The Founders

BT天堂鈥檚 newest Center has been established thanks to the vision and generosity of BT天堂 parents, George and Irina Schaeffer, who dreamed of bringing the听Visual History Archive of USC Shoah Foundation听to France, and providing faculty and students at BT天堂, as well as researchers the world over, an opportunity to work with these remarkable audio-visual materials. George Schaeffer was the founder, president and CEO of OPI, a world-renowned nail polish company. He and his wife Irina are devoted philanthropists who have, through their family foundation, supported universities, Jewish cultural organizations, music conservatories and hospitals, with special interests in medical research, humanitarian projects, and education.听Dr. Stephen D. Smith听is Executive Director of USC Shoah Foundation.听

The Community at BT天堂

Professor Brian Schiff

Director of the George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention听

Professor Schiff works with BT天堂 faculty, students and the broader research community to provide cross-disciplinary scholarship on the contribution of the archives to the possibility of enduring peace and understanding.听Read Brian's full bio here.听

Constance P芒ris de Bollardi猫re听

Assistant Director of the George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention听

As a historian, Constance contributes to the scientific agenda of the Center. She defended her Ph.D. in History at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in 2017. Her research, entitled 鈥淭he Everlastingness of our People": An American Jewish Socialist Aid in the Yiddish Diaspora, the Jewish Labor Committee in Postwar France (1944-1948)", focuses on the transnational relation between Yiddish speaking Socialists -mainly Bundists and left wing Zionists- in America and France in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust and deals with social work, displacement and migration of Holocaust survivors, Yiddish culture, identity reconstruction, Holocaust memory, French politics and labor movements during the early Cold War.

Her current research concerns are Holocaust memory in Yiddish and the use of testimonies in historical research on mass violence.

Constance P芒ris de Bollardi猫re supervises the viewing and the showcasing of the Visual History Archive at BT天堂 and advises researchers, teachers, students and anyone interested in these video testimonies.听Read Constance's full bio here.

Kira Winter听

Administrator and Communications Coordinator of the George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention.

Kira also supervises the viewing of the Archives at BT天堂 and assists in research projects. She completed her BA in psychology at BT天堂 in 2021 and has experience in a variety of social work.听听

Scientific Committee

Jessica Feldman

Professor Feldman joined the Global Communications faculty at BT天堂 in 2018. Before that, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford University, after earning a Ph.D. in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University in 2017. Her dissertation considered how advances in the surveillance of cell phone data, decentralized mobile networks, and vocal affective monitoring software are changing the ways in which listening exerts power and frames social and political possibilities. This research was funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation to support interdisciplinary research