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AU’s inaugural Jewish Studies lecture will look at memorials, Berlin to New York
10/26/10

On Wednesday Nov. 3, Alfred University will welcome James Young, professor of English and Judaic Studies at the University of Massachusetts- Amherst, as he presents the inaugural Leftkowitz Lecture on Jewish Studies.

The talk, entitled “The Stages of Memory: From Berlin to New York,” will take place at 5:15 p.m. in Nevins Theatre, Powell Campus Center. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Young’s illustrated lecture will focus on the idea of memorials and will examine the processes of memorialization around the Denkmal in Berlin and at the World Trade Center (WTC) Memorial at Ground Zero in New York City.

A member of the jury for the WTC Center Site Memorial, Young has served as a consultant to Argentina’s government on its memorials to the desaparacidos and was appointed by the Berlin Senate as an adviser for the construction of Germany’s “Memorial to Europe’s Murdered Jews.”

Aspects of Young’s work on memorials intersects with the learning goals that go on between and within each of Alfred’s undergraduate divisions — engineering, art & design, business, liberal arts & sciences — observed Mary McGee, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “We wanted to showcase a scholar whose work would have broad appeal across our Alfred Community and Dr. Young’s work does just that, demonstrating how the integration of disciplines can illuminate our understanding of ideas about memory, public art, history, literature, buildings, memorials, and the Holocaust.”

A keen observer and commentator on “the living memory of survivors,” Young’s work illuminates the collective memory of communities and nationals through a focus on public art. As noted in his faculty biography on the University Massachusetts-Amherst Web site, Young’s books include “Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust (1988), “The Texture of Memory (1993), “At Memory’s Edge: After-images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture (2000. Young is also editor-in-chief of the 10-volume “Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization.”

Dr. Leonard and Saradona Lefkowitz have endowed this new lectureship within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences to help cultivate knowledge and understanding about Jewish cultural and historical experiences. The Lefkowittzes will be coming to Alfred for the inaugural event of this endowment; a reception in honor of Professor Young and the Lefkowitzes will immediately follow the lecture.