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VWI invites/goes to...


Cycle of VWI Fellows’ Colloquia


The VWI fellows present their intermediary research results in the context of colloquia which are announced to a small audience and are open to a public audience with an academic and topical interest. The lectures are complemented by a response or commentary by an expert in the given field and are discussed with the other fellows.


Due to the previous lack of an appropriate space, the colloquia were held at other Viennese research and cultural institutions with a topical or regional connection to the given subject. From this circumstance was born the “VWI goes to …” format.


With the move to a new institute building at Rabensteig 3, the spatial circumstances have changed, so that the VWI is now happily able to invite other research and cultural institutions. Therefore, the VWI is now conducting its colloquia both externally and within its own building, in the framework of continued co-operation with other institutions.


The new cycle of fellows’ colloquia “VWI invites/goes to …” is not only able to reach a broader circle of interested persons, but moreover integrates the VWI further into the Viennese scholarly establishment, perhaps even crossing borders into the greater regional research landscape.



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VWI invites/goes to...
Emily Gioielli: Cataclysm – Water and the Holocaust in Central Europe, 1933–1945

Wednesday, 1. June 2022, 15:00 - 17:00

Vienna Wiesenthal Institute, Research Lounge, 1010 Vienna, Rabensteig 3, 3rd Floor


VWI invites Piera Rossetto 

BB“Cataclysm” is a socio-environmental history of the Holocaust in (East) Central Europe. Using water as the connecting thread, this study investigates how hybrid human-ecological processes shaped the practices, experiences, spaces and memories of violence and persecution of European Jews, and how, in turn mass death and persecution shaped the natural world. Using methods and questions from both environmental and social history, “Cataclysm” investigates four themes that were defined by the cooperation and sometimes tension between human initiative and natural processes in Central Europe: the construction of genocidal spaces; forced labor operations in camps and ghettos; mass killing operations; and resistance and adaptation to the environments of destruction produced by the National Socialist regime and their allies across central, eastern, and southeastern Europe.

Commented by Piera Rossetto

Emily Gioielli, VWI Research Fellow, is an Assistant Teaching Professor of History in the Humanities and Arts Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Massachusetts). Her research focuses on the history of violence and regime change from a transdisciplinary perspective and the history of women, gender, and sexuality in twentieth-century East Central Europe. She holds a PhD from Central European University (Budapest), and her research has been supported by Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Rockefeller Archive Center, and the Open Society Archives in Budapest.

Piera Rossetto holds a PhD in Jewish Studies from Ca' Foscari University of Venice and in Socio-historical anthropology from EHESS Toulouse. Between 2018 and 2022, she was Hertha Firnberg research fellow and lecturer at the Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Graz with a project on contemporary Jewish migrations from the Middle East and North Africa to Italy (1940s-1970s). Her main research interests includes Jewish communities from the MENA region, post-colonial migrations, research-creation practices.

 Please register at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by latest 31 May 2022, 12.00 am and bring your ID.

Cover illustration: The Liberation of Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, April 1945

Click here to download the invitation as a PDF file.

In cooperation with:

 CJS UniGraz

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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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