LOS ANGELES, Sept. 11, 2017 : USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, in collaboration with the USC Digital Humanities Program, will host an international conference in October that will focus on the opportunities and challenges presented by the advancement of digital technologies.
"Digital Approaches to Genocide Studies" will feature scholars from a variety of disciplines to examine the relationships between digital methodologies, practices, ethics and contemporary Holocaust and genocide research.
The two-day conference will be held on October 23-24 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. At the conference, leading and emerging scholars will investigate and debate the ways in which digital tools and methods, new media, and information technologies can help raise new questions, improve understanding, deepen analysis and pioneer new approaches in Holocaust and genocide studies.
Researchers will discuss a range of topics, from the ethical ramifications of vlogging, taking selfies and playing Pokemon at Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum to using Geographic Information Systems to study family arrests and separations during the Holocaust in Italy.
"Our conference will bring together international cutting-edge interdisciplinary research on digital methods that will open new avenues for our understanding of the Holocaust and other genocides. The scholars who gather there will explore the tension between the potential and the limits of digital approaches and tools," said Wolf Gruner, the founding director of the Center for Advanced Genocide Research.
Among the topics to be discussed by the two dozen scholars from Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Germany, Poland, France and the United States in attendance will include
•Social Media, Genocide Commemoration and Augmented Reality;
•The Capacities of Geographic Information Systems for Analyzing Holocaust Spaces;
•Mapping Social Networks and Personal Experience.
There will also be a discussion on New Dimensions in Testimony, USC Shoah Foundation's groundbreaking technology that enables people to have lifelike conversation with a recording of a Holocaust survivor long into the future.
"I am delighted that Shoah Foundation will hold this conference on 'Digital Approaches to Genocide Research," said Peter C. Mancall, divisional dean for the humanities and the principal investigator for this Mellon-sponsored digital humanities program. "We aim to understand how to use digital tools to advance comprehension of pressing issues. This conference will offer cutting-edge approaches to our understanding of the terror of genocide."
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