Past Features

September 26, 2005 (Vol. 2, No. 2)

English Professor's Lecture Series Aims at 'Moving Beyond Inherited Hatred'

Sondra Perl
Professor Sondra Perl

Sondra Perl's On Austrian Soil: Teaching Those I Was Taught to Hate
Award-winning Professor Sondra Perl of the English Department will present a lecture series in Europe and New York on the topic of "Moving Beyond Inherited Hatred." The series springs from her new book, On Austrian Soil: Teaching Those I Was Taught to Hate, and is designed to broaden the dialogue between the victims and perpetrators of atrocities, and their families.

The series will include a lecture at Amerikahaus in Vienna, Austria, on September 29, sponsored by the U.S. Embassy, and another on October 6 at the Wiedener Bookstore in Innsbruck. They will continue at the CUNY Graduate Center on November 2, the University of Scranton on November 17, and Manhattan College on December 6.

Dr. Perl, chosen by the Carnegie Foundation in 1996 as New York State Teacher of the Year, is an expert on the teaching of writing. Her book documents her journey, as an educator and Jewish woman, into the land she associates with the rise of Hitler and events leading to the Holocaust. Together with her students–who are themselves teachers–she uses the tool of writing and the power of dialogue to break lifelong silences and to explore the idea of the classroom as a place "where prejudice can wither and empathy can be nourished."

Winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Dr. Perl is also the author of Felt Sense: Writing with the Body and coauthor of Through Teachers' Eyes: Portraits of Writing Teachers at Work and the forthcoming Writing True: The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction.

Following is her lecture schedule:

Thurs., Sept. 29, 5:30 p.m., Amerikahaus, Vienna. "On Austrian Soil: Breaking the Cycle of Hate." Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy. Contact Alice Burton at

Thurs., Oct. 6, 7 p.m. Wiedener Bookstore, Innsbruck. "On Austrian Soil: Post-Holocaust Dialogues with Teachers." Sponsored by the Austrian-American Educational Cooperation Association. Contact Tanja Westfall at

Wed., Nov. 2, 7 p.m., CUNY Graduate Center. "On Austrian Soil: Teaching Those I Was Taught to Hate." Sponsored by the English and Ph.D. Program in Urban Education. Email

Thurs., Nov. 17, 11:45 a.m., Brennan Hall, University of Scranton, PA. "The Second Generation Women's Voice: Reflections on Coming to Terms." Sponsored by the Holocaust Education Resource Center of Scranton. Contact Tova Weiss at

Thurs., Dec. 6, 7 p.m., Manhattan College. Sponsored by the Manhattan College Holocaust Center. "Breaking the Cycle of Hate: New Dialogues in the Post-Holocaust Era."