Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program Faculty List
Director - Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program
Professor – Religious Studies
Oren Stier is Director of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program and Professor of Religious Studies at Florida International University, where he also directs the Jewish Studies Certificate Program. He is the author of Holocaust Icons: Symbolizing the Shoah in History and Memory (Rutgers University Press, 2015) and Committed to Memory: Cultural Mediations of the Holocaust (University of Massachusetts Press, 2003) and co-editor of Religion, Violence, Memory, and Place (Indiana University Press, 2006). He has been a Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and was the Guest Curator for an exhibition on “Race and Visual Culture under National Socialism” at The Wolfsonian Teaching Gallery at FIU’s Frost Art Museum in 2013. Stier has served as Co-Chair of the Religion, Holocaust and Genocide Group of the American Academy of Religion and was a founding board member of Limmud Miami. He teaches and lectures widely on the Shoah as well as on issues in religion and violence and contemporary Jewish studies. His research addresses Holocaust testimony, Jewish memory, and the material and visual culture of the Shoah. His current project, for which he was awarded a spring 2017 sabbatical, examines the dimensions of testimony in Elie Wiesel’s writings.
Assistant Professor – Politics and International Relations
Alexander Barder’s main research focuses on historical and contemporary forms of international hierarchy, imperialism and war. His current project examines the historical connections between Nazi Germany’s grand strategy and the Holocaust. Barder currently teaches courses in International Relations Theory, Development of International Thought and American Foreign Policy and graduate seminars in International Relations Theory and Contemporary Political Theory.
Librarian – Library Operations, Graduate Studies
Stephanie Brenenson is the Graduate Studies/Scholarly Communication Librarian, who promotes and cultivates research skills and services to support research and teaching, while playing a key role in the Libraries’ outreach efforts concerning scholarly communication. She is available to provide assistance and instruction for the Visual History Archive from the USC Shoah Foundation and Yale's Fortunoff Video Archive of Holocaust Testimonies. Brenenson’s subject specialties include Religious Studies and Philosophy, among others.
Assistant Professor – Teaching and Learning
Rebecca Christ is an assistant professor of social studies education at FIU’s School of Education and Human Development. Her research interests include social studies education and teacher preparation, specifically focusing on the area of genocide education. Her dissertation followed a group of U.S. college students studying abroad in Rwanda to learn about the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi. Christ is also interested in pedagogies of qualitative inquiry and in drawing on critical, postcolonial, post structural, and posthuman theoretical concepts for inspiration and innovation within qualitative inquiry and pedagogical practice.
Professor – College of Law
Megan Fairlie’s main research interests lie in the field of international and comparative criminal procedure. Since 2009, she has sat on the board of Self-Help Africa-USA, a non-profit organization committed to empowering communities in rural Africa. Fairlie teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, international criminal law, professional responsibility and seminars on international criminal procedure and the International Criminal Court. She has also written some pieces based on Nuremberg, primarily from a procedural perspective.
Professor – College of Law
Charles Jalloh is a Professor of Law and member of the UN International Law Commission, where he was elected as Chair of the Drafting Committee for the seventieth (2018) session and the Rapporteur for the Seventy-first (2019) session. A leading expert in international criminal law, Jalloh is founding editor of the African Journal of Legal Studies and the African Journal of International Criminal Justice. He was selected for the FIU Top Scholar Award in 2015, the FIU Senate Faculty Award for Excellence in Research in 2018 and the Fulbright Lund University Distinguished Chair in Public International Law for the 2018-2019 academic year. Before academia, he worked as legal adviser in the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Section, Canadian Department of Justice; the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and as a visiting professional, in the International Criminal Court. Notable works include: The Sierra Leone Special Court and Its Legacy: The Impact for Africa and International Criminal Law (Cambridge, 2014 hardback, 2015 paperback); The International Criminal Court in an Effective Global Justice System (Elgar, 2016, with Linda Carter and Mark Ellis); The International Criminal Court and Africa (Oxford University Press, 2017, with Ilias Bantekas) and The African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights in Context: Development and Challenges (Cambridge, 2019, with Kamari Clarke and Vincent Nmehielle).
Associate Professor – Art and Art History
Jacek Kolasinski is a New-Media artist, an Associate Professor of Visual Arts and the former Chair of the Art and Art History Department. He is the Founding Director of the Ratcliffe Art and Design Incubator preparing students to the world of entrepreneurship in Art and Design and is also a member of the Holocaust & Genocide Studies Certificate coordinating committee. Kolasinski’s exhibition Stadtluft macht frei (urban air makes you free), which describes a principle of law that offered freedom and land to settlers who took up urban residence for more than “a year and a day,” was on display at the Patricia & Phillip Art Museum as well as the Miami Beach Urban Studios (MBUS).
