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Professor Oren Stier

Dr. Oren Stier
2003-2004 Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Fellow

"Holocaust Symbols: The Icons of Memory"

Professional Background

Professor Oren Stier received a Ph.D. and an M.A. in religious studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a B.A. with Honors in religion from Princeton University. During his fellowship at the Museum, he was Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Judaic Studies Program at Florida International University, and Co-Chair of the Religion, Holocaust and Genocide Group at the American Academy of Religion. For his Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Fellowship, Professor Stier conducted research for his project “Holocaust Symbols: The Icons of Memory.”

Professor Stier is the author of Committed to Memory: Cultural Mediations of the Holocaust (University of Massachusetts Press, 2003) as well as over a dozen scholarly articles and book chapters including “Holocaust and Israel in the American Jewish Imagination” in Religion and Cultures: An Encyclopedia of Traditions, Diversity, and Popular Expression, Gary Laderman and Luis León, eds. (ABC-CLIO, 2003) and “Framing the Witness: The Memorial Role of Holocaust Videotestimonies” in Remembering for the Future: The Holocaust in an Age of Genocide, vol. 3: Memory, John K. Roth and Elisabeth Maxwell, eds. (Palgrave, 2001). He is the recipient of research grants and awards from such institutions as Florida International University, the American Academy of Religion, the University of Cape Town, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Fellowship Research

During his tenure at the Museum, Professor Stier examined the historical and cultural contexts of symbols commonly associated with the Holocaust, exploring how a variety of iconic images, including personalities, artifacts, texts and visual forms, convey awareness of and associations with the Holocaust. With keen attention toward the basic symbolic building blocks of memorialization, Professor Stier focused his research on such familiar images as Anne Frank, yellow Stars of David, and the Arbeit Macht Frei gates, among others.

Professor Stier was in residence at the Mandel Center from April 1 to November 1, 2004.