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About the Conference

The very existence of national groups—their history, their memory and their future—rests on their members right to life, but scholars sometimes pay too little attention to assaults on the cultural identities of such groups which often precede physical attacks.

“Plundered Cultures, Stolen Heritage”— Concordia University’s contribution to Canada’s year of Holocaust Remembrance leadership— begins the task of filling that gap and integrating our knowledge.  On 6 and 7 November 2013, leading experts on the experiences of cultural destruction and mass atrocities suffered by the First Nations, Armenian and Jewish peoples are assembling to discuss the motives of the perpetrators of these assaults, their impact, and the significance these attacks pose for restitution and reconciliation today.

“Plundered Cultures, Stolen Heritage” opens a key chapter in multidisciplinary human rights studies integrating research on history, cultural studies and the memory of atrocity. Rather than a competition of suffering between groups, it signifies the determination of scholars to learn from the shared experiences of First Nations, Armenian and Jewish groups for the sake of all groups confronting crimes against humanity and genocides intended to destroy their national existence.

Participants include:

  • Elazar Barkan, Columbia University
  • Janet Brooke, independent writer and museologist
  • Frank Chalk, Concordia University
  • Alan Ojiig Corbiere, Anishinaabemowin Revitalization Program, Lakeview School, M`Chigeeng First Nation
  • David D'Arcy, critic and journalist
  • Clarence Epstein, Concordia University
  • Sherry Farrell Racette, University of Manitoba
  • Donna-Lee Frieze, Deakin University, Melbourne
  • Hana Gartner, former CBC investigative journalist
  • Marc Masurovsky, Holocaust Art Restitution Project (HARP)
  • Catherine MacKenzie, Concordia University
  • Robert Melson, Purdue University
  • Janis Monture, Woodland Cultural Centre
  • Monica Patterson, Concordia University
  • Mehmet Polatel, Boğaziçi University
  • Morley Safer, CBS news correspondent
  • Mario Silva, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
  • Robert Jan van Pelt, University of Waterloo
  • Gavin Taylor, Concordia University
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