Past Event

Spaces and Geographies of Concentration Camps

February 8, 2018
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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How to Preserve the Memory of Discrimination

Lisa Ackerman
Executive Vice President, World Monuments Fund
Remembering a Difficult Past

Alberto Giordano
Chair, Geography Dept., Texas State University
From the National to the Individual: Narratives of the Holocaust in Italy

Welcoming remarks:
Barbara Faedda
Associate Director, Italian Academy, Columbia University

Europe and the United Nations commemorate the victims of the Shoah each winter on the date of Auschwitz's liberation in 1945, and the Italian Academy marks Holocaust Remembrance Day with an annual academic event exploring issues of discrimination and crimes against humanity. In previous years, the Academy broadened its focus to explore groups that were targeted in the racism and xenophobia of the Nazi and Fascist regimes, and that suffered and died along with the millions of Jews. This year, the symposium will focus on the conservation and study of concentration camps in Italy.

About the Speakers:
Lisa Ackerman 
is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of World Monuments Fund, an international preservation organization that raises funds and provides expertise for heritage conservation projects throughout the world. Ms. Ackerman holds an appointment as Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute. Previously Ms. Ackerman served as Executive Vice President of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, a private foundation that provides funds for projects related to European art and architecture from antiquity through the early 19thcentury. Ms. Ackerman holds an MS degree in Historic Preservation from Pratt Institute, an MBA from New York University, and a BA from Middlebury College. Ms. Ackerman serves on the boards of Historic House Trust of New York City and the New York Preservation Archive Project. She previously served on the boards of the St. Ann Center for Restoration and the Arts, Partners for Sacred Places, US/ICOMOS, and the Neighborhood Preservation Center. In 2007 she received the Historic District Council's Landmarks Lion award. In 2008, Ms. Ackerman was named the first recipient of US/ICOMOS's Ann Webster Smith Award for International Heritage Achievement. She lectures frequently on cultural heritage, conservation, and philanthropy.

Alberto Giordano is a graduate of Geography programs at the University of Padua in Italy (BA), the University of California Santa Barbara (MA), and Syracuse University (PhD). Currently Mr. Giordano is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography at Texas State University and President Elect of UCGIS, the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science. Mr. Giordano is also a founding member of the Holocaust Geographies Collaborative, a network of researchers and scholars interested in bringing geographical approaches, methods, and perspectives to the study of the Holocaust and other genocides. On this topic, Mr. Giordano has coauthored works on the geography of the Holocaust in Italy and in Budapest and on the Armenian genocide, with research funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Holocaust Educational Foundation, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the USC Shoah Foundation, and the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure, among others. Currently, Mr. Giordano is working on a series of articles examining the social networks and personal narratives of the Holocaust in Italy and on a project to digitize the names and addresses of over 200,000 Holocaust survivors in Budapest. One topic that fascinates Mr. Giordano is how maps are used by victims and perpetrators of genocide, including questions related to propaganda and the construction of the "other." Mr. Giordano is also interested and involved in projects related to spatial applications to forensic anthropology, most recently on migrant deaths at the Arizona-Mexico and Texas-Mexico borders.

Image: The abandoned barracks at the Fossoli camp near Modena, 2012. (World Monuments Fund)

Remembrance Initiatives at the Academy since 2008