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Educational Restitution After Genocide: A Comparative Approach of Restorative Justice

Project: 5
Name: Rakhmiel Peltz (rp27@drexel.edu; 215-895-1499)
Department: Culture and Communication
Academic Area: Communication/Criminal Justice/History/International Area Studies/Judaic Studies/Linguistics/Political Science/Psychology/Sociology

Title: Educational Restitution After Genocide: A Comparative Approach of Restorative Justice

Description:
Our Judaic Studies Program has organized a research program for several years that looks at the way Holocaust survivors recall their life before the destruction. we completed an ethnographic documentary film, Toby's Sunshine: The Life and Art of Holocaust Survivor Artist Toby Knobel Fluek. This is the centerpiece of a website and DVD with educational information on Yiddish language and culture and on Jewish life in Poland before World War II. Our research with survivors revealed that looking at what they lost is often more difficult for survivors than recounting the horrors of the war and extermination. Based on this research experience, we embarked on comparative research on the genocides of the twentieth century to examine how successful initiatives have been that aim to restore to the survivors and their descendants their sense of knowledge and pride relating to the culture that was obliterated. / / The research on this project looks at such places as the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, South Africa, and Native America to compare and contrast the efforts aimed at educational restitution. we ask, how much of this work is designed from the perspective of restorative justice to the victims. Moreover, we ask if these efforts need to be expanded whenever possible to ignite the entire world in a desire to save these endangered languages and cultures. We do historical analyses, text investigation, ethnographic interviews with members of surviving peoples, and comparative political investigation.

Associated Independent Study:
The student will establish an annotated bibliography based on localization of relevant governmental reports, educational studies, and analysis of autobiographical accounts. The student will write an original integrative essay using the comparative data that reveals an understanding of the power of a framework of restorative justice.

Gained Experience:
A knowledge of contemporary comparative policy studies. / An understanding of comparative educational initiatives in diverse societies. / A commitment of the application of research to humanitarian goals. / A grasp of the vitality of interdisciplinary work in both the humanities and social sciences.

Outcome:
An expanded website. / A published article. / A plan for a book.

Tasks:
library and web research on different cultures. / creation of an annotated bibliography. / writing an integrative essay.

Location:
Libraries and web research / Weekly meetings and discussions at Drexel.

Meetings:
Once a week or more if necessary at a given convenient hour.

Interview Availability:
April 16, April 17, April 18