Provost’s Lecture Series brings expert on racism and Islamophobia to BU

For immediate release: April 3, 2008

BLOOMSBURG — History professor and women’s studies expert Claudia Koonz will present two free lectures on racism and Islamophobia on Thursday, April 17, as part of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Provost’s Lecture Series. “European Responses to the Muslim Headscarf” will be offered from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the Kehr Union, multipurpose room A; “Making Racism Respectable in the Third Reich” will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in Carver Hall, Kenneth S. Gross Auditorium.

In her first lecture, “European Responses to the Muslim Headscarf,” Koonz will discuss how historians can use contemporary sources – including television, documentary films, print media, campaigns, Web sites and archives – to uncover European responses to the traditional Muslim headscarf. This lecture is open to students, faculty and staff.

Koonz’s second lecture, “Making Racism Respectable in the Third Reich,” will focus on the years leading up to the Holocaust to explore how the Nazis marginalized and objectified minorities. Koonz’s research has focused on media and print culture from the years 1933 to 1939, showing how easily racism can be made respectable in a society. This lecture is open to the public.

Koonz is a professor of history at Duke University. Her research interests include Germany during the Nazi era, the history of women, genocide and contemporary Islamophobia. She has received research funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the German-Marshall Fund, the American Academy (Berlin) and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Her 1987 book, “Mothers in the Fatherland,” was a finalist for the National Book Award for non-fiction and received the Boston-Globe-Winship Book of the Year Award and the Berkshire Conference 1987 Book Award. It was one of the New York Times best 100 books in 1987. Her most recent book, “A Tributary and a Mainstream: Gender, Public Memory and the Historiography of Nazi Germany,” was published in 2007.

The Provost’s Lecture Series provides opportunities for members of the Bloomsburg University campus and community to explore new ideas and engage in discussion. The series is made possible by support from the Community Government Association, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, the Bloomsburg University Foundation and the Endowed Lecture Series.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.