachian’s Faculty Senate and the University of NC System’s Faculty Assembly. In May 2014, Appalachian granted him the Dr. h. c. in the Arts and Humanities. Since his wife Joni’s and his retirement from the university, they concentrate on visits to family in South Tyrol, lower Austria, and Germany, especially to their granddaughter in Hesse. The most joyful activity remains visiting museums here and abroad and continuing with their own collecting. They both are deeply engaged with Appalachian’s Turchin Center for Visual Art and the Appalachian Summer Festival.
In his research, the Petschauer has recently concentrated on a book of poems (NY, 2019) and his adjustment to the US in the 1960s (Charleston, 2020). His research interests include a book about what he learned in elementary school in Afers, “his” village in the Dolomites (Brixen/Bressanone, 2022), and a second poetry book (NY, 2022). Other interests include the history of childhood, reasons for collecting art, and inter- and transgenerational trauma.
Name: Madeline Scott
Position: Madeline Scott is a graduate student at Appalachian State University studying English, concentrating on Rhetoric and Composition. She graduated from Appalachian State with her BA in English - Professional Writing in December 2021. Madeline plans to enter the publishing industry after graduation but is also interested in pursuing further higher education. Her research focuses on digital and visual rhetorics employed in online spaces, especially languages created through social media and online brand communities established by publishing companies for adolescent readers. Madeline is also a graduate assistant at the Appalachian State University Writing Center and the new Prose Editor for The Peel Literature & Arts Review.