NEH Colloquium

Trauma, Remembrance and Compassion

The KHC has served as a national demonstration site for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) since 2011. This recognition showcases the KHC as a cultural center that provides programs and offerings which positively impact QCC’s humanities curriculum and shares that information on a national level. For more information, click here.

What is trauma? What does it mean to remember? What is compassion? This year’s colloquium explores trauma, both historically and in our contemporary culture, and how remembrance and compassion both have and continue to offer meaningful responses to atrocities. If genocide and incarceration are crimes and practices that silence people and remove their humanity from them, then remembering is an act of restoration. By preserving the stories of those who have been dehumanized, we honor their suffering and affirm their humanity. In this colloquium, we explore remembrance as a social action that speaks back to the destructiveness and dehumanization of trauma. We also explore how to meaningfully engage with trauma, to hold space for and learn from past traumas. Finally, we seek to identify ways to respond to trauma through compassion, to consider how in the face of traumas, we can choose to act deliberately to alleviate suffering. Organized in dialogue with contemporary issues, the series is aligned with the current KHC exhibit, The Concentration Camps: Inside the Nazi System of Incarceration and Genocide.

Fall 2022 KHC-NEH Virtual Events

All events are free and open to the public but registration is required.
They are also being recorded so be sure to check back for the viewing links.


KHC-NEH Lecture
Trauma in Digital Spaces: The Future of Holocaust Remembrance
Recorded on September 21, 2022
Click here for the recorded event

What are the complexities of remembering the Holocaust through contemporary technologies? How can digital spaces facilitate compassionate responses to trauma and loss? Dr. Rachel Baum, Deputy Director of the Sam & Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, looks at the themes of the year – trauma, remembrance, and compassion – through contemporary technologies (including holograms of Holocaust survivors and virtual reality experiences of memorial sites).

KHC-NEH Lecture
The Digitization of Genocide Memory: Consequences and Contestation
Recorded on September 28, 2022
Click here for the recorded event

Join us as Dr. David J. Simon, Director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University, discusses the memorialization of mass atrocities and genocide across a vast array of digital technologies, including both academic settings and unexpected virtual spaces like Minecraft, YouTube, and TikTok. What are the opportunities for remembrance that are made possible in these diverse spaces? And what are the potential hazards of memorializing mass atrocities and genocide in them? 

KHC-NEH Workshop
Pedagogical Approaches for the KHC’s “Concentration Camps” Exhibit
Recorded on October 19, 2022
Click here to watch the recorded event

In this workshop, Dr. Cary Lane, Associate Professor at QCC in the English Department, highlights ways instructors can incorporate content and themes from the KHC’s newest original exhibition, The Concentration Camps: Inside the Nazi System of Incarceration and Genocide. Dr. Lane also introduces faculty and docents to curatorial choices made in the exhibit and how those can connect to thematic teaching.

KHC-NEH Lecture
Exploring Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese-American
Recorded on October 26, 2022

Click here to watch the recorded event

Join us for a conversation with Laura Gao, author and illustrator of Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese-American, who discusses their own experiences around the themes of trauma, remembrance, and compassion. What are some things that inspired the creation of Messy Roots, and how might readers be able to draw inspiration from Gao’s journey and story as presented in her debut graphic memoir?

KHC-NEH Lecture
Legacies of Genocide: Mauthausen and its Memorialization
Recorded on November 2, 2022
Click here to watch the recorded event

Do we have an ethical responsibility toward “violated spaces” like those of a former concentration camp? What legacy do such spaces create for us? And how might cultural differences alter our perceptions of the memorial in our 21st-century? Dr. Rebecca Rovit, Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of Kansas, explores Mauthausen as a site of remembrance connected to violence that permeated Austrian soil.

KHC-NEH Workshop
Mindfulness and Meditation: Towards a Compassionate Self
Recorded on November 16, 2022
Link to recorded event is forthcoming

Are you stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed? Do you want to learn how to practice mindfulness and meditation to slow down? Join QCC Professors Alison Cimino, Lecturer of English, and Dr. Joanne Chang, Professor of Music, in this workshop as they help us to deepen awareness, mindfulness, and compassion for self and others, especially during stressful and busy times.

KHC-NEH Workshop
Imagining Possibilities: Social Practice as a Pedagogy of Care
Recorded on November 18, 2022
Link to recorded event is forthcoming

In this workshop, artist-researchers Heather Huggins, Assistant Professor of Theatre at Queensborough Community College (QCC), and Dr. Tania Alice, Professor of Performance Art at Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, share social practices at the intersection of performance and mindfulness, along with concrete examples from their research applying these practices in their campus communities.

2022-2023 Faculty Fellows

The Center welcomes this year’s four Queensborough Community College KHC-NEH Faculty Fellows who are joining together to create a provocative series of timely and thought provoking programming.

Dr. Angela Ridinger-Dotterman, Associate Professor of English

Dr. Ilse Schrynemakers, Associate Professor of English

Dr. Jodi Van Der Horn-Gibson, Associate Professor of Communication, Theatre, and Media Production

John Yi, Lecturer of English