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Holocaust and Genocide Studies


Contact Holocaust and Genocide Studies  

Holocaust and Genocide Studies

409 Main Hall
West Chester, PA 19383
Call: (610) 436-2972

Holocaust and Genocide Studies



The demand for Holocaust and Genocide Studies has grown over the past thirty years. Five states mandate that the subject be taught in the schools, and seven states -- including Pennsylvania -- are recommending inclusion in school curricula. It is expected that more states will institute such requirements. Thus, teachers and librarians are seeking more information and instruction. Furthermore, the end of the 20th century saw an explosion of new scholarship and new perspectives on the Holocaust. This scholarship is reinforced by the desire of survivors and those who lived through World War II to educate future generations and to bear witness to the fact that the Holocaust did happen. 

Subsequent episodes of genocide in the modern world generate a continuing need for education and a demand for teaching resources. As a public, comprehensive university that has been training teachers for more than a century, West Chester University is able to provide excellent scholarly and pedagogical resources to students, teachers, and the community

WCU faculty have been pioneers in Holocaust Studies since 1978 when professor Irene Shur first offered an undergraduate course on the Holocaust. The program now includes a Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, a certification program, an undergraduate minor, a regional education center, and a library collection. Students in the MA program take ten courses in disciplines that include history, philosophy, psychology, and language arts, while students in the graduate certificate program and undergraduate minor take six courses. Graduate students are eligible to apply for a number of merit-based scholarships.

Alumni have gone on to do important work across the United States in the field of Holocaust education and human rights advocacy. Students have also entered doctoral programs at the University College of London, Lehigh University, the University of Tennessee, Wayne State University, Arizona State University, and George Mason University. 

2018-2019 Holocaust and Genocide Studies Newsletter

Events for Spring 2019

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

"Sport - Religion - Politics"
Dr. Marcia Sachs Littell, Professor Emeritus in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton University; Dr. Asaf Romirowsky, Executive Director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, and Betsy Rentz, Special Education teacher and Israel Advocate will speak on the intersection of sport, religion, and politics.

Location: West Chester University, Schmucker Science Link (SSL 151), on Church Street, West Chester, PA 19838 (parking available next to Admission Center, 100 W Rosedale Ave)
Time: 3:30 pm

“The Holocaust in Popular Culture and Public History: A Forum on the 25th Anniversary of Schindler’s List and the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation” 
This symposium brings together scholars Igor Kotler (current President of the Rutgers University affiliated Museum of Human Rights), Rachel Lithgow (Executive Vice-President of Beit Hatfutsot –Tel Aviv’s Museum of the History of the Jewish People), Gregory Kendrick (Retired Director of the Freshman Cluster Program and Adjunct Professor of History at UCLA), and James Lichti (History Teacher at the Milken Community School in Los Angeles) in a discussion of Holocaust research, education, and representation twenty-five years after Schindler’s List.

Location: West Chester University Sykes Theater
Time: 6:30 pm


The International Association of Genocide Scholars Conference

From July 14-19, 2019, the International Association of Genocide Scholars will hold its annual conference.  This year, the forum will be held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, under the theme "Missing Pictures:  Rethinking Genocide Studies and Prevention."  Faculty member Dr. Brenda Gaydosh and MA student Heather Hayes will be presenting papers at the conference.  For more information about the symposium and research opportunities please contact Dr. Gaydosh at

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