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Once it would have been career suicide, but Hollywood star Ellen Page is convinced that "the best decision I ever took" was to come out.

The elfin actress, who made her name as a pregnant high school teen in the off-beat Canadian comedy "Juno", has not looked back since she went public two years ago and only to be later named the world's "sexiest celebrity vegetarian" alongside Jared Leto.

In September she took another step into the light by walking the red carpet with her partner, artist and surfer Samantha Thomas, for the premiere of "Freeheld", which tells the true story of a lesbian couple in New Jersey fighting for equal pension rights as one of them dies of cancer.

But the 28-year-old star of blockbusting action films like "X-Men" and "Inception" told AFP that plucking up the courage wasn't easy. "I was very closeted. And obviously something about Hollywood and the film industry made me feel like I couldn't be out," she said in an interview while visiting Paris.

"Now that I am out, it's the best decision I've ever made. I think it sucks that anyone has to live that way. I wish no one had to."

The Canadian actress, who is also vegan, has since become a vocal advocate of equality for the LGBT community.

"Obviously there's been progress, because we now have marriage equality in America. But there's still so much to do. You can still be fired and denied housing in 35 US states if you're an LGBT person, and trans women of colour have a life expectancy of 35, which is appalling. We're far from true equality."

 

 

34th Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide

Millersville University of Pennsylvania

April 6–8, 2016

Aftermath of the Holocaust and Genocide



Director: Victoria Khiterer

Advisory Board: Lawrence Baron (San Diego State University), Holli Levitsky (Loyola Marymount University), Antony Polonsky (Brandeis University), David Shneer (University of Colorado Boulder), Maxim D. Shrayer (Boston College)

Committee Members: Onek Adyanga, Tanya Kevorkian

Administrative Assistant: Maggie Eichler

Graduate Assistant: Abigail Gruber



==============CONFERENCE PATRONS===============

Richard Welkowitz

Congregation Shaarai Shomayim

Jonathan Lichter

Please see the conference addendum insert for the full list of conference donors

since January 2016.

The 34th Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide Committee is pleased to acknowledge the support of the Offices of the President and Provost.

Transportation:

Limited shuttle transportation from and to Heritage Hotel – Lancaster (500 Centerville Road, Lancaster, PA 17601) will be provided at night on April 6 (before and after the conference opening), and before and after conference sessions on April 7 and April 8.

All conference sessions will be at the Bolger Conference Center (Gordinier Hall), Millersville University, 2nd floor



CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

Wednesday, April 6, 2016, Opening Night, 6:30-10:00 pm

6:30-7:00 pm Opening Reception, Lehr Room

7:00-7:10 pm Welcoming Remarks by Victoria Khiterer, Millersville University

Plenary talk 7:10-7:50 pm, Lehr Room

Gabriel Finder, University of Virginia, Jewish Honor Courts: Revenge, Retribution, and Reconciliation in Europe and Israel after the Holocaust (The Jack Fischel Lecture)

8:05 - 10:00 pm Documentary Film “The Long Way Home” (1997, Writer/Director Mark Jonathan Harris, Running time 1 hour, 54 minutes), Lehr Room



Thursday, April 7, 2016

8:30 am-5 pm Registration of conference participants



9:00-10:30 am

Panel 1: Aftermath of the Holocaust and Modern Anti-Semitism in Russia, Ukraine and Poland, University Room

Chair: Victoria Khiterer, Millersville University

Alexander Prusin, New Mexico Tech, The Holocaust in the Polish War Crimes Trials

Anya Quilitzsch, Indiana University Bloomington, Returning Home? Jewish Life in Soviet Transcarpathia after the Catastrophe

Igor Kotler, Museum of Human Rights, Freedom and Tolerance, Holocaust Denial and anti-Semitic Propaganda in Russia: A Case of YouTube



Panel 2: Aftermath of the Holocaust and its Commemoration in Western Europe, Old Main Room

Chair: Michael C. Hickey, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

David H Weinberg, Wayne State University, Recovering a Voice: West European Jewish Communities after World War II

