2010-11 Professional and Public Workshops: Presenters
Dr. James Waller,
Dr. James Waller is Professor and Cohen Chair of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College (NH). Keene State College is home to the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, one of the nation's oldest Holocaust resource centers, and also offers the only undergraduate major in Holocaust and Genocide Studies in the United States.
Waller is a widely-recognized scholar in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies and, in addition to holding visiting professorships at the Technical University in Berlin (1990) and the Catholic University in Eichstatt, Germany (1992), has been an invited participant in international seminars hosted by the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust Studies at the University of Leicester in England (2006); the Institute of Sociology at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland (2007 and 2008); the Bundeszentrale fur politische Bildung in Berlin, Germany (2009); and the VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands (2009). Waller has been awarded summer fellowships by, and been a teaching fellow with, the Holocaust Educational Foundation at Northwestern University (1996 and 2007-2010) and at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. (1999, 2003, and 2005). He is also regularly involved, in his continuing role as an Affiliated Scholar with the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, as an instructor for the Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention. These seminars, held in conjunction with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, introduce mid-level government officials from around the world to issues of genocide warning and prevention. Waller has led teacher training in Holocaust and genocide studies for the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center (2009), the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (2010), and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (2010). He has delivered invited briefings on genocide prevention and perpetrator behavior in atrocities in Africa for the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research and the CIA Directorate of Intelligence as well as leading education and training in genocide prevention for the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In January 2009, Waller was selected for the inaugural class of Carl Wilkins Fellows by the Genocide Intervention Network. This fellowship program is designed to foster sustained political will for the prevention and cessation of genocide.
In addition to three books (one of which has been released in a revised and updated second edition), Waller has published twenty-nine articles in peer-reviewed professional journals and contributed eighteen chapters in edited books. Waller's book on perpetrators of genocide, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing (Oxford University Press, 2002), was praised by Publisher's Weekly for "clearly and effectively synthesizing a wide range of studies to develop an original and persuasive model of the process by which people can become evil." In addition to being used as a textbook in college and university courses around the world, Becoming Evil also was short-listed for the biennial Raphael Lemkin Award from the International Association of Genocide Scholars and was released in a revised and updated second edition in March 2007. Concepts from Becoming Evil have been the basis for an international best-selling novel (The Exception by Christian Jungersen) and a play currently being workshopped at UCLA. A Hungarian translation of Becoming Evil is scheduled for release in 2010.
Waller is currently working on a comparative research project on church-state relations in the context of genocidal violence in the Holocaust, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Rwanda. The focus is on the church as a social institution, with institutional actors, and how it shapes a culture in which genocidal violence may occur and how it responds to such a culture both during and after the genocidal violence. This book will break new ground by being the first comparative analysis of church-state relations in genocidal societies.
Waller is also widely-recognized for his work on intergroup relations and prejudice. In January 1996, while at Whitworth University, Waller developed an innovative study program titled "Prejudice Across America." The study program drew national media attention and was named by President Clinton's Initiative on Race as one of America's "Promising Practices for Racial Reconciliation." Many of the experiences from the study program are chronicled in his first book, Face to Face: The Changing State of Racism Across America (New York, NY: Perseus Books, 1998), and a second book released in October 2000, Prejudice Across America (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi). Prejudice Across America was short-listed for a 2001 Outstanding Book Award from Boston University's Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America.
Waller complemented the domestic success of his "Prejudice Across America" study program with a new international study program, "Peace and Conflict in Northern Ireland." This program, first offered in January 2006, used situated learning to allow students to explore the origins of, and responses to, intergroup conflict and violence in Northern Ireland. The program went beyond, however, simply having students learn about Northern Ireland and challenged them to learn from Northern Ireland in order to generalize that learning to other cases of intergroup relations.
While at Whitworth, Waller's achievements in teaching and scholarship were reflected in his selection as the 1993 recipient of the Dean's Award for Outstanding Junior Faculty Achievement, the 1996 recipient of Whitworth's Teaching Excellence Award, and a 2008 nominee for Whitworth's Innovative Teaching Award. In addition, he was a four-time institutional nominee for the CASE U.S. Professor of the Year award. In fall 2003, Waller was Whitworth's inaugural appointee for a four-year term as the Edward B. Lindaman Chair, an endowed, rotating chair for senior Whitworth faculty who are engaged in significant regional and national academic initiatives and who contribute to public dialogue concerning important social issues.
During 1999-2000, Waller was one of sixteen national recipients of the prestigious Pew Fellowship Award to continue his work on the psychology of human evil. In June 2007, he received the "First Voice Humanitarian Award" from the Chicago Center for Urban Life & Culture in recognition of his work in connecting students with urban communities, particularly communities in need.
Waller received his B.S. (1983) from Asbury College (KY), M.S. (1985) from the University of Colorado, and Ph.D. in Social Psychology (1988) from the University of Kentucky. He is an active member in several professional organizations, including the International Association of Genocide Scholars (for which he served as the program chair at the eighth biennial meeting in 2009), the International Network of Genocide Scholars, the International Society of Political Psychology, the Peace and Justice Studies Association, Psychologists for Social Responsibility, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
Dr. Waller lectures and speaks on Holocaust and genocide studies, intergroup relations, and prejudice for academic, professional, and public audiences. He has given endowed or funded lectures at more than 50 colleges and universities, including the University of Massachusetts, Amherst College, Florida Atlantic University, Claremont-McKenna College, the University of Notre Dame, Washington State University, Sonoma State University, Holy Cross, and Hope College. He is frequently interviewed by broadcast and print media, including PBS, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. His partner, Patricia Marie, is a counseling psychologist. His son, Brennan Martin, is 20 years old; his daughter, Hannah Marie, 17; his son, Noah Cole, 13 years old.
Linda Burdick, M.Ed.
Linda Burdick, M.Ed, has over 20 years teaching experience in public schools, grades K-12. She has taught at the college level and presented at state and regional conferences. She was on the board of NH Educators for Social Responsibility and was a trainer in the areas of conflict resolution and bully prevention. Her middle school Holocaust education program has received national attention. She received the NH EDIES award for excellence in teaching in 2007. Linda currently lives in Warner, NH with her husband. She enjoys the natural beauty of NH and her outdoor recreation includes bicycling, kayaking and hiking.