UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Scholars from around the world will join University of Richmond faculty for a conference Sept. 24-27 that aims to explore the evolution of Holocaust education and commemoration.

In light of recent events in Charlottesville and across the world, the three-day conference titled, “The Future of Holocaust Memory: A Global Consideration of Holocaust Commemoration Held in the American South,” will bring together nearly 30 leading scholars in Holocaust studies with perspectives from around the world to review the ways in which Holocaust memory is conceived, taught, and practiced. The gathering is co-sponsored by the Virginia Holocaust Museum and the University of Haifa.

“None of the scholars invited wondered why we were holding this conference or whether Richmond would provide a compelling setting,” said Martha Merritt, dean and the Carole M. Weinstein chair of international education. “All of them are keen to consider incidents of extremism with the struggles to commemorate slavery and the American Civil War.”

Holding the conference in Richmond, the former Capital of the Confederacy, is an intentional and key aspect of the event. Conference workshops will incorporate Richmond’s own traumatic history through excursions to contested monuments, the American Civil War Museum, and the T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge.

“Our colleagues in Richmond who work on the commemoration of the Civil War can provide important and provocative comparisons on how to keep memories alive and relevant to new generations,” said Merritt. 

Key events of the conference include:

  • Sept. 25, 7 p.m. — Screening of the film “Charlottesville” at the Virginia History Museum
  • Sept. 26, 10 a.m. — Tour of the American Civil War Museum and discussion with Christy Coleman, the museum’s chief executive officer. The tour will be followed by a walk across the T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge.
  • Sept. 27, 10:45 a.m. — Conference summary at the Virginia Holocaust Museum by Atina Grossmann, professor of history at The Cooper Union in New York City.


Dean and Carole M. Weinstein Chair of International Education