Annette Finley-Croswhite, Old Dominion University, Moveable Memory: Commemorating the Shoah in Paris

Annemarike Stremmelaar, Leiden University, The Netherlands, “Anne Frank speaks Turkish.” Retelling the Story of the Holocaust in the Netherlands



10:45 am- 12:30 pm

Panel 3: Holocaust and Anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union, University Room

Chair: Victoria Khiterer, Millersville University

Zvi Gitelman, University of Michigan, Antisemitism and its Consequences in the Soviet Military in World War Two (The Reynold Koppel Lecture)

Polly Zavadivker, University of Delaware, The Language of Genocide and Soviet Postwar Antisemitism

Maxim D. Shrayer, Boston College, A Footnote to the Shema in a Moscow Magazine: July 1946

Discussant: Brian Horowitz, Tulane University



Panel 4: The Holocaust in American Life, Matisse Room

Chair: Jeffrey Scott Demsky, San Bernardino Valley College

Bat-Ami Zucker, Bar-Ilan University, The Harrison Report and its Impact on the Creation of the State of Israel

Cynthia A. Crane, University of Cincinnati, Cultural Consequences/Legacy and Impact of the Holocaust on Immigrants to America

N. Ann Rider, Indiana State University, Cultural Mental Schemas of American Holocaust Reception: Ruth Klüger’s Still Alive



Panel 5: Resistance and its Representation in Film, Old Main Room

Chair: Lawrence Baron, San Diego State University

Paul R. Bartrop, Florida Gulf Coast University, St. Hedwig’s Cathedral, Berlin as a Focus of Anti-Nazi Opposition during the Holocaust

Michael Rubinoff, Arizona State University, Jewish Resistance Depicted on Film



12:30-1:30 pm Lunch for the Invited Conference Participants, Lehr Room



1:30-3:15 pm

Panel 6: Polish Jewish Refugees and Displaced Persons, University Room

Chair: Zvi Gitelman, University of Michigan

Eliyana R. Adler, Penn State University, Displaced Children: Polish Jewish Youth on the Margins of the War

Ellen G. Friedman, The College of New Jersey, Writing About Other People’s Memories

Gennady Estraikh, New York University, The Second Repatriation of Polish Jews from the Soviet Union (The Miriam Fischel Lecture)

Discussant: Michael C. Hickey, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Panel 7: The Armenian Genocide and its Commemoration, Matisse Room

Chair: Sylvia A. Alajaji, Franklin and Marshall College

Elke Heckner, University of Iowa, Tehlirian on Trial: The Public Production of Testimony to Genocide

Jeffrey Scott Demsky, San Bernardino Valley College, A Duty To Remember, A Duty To Forget: Examining Americans' Unequal Memories of the War on Armenians and the War on Jews

 

 

 

Cambodia's government has hit out at Valentine's Day, warning students against losing the "dignity of themselves and their families" in a note sent to schools across the country.

Valentine's Day has become something of a favourite among young people in many Southeast Asian countries in recent years, with bunches of red roses and heart-shaped chocolates cropping up in stores and on street stalls each February.

But that has left some officials rattled, particularly in Cambodia and neighboring Thailand -- both of which have become renowned in recent years for issuing warnings about the pitfalls of young love and premarital sex ahead of the 14 February holiday.

 

The Cambodian Ministry of Education directive, which was sent to private and public schools on on Tuesday, ordered teachers to "take measures to prevent inappropriate activities on Valentine's Day".

The ministry said the increasingly popular holiday was driving young people "to overjoy, to forget about studying and to lose the reputation and dignity of themselves and their families".

"It is not a traditional event of our Khmer people," the statement said according to a copy seen by AFP.

Social conservatives in both countries see the day as a foreign import which represents a moral threat to traditional Buddhist beliefs.

Cambodian women in particular are under intense pressure to retain their virginity until marriage.

 

 

 

Intricate adult coloring books are the latest lifestyle craze to grip the United States, generating millions of fans, booming sales and libraries falling over themselves to host workshops.

