Director: Alon Confino 

Ph.D., Professor of History and Jewish Studies and Pen Tishkach Chair of Holocaust Studies 

A native of Jerusalem, Alon Confino is a professor of History and Jewish Studies. He is an expert on modern German and European history, Holocaust and genocide, Zionism, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Educated at Tel Aviv University and at UC Berkeley, he has published extensively on these topics, as well as contributing to the general media, including NPR. His recent books explored the Holocaust and genocide:  Foundational Pasts: The Holocaust As Historical Understanding (2012) and A World Without Jews: The Nazi Imagination from Persecution to Genocide (2014), which won a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship and was nominated by Yale University Press for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Among the grants he received are from the Fulbright, Humboldt, and Lady Davis Foundations, the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University, the Social Science Research Council, the Israel Academy of Sciences, and the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. At the Wilson Center in 2016-2017 he was at work on a book on 1948 in Palestine and Israel that tells two stories: one is based on the experience of Arabs, Jews, and British based on letters, diaries, and oral history, and the second is placing 1948 within global perspective of decolonization, forced migrations, partitions, and postwar diplomacy and Cold War.

Associate Director: Lara Curtis

Ph.D. in Comparative Literature

Lara Curtis is a specialist in literature and film related to the Holocaust and Jewish history and has written on trauma theory, as well as on subjectivity and nostalgia in literary contexts.  Her doctoral dissertation is entitled “Writing Resistance and the Question of Gender: Charlotte Delbo, Noor Inayat Khan, and Germaine Tillion.” She has written essays and conference papers on the fiction of Irène Némirovsky, the films of Julien Duvivier, and is currently writing about the journal of Hélène Berr.  At the University of Massachusetts Amherst she taught French film for four years and a variety of courses on European literature. She also holds a Masters Degrees in both French Studies and Comparative Literature, is an honoree of Phi Kappa Phi scholarly society, and a recipient of the Dufau Award for Outstanding Classroom Teaching.