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Finding meaning in Holocaust memories to be lecture topic

September 13, 2011

The power of memory and why the Holocaust still deserves urgent study will be among the topics addressed in this year’s Lectio Magistralis, titled “The Holocaust: In the Crucible of Memory,” to be presented at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, by Marilyn J. Harran, Ph.D., the Stern Chair in Holocaust Education and director of the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education. 

“The Holocaust is often characterized as unspeakable and indescribable. Yet, silence threatens an even greater danger — forgetfulness, memory lost. And so, scholars, writers, and artists dare to speak about the Holocaust and seek to make memory present through prose and poetry, memorials and museums,” Dr. Harran says.

Dr. Marilyn Harran

In this talk, Dr. Harran, a professor of religious studies and history, will discuss the tension between experience and memory and discuss why the Holocaust should matters today, exploring the possibilities for creating a dialogue of meaning within the crucible of memory. 

Under Dr. Harran’s leadership, Chapman University has become a center for Holocaust education through the programs, events and scholarly research of Rodgers Center for Holocaust History and The Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library. The center and library have also hosted a remarkable roster of guests, including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Eli Wiesel, who spoke at the library’s dedication and returned in 2010 to help mark the center’s 10th anniversary.              

The lecture will be held in Memorial Hall. Admission is free.

The Lectio Magistralis is rooted in the European university tradition of inviting newer faculty members to present a lecture on their work or field of study. Today the tradition of the Lectio Magistralis now continues in universities around the world as a way to present scholars at the peak of their intellectual power, with talks directed toward an educated public rather than a specialized group.

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