Walk into any New York bookstore, and you'll find them artfully laid out on tables or filling entire shelves. Buyers can choose from Sanskrit patterns, urban landscapes, butterflies and flowers all offering "stress relieving patterns." The latest fashion? The swear word version.

Amazon sells hundreds of them, including nine on the top 20 bestseller list. Fans post their finished designs and swap tips on Facebook or Pinterest.

Dover Publications, which prints dozens of coloring books, decreed August 2 as National Coloring Book Day, sponsoring parties and hosting an online group discussion board for tips on how to throw a successful bash at home.

"It calms us down to be coloring," Linda Turner, a licensed creative arts psychotherapist in Manhattan, explained of the trend born in Europe.

"If you are really with it, if you are really in the presence of coloring the colors and just being with the art, it is a wonderful way to support calming and presence and relaxation," she told AFP.

Turner said that while children are willing to explore and experiment, adults are not necessarily so comfortable with their creativity.

"These coloring books, they look adult, they look sophisticated... and they are going to create, and they are going to be present in the moment and have fun... In ways that are safe for them," she added.

 

 

US pop star Mariah Carey and Australian casino tycoon James Packer are engaged to be married, according to friends who said Friday they were over the moon for the lovebirds.

The couple has been dating for several months and celebrated New Year's Eve at billionaire Packer's Crown Casino in Melbourne, where the singer took to the stage to perform before an intimate audience that included Packer's mother.

"I'm so excited to be in Melbourne with James for New Year's Eve," the husky-voiced songstress reportedly said at the fete.

A close friend of the couple confirmed the upcoming nuptials to AFP and saying she was "over the moon that James has found such happiness with Mariah".

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Packer proposed to his girlfriend in New York on Thursday.

Sources close to the Packer family said "the family is overjoyed that they have found each other", the newspaper reported.

"Mariah has made James a very happy man, she is a very special person and the family wholeheartedly approves," it added.

 

A real-life homicide, a woman who wakes up after being frozen for 30 years and a close encounter with a whale -- these are some of the virtual reality films creating a buzz at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

The lineup of no less than 30 immersive experiences -- showcased in the festival's New Frontier program -- reflects an increasing willingness by filmmakers to experiment with technology that offers a new form of story-telling.

"It’s pretty amazing," said John Cooper, director of the Sundance festival.

"We're still at a nascent stage -- five minutes long, that kind of stuff -- but you can really see how it's going to grow in people’s imaginations.

"I can see coming home and saying I just need 10 minutes of VR before anybody talks to me."

Among the standout shorts, which run about five minutes on average, is "Defrost," which follows a woman who suffered a massive stroke and wakes up after being frozen for nearly 30 years.

The viewer, equipped with a headset, experiences the film from the woman's perspective as she reunites with her much older family.

"Waves of Grace" follows Ebola survivor Decontee Davis as she helps others in Liberia affected by the disease, while "theBlu: Encounter" offers a close encounter with a whale.

"Virtual reality immerses you into a really different experience you’ve never really had before," said Jake Rowell, the director of "theBlu: Encounter," which was made in three months. "It takes you back to your eight-year-old self in a lot of ways.

"Usually people leave with it being a memory, they experience it like going on a hike, or skiing."

 

 

 

Leaping from the traditional to the radical, the men's edition of London fashion week opened on Friday with shows from country gentleman label Barbour and young urban designer Nasir Mazhar.

Fashion VIPS, buyers and journalists gathered under the elegant arch of the Swiss church in central London to catch a glimpse of Barbour's autumn/winter 2016 collection, the first of dozens of shows to be held before the event wraps up on Monday.

An intermittent spotlight, mimicking a lighthouse, illuminated the stage as the soothing sound of breaking waves filled the room.

"The collection is inspired by the Beacon that has stood watch at the mouth of the River Tyne in the North East of England since 1882," the label said in a statement.

Early highlights included loose-fitting jackets decorated with tartan lining, mottled grey sweaters and snoods.

The Barbour man will be wearing black and sienna trousers next winter -- tight to the ankle -- and leather boots.