Professor – English
Asher Milbauer specializes in Late American Literature, Exile Literature, Jewish American Literature, Holocaust Literature and regularly teaches courses in Exile and Immigrant Literature and Literature, and Language and Society. He is the Chair of the Exile Studies Committee and is affiliated with the Global Jewish Studies Program. Milbauer is currently working on projects associated with Exile Literature and transgenerational legacies as reflected in the works of second and third generation descendants of Holocaust survivors.
Professor – History
Aurora Morcillo is a historian whose work crosses over into the fields of cultural, memory, and gender studies, with research focusing on recent Spanish history. In her study, The Female Body and the Francoist Body Politic (2010), she argues that the changing identity of women eroded the official power of the state and church, erasing the transition from patriarchal autarchy to a representational democracy. Morcillo engages in oral history and focuses on the dictatorship of Francisco Franco in Spain. She teaches both upper and lower division classes ranging from History of Emotions and History of Modern Spain to The Gendered History of the Body and Religion, Sexuality and Gender Roles Western Culture.
Instructor - Center for Women's and Gender Studies
Michaela Moura-Koçoğlu teaches Global Women's and Gender Studies, including courses on Gender Violence, Global Women's Literature, and Feminist Theory. Her research interests include Indigenous Feminism; Studies in Gender Violence and Trauma; Trans-Indigenous Literary Studies; and Gender Dynamics of Globalization in Anglophone and Lusophone Literatures. Moura-Koçoğlu’s most recent article Decolonizing Gender Roles in Pacific Women’s Writing: Indigenous Feminist Theories and the Reconceptualization of Women’s Authority was published in the journal Contemporary Women’s Writing (2017). She is developing a course on Women and Genocide to be implemented in the Spring term of 2020.
Professor – Politics and International Relations
Richard Olson is a Professor and Director of Extreme Events Research and is a member of the Holocaust & Genocide Studies Certificate coordinating committee. His early work focused on economic sanctions and coercion, primarily in First World-Third World relations, and was published in World Politics and The Journal of Developing Areas. He moved into the multidisciplinary field of disaster research, arguing for understanding and analyzing disasters and catastrophes as inherently and inescapably political, and often as crises. In 2013, along with co-author V. Gawronski, Olson published an article in Latin American Politics and Society that explained how the social response to a 1976 earthquake disaster in Guatemala helped trigger a governmental reaction in that country’s primarily indigenous highlands that had marked genocidal elements.
Distinguished University Professor - Religious Studies
Tudor Parfitt's current work involves writing, research teaching as well as creative media work on different aspects of Jewish history. In 1963, he spent a year with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) in Jerusalem where he worked with handicapped people, some of whom had survived the Nazi concentration camps. He is now educational director of the Paris-based Aladin Project which deals with Holocaust education in the Muslim world. Parfitt is also a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and has written extensively about genetic discourses about Jews and was one of the first historians to collaborate with geneticists. He is an authority on the history of the Jews of Africa and Asia and the post-Holocaust movement of Jewish renewal. His recent books include Black Jews in Africa and the Americas; and Joining the Jewish People: New Jewish and Emerging Communities in a Globalized World.
Assistant Professor – History
Terrence Peterson is a member of the Holocaust & Genocide Studies Certificate coordinating committee and a faculty affiliate in African & African Diaspora Studies and the Center for Muslim World Studies. His current book project explores the intersections between the Cold War, decolonization, and the development of contemporary counterinsurgency during Algeria's war of independence. Peterson’s next project examines the Rivesaltes Camp in the south of France, which served as a detention center for Jews during the Second World War.
Professor – Philosophy
Laurie Shrage’s books include Abortion and Social Responsibility, Moral Dilemmas of Feminism, You've Changed: Sex Reassignment and Personal Identity, and the co-authored textbook Philosophizing About Sex. Shrage has also published in numerous scholarly journals and in The New York Times. Her current project, Philosophy and the Jewish Questions, focuses on the first generation of American Jewish philosophers in the early 20th century, and their resistance to anti-Semitism in professional philosophy and in the academy.
Professor – College of Law
Hannibal Travis teaches and conducts research in the fields of cyberlaw, intellectual property, antitrust, international and comparative law, and human rights. He has published articles on copyright, trademark, and antitrust law in a variety of journals and books. Travis is currently an editorial advisory board member of Genocide Studies International and a member of the Holocaust & Genocide Studies Certificate coordinating committee. He has also published widely on genocide, cultural survival, and human rights including The Assyrian Genocide: Cultural and Political Legacies and Genocide in the Middle East: The Ottoman Empire, Iraq, and Sudan; and Genocide, Ethnonationalism, and the United Nations: Exploring the Causes of Mass Killing Since 1945.