U’s Holocaust commemoration explores policing of sexualityEvents investigate persecution based on sexual orientation in Nazi Germany

The University of Utah honors victims of the Holocaust with its annual U Remembers the Holocaust commemoration Oct. 27-29. This year’s theme, “Policing Sexuality: Then and Now” explores sexual normalization and oppression of non-heterosexual individuals, who were marked by a pink triangle during the German Holocaust. The events during this commemoration are a platform to discuss ways in which sexual desire and orientation are policed in the 21st century.

“The Holocaust was not an accident of history, but rather the direct result of legalized discrimination, systemic hatred and ultimately mass murder,” said Maeera Shreiber, associate professor at the U and co-chair for the U Remembers committee. “This year’s focus is timely and urgent. We will explore both the history of persecution based on sexual orientation during the Third Reich and consider what this history means for an inclusive vision of expanded human rights.”

U Remembers activities at the University of Utah include:

Film Screening: “Aimee and Jaguar”
Oct. 27, 3-5 p.m.
Olpin Student Union Building, Union Theatre, 200 Central Campus Drive

Nominated for a Golden Globe for best foreign film and based on a true story, “Aimee and Jaguar” follows the wartime love story between Felice and Lilly. Set in Berlin in1942, Felice, a Jewish woman who lives under a false name, and Lilly, a woman of social stature and exemplar of Nazi motherhood, have a passionate relationship despite their opposing political positions and the danger of persecution.

Keynote Discussion: “Pink Triangle, Sexual Politics and Gay Heroism”
Oct. 28, noon-1 p.m.
J. Willard Marriott Library, Gould Auditorium, 295 S. 1500 East

Holocaust expert Jennifer Evans and Yale professor Joseph Fischel will deliver a keynote panel discussion on issues around sexuality during the Holocaust and how these issues are part of our society today.

Evans is an associate professor of history at the University of Carleton in Ottawa, Canada. She is also a fellow for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where she conducted research for her project, “In the Name of the People: The Legal and Medical Management of Homosexuality in Hitler’s Germany.” Evans’ current research interests involve the history of sexuality and visual culture, and her current projects include a book entitled “Holocaust Memory in the Digital Mediascape” and a synthetic history of pink triangle persecution during and after Adolf Hitler. Her portion of the address is entitled “Pink Triangle Persecution in History and Memory.”

Fischel is an assistant professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. He joined Yale in 2012 as its first tenure-track professor to teach LGBT Studies. His research interests are in normative political theory, feminist and queer studies, public law and the legal regulation of sex/gender/sexuality. Fischel is currently working on a second book, “Against Nature, Against Consent: A Solicitation to Sodomitical Justice,” which examines the life and afterlife of sodomy law in Louisiana. His portion of the address is called “Sexual Politics After Gay Heroism.” 

Panel Discussion: “Born Normal, Born Diseased”
Oct. 29, noon-1 p.m.
Hinckley Institute of Politics, Orson Spencer Hall, Room 253, 260 Central Campus Drive

Kathryn Stockton, distinguished professor of English and associate vice president for the Office of Equity and Diversity, will facilitate a panel discussion about the construction and regulation of immutable sexual types today and during the Holocaust. Panelists include U law professor Cliff Rosky, who is also a member of Equality Utah’s Board of Directors; Lisa Diamond, professor of psychology and gender studies; and Maeera Shreiber, associate professor of English, chair of the Cross Cultural Jewish Studies Initiative and co-chair for the U Remembers the Holocaust committee.

All events are free and open to the public. More information about U Remembers is available online: diversity.utah.edu/u-remembers/.

Media Contacts

Estela Hernandezpublic relations specialist, University of Utah Office for Equity and Diversity
Office: 801-587-3342

Annalisa Purserassociate director, University Marketing & Communications
Office: 801-581-7295 Mobile: 435-232-0312