 

 

A missing Hong Kong employee from a publisher of books critical of China was "assisting in an investigation", his wife said Saturday, as police also probe the disappearance of his colleagues.

Lee Bo went missing Wednesday night and is the fifth employee of Hong Kong-based publisher Mighty Current to disappear.

The incident adds to growing unease that freedoms in the semi-autonomous Chinese city are being eroded, with fears the five men may have been detained by Chinese authorities.

"He said he wouldn't be back so soon and he was assisting in an investigation," Lee's wife Sophie Choi told Hong Kong's Cable Television, describing a call she had with Lee the night he failed to return home.

It was not clear what investigation Lee was referring to.

 

"I asked him if it was related to the case before. He said 'yes', regarding that case where a few others had gone missing," Choi said.

Police said in a statement they were investigating the disappearance of Lee and three of the other missing men.

It made no comment on the fifth man.

Deputy leader Carrie Lam tried to reassure the public.

"The Hong Kong government cares about its people's wellbeing... police are working on this case," she told reporters.

Choi previously told AFP she started looking for Lee on Wednesday night after he failed to return home for dinner and she reported him missing to police on Friday.

 

He later called to say "everything was alright" from a number that did not belong to him and originated from the neighbouring mainland Chinese city of Shenzhen, Choi had said.

Another source told AFP that Lee, 65, was last seen in Hong Kong on Wednesday at the publisher's warehouse, which he is in charge of.

- 'Concern and anxiety' -

 

 

Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company embarks on its first major tour of China in 2016, presenting the Bard's history plays about bloodshed, honour and kingship in mediaeval England to a new and potentially vast audience.

Marking 400 years since William Shakespeare's death, the prestigious theatre company will take productions of "Henry IV Part I", "Henry IV Part II" and "Henry V" to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong in February and March.

The trilogy is not well known in China and most in the audience are likely to be seeing the plays for the first time. The romantic tragedy "Romeo and Juliet," for instance, would probably be more well known.

On the other hand, Shakespeare is enduringly popular among Chinese audiences, and the story lines and colourful characters in the history plays should make for a compelling show, say the organisers.

"The audience will be sitting on the edge of their seats, genuinely wanting to know what happens next," predicted Joseph Graves, artistic director of Peking University's Institute of World Theatre and Film.

That is a thrilling prospect for the cast and crew as they seek to bring the courts and bloody battlefields of England and France to life in 21st-century China.

 

 

An Indian court Thursday cleared Bollywood superstar Salman Khan of killing a homeless man in a hit-and-run crash 13 years ago, acquitting him of all charges after he appealed his conviction.

The Bombay High Court said a lower court had erred in finding the 49-year-old guilty of culpable homicide and other charges after a closely watched trial in May when he was sentenced to five years in prison.

"The appeal is allowed and the decision of the trial court is quashed and set aside. Salman Khan is acquitted of all charges," judge Anil Ramchandra Joshi told the court.

Khan, one of the Indian movie industry's biggest box-office draws, broke down in tears and supporters in the gallery let out hushed cheers as the verdict was delivered.

Joshi said the prosecution had "failed to establish beyond reasonable doubt" that Khan was driving his SUV and under the influence of alcohol when it rammed into a group of homeless men in suburban Mumbai in 2002.

Labourer Nurulah Mahbob Sharif was killed and several others were injured when the vehicle ploughed into them at speed as they slept on a street in the suburb of Bandra West.

A sessions court found Khan guilty of all charges in May, including driving under the influence and without a licence.

But Joshi, who presided over the appeal, said the court had erred in accepting the testimony of the prosecution's key witness.

He described Khan's former bodyguard, Ravindra Patil, who had insisted the actor was behind the wheel and speeding, as "not wholly reliable", citing "various anomalies in his testimony".

"Unfortunately there are no witnesses to back his version," the judge said about Patil, who died from tuberculosis in 2007.

Khan has starred in more than 100 films and television shows since his first hit "Maine Pyar Kiya" (I Fell in Love) in the 1980s.

- 'Long 13 years' -