The University of New Mexico hosts “(Un)Silencing the Past: Narratives of Trauma in Comparative Perspective,” a symposium, on Thursday, Oct. 24 and Friday, Oct. 25 at the UNM Student Union Building, Dane Smith Hall and Mesa Vista Hall. Registration is required and can be completed online at

The interdisciplinary symposium, co-sponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, explores emerging Holocaust research on historical trauma and its aftermaths, as well as current research on these topics in the American Southwest and its borderlands. Panels will address displacement and refuge, justice and repair, and sexualized violence in comparative and historical perspective, and the power of testimony unsilencing these phenomena.

Keynote lectures are open to the public. They include:

Thursday, Oct. 24, at 1:15 p.m. in the SUB – Decolonization, Truth-Telling, and Addressing Historical Unresolved Grief, Amy Lonetree, University of California, Santa Cruz

Friday, Oct. 25, 1:30 p.m. in Dane Smith Hall – Remapping Death and Survival: Flight, Displacement, and International Aid for Jewish Refugees during the Holocaust
, Atina Grossmann, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art


Panel 1: Friday, Oct. 24, Student Union Building

Expulsion, Displacement, and Asylum-Seeking across Borders

Oral History as Alternative Narratives: Japanese-Mexican Expulsion from the US/Mexico Borderlands
Selfa Chew-Smithart, University of Texas, El Paso

Habits of Rescue and Resistance to Violence during the Holocaust on a French Plateau
Margaret Paxson, Georgetown University

Ausländerins, Volksdeutsche, Vertriebenen:
Expellee Women, Heimat, and Identity, 1941–1953 Elizabeth Ebel-Louth, University of New Mexico 


Panel 2: Friday, Oct. 25, Mesa Vista Hall

Justice and Repair

Transitional Justice in Reverse: The “Globalization of Reparations Movements” and Its Implications for US and Regional Victim’s Justice
Kathy L. Powers, University of New Mexico

Indigenous Legal Perspectives on Reparation 
Robert Yazzie, Navajo Nation

European Holocaust Commissions and “Negotiated History” 
Alexander Karn, Colgate University 


Panel 3: Friday, Oct. 25, Mesa Vista Hall

Unsilencing Sexualized Violence

Feminicides and Informal Social Control
 and Border Violence in Juárez,
 Cynthia Bejarano, New Mexico State University

“Somos basura Ixil”: Strategies of Discontent in Post-Conflict Guatemala
, Miguel López,, University of New Mexico

Remembering Pink Triangle Persecution in the Holocaust, Jennifer Evans, Carleton University

Narrating Ordinary Power:
 Hozhooji, Violence and Critical Diné Studies, Melanie Yazzie, University of New Mexico


Roundtable: Friday, Oct. 25 Mesa Vista Hall

The Power of Testimony: Pedagogy, Testimony, and Traumatic History

  • Aarón Grageda Bustamante, Universidad Autónoma de Sonora
  • Andrea Orzoff, New Mexico State University
  • Emil Kerenji, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Monica Torres, New Mexico State University
  • Steven P. Verney, University of New Mexico


Sponsors include: the UNM Southwest Hispanic Research Institute, Center for the Southwest in the Department of History, Chicano/a Studies Program, Women Studies Program and Department of History and the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

This program has been made possible by a generous grant from the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and by the UNM Office of the Provost, Office of the Vice President for Research and the College of Arts and Sciences.