As both an Assistant Professor in Concordia's History Department and the Canada Research Chair in Post-Conflict Memory, Ethnography & Museology, Dr. Erica Lehrer is fascinated with cultural practices and products that attempt to apprehend, represent, or come to terms with mass violence and its aftermath — from the stories told in theoretical and creative texts to films, monuments, exhibitions and the "happenings" of everyday life.
In this new approach to the study of mass violence and genocide, Lehrer focuses on the meaning of past suffering to its victims, perpetrators, and bystanders; how such meaning is attached to material things and landscapes; the work it does to define and foster group boundaries, identification and affiliation; and how it influences future relations and actions.
Trained as an anthropologist (Ph.D. Michigan 2005) with a certificate in museum studies (Michigan 2005), she is completing a book manuscript titled Remaking Memory: How Jews and Poles are Salvaging Jewish Heritage in Poland (and reconceiving national belonging along the way), based on ethnographic fieldwork in Poland, Israel, and the United States.
Also, Dr. Lehrer was recently given a major CFI award to develop CEREV, the history department's Centre for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the aftermath of Violence. The Centre will explore innovative ways to "curate" the results of research on lived experiences and meanings of post-violence.