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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 28, 2004

Ethics During, After Holocaust Is Focus Of Pomerantz Lecture Nov. 8

"Ethics During and After the Holocaust" will be the focus of a Marvin and Rose Lee Pomerantz lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8 in Room 1505, Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences by John Roth, the 2004-2005 Ina Levine Invitational Scholar at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies.

The lecture, co-sponsored by the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights in cooperation with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, is free and open to the public.

Roth, who also serves as the Edward J. Sexton Professor of Philosophy and director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights at Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, Calif., said the lecture is extremely relevant to today's social, political and economic contexts.

"Corporate scandals, political corruption, gross human rights violations, competing worldviews about stem-cell research, sexual identity, religion, terrorism, and war -- all of these dilemmas put ethics at the center of national and international life," Roth said. "These current events and problems come after the Holocaust, which in unprecedented ways revealed both the fragility and the urgency of moral reflection and action."

Roth will focus his talk on what happened to ethics during and after the Holocaust. "This question and the responses we make to it are crucial considerations as we attempt to cope with the moral issues that the world faces today," he said.

Roth is well known for his expertise in Holocaust and American studies, as well as in philosophy and religious studies. In addition to lecturing widely throughout the United States and around the world, Roth has authored, co-authored and edited more than 35 books, and has published hundreds of articles and reviews. His most recent books include: "Private Needs, Public Selves: Talk about Religion in America"; "Holocaust Politics"; "Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust"; "Will Genocide Ever End?"; and a revised edition of "Approaches to Auschwitz: The Holocaust and Its Legacy" (with Richard L. Rubenstein).

"This is indeed a rare opportunity," said Kenneth Cmiel, UI professor of history and acting UICHR director. "I know his work and have used Professor Roth's writing in my classroom for many years. We are fortunate to hear directly from one of the best scholars in the field about a critically important human rights issue."

Roth has received numerous prestigious fellowships and scholarly appointments, including a grant from the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, Fulbright Lectureship attached to the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs in Oslo, and Koerner Visiting Fellowship at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.

"The Museum is proud to partner with the University of Iowa's Center for Human Rights to advance our mission of furthering understanding of the Holocaust at American colleges and universities," said Paul Shapiro, director of the museum's Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. "John Roth is renowned for his ability to teach effectively about moral choice and behavior during and following one of the darkest periods in human history."

This program is being made possible through a generous gift from Marvin and Rose Lee Pomerantz to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to promote understanding of the Holocaust among college and university students throughout the country. The Pomerantz lecture at the UI is organized as part of the Year of the Arts and Humanities year-long celebration and is jointly sponsored by the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the UI International Programs, Department of History, Department of Political Science (Sudhindra Bose Lecture Series), Department of Religion and the International Writing Program.

Created by a unanimous act of Congress, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is America's national institution for Holocaust education and remembrance. As a public-private partnership, the museum brings the history and lessons of the Holocaust to Americans from all walks of life through educational outreach, teacher training, traveling exhibitions, and scholarship. Since opening in April 1993, the Museum has welcomed more than 21 million visitors, including more than 6.5 million children.

For more information or special accommodations to attend this event, contact the UICHR at 319-335-3900.

UICHR is part of International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean of international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and the community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, Program: Kenneth Cmiel, 319-335-3900; Writer: Chivy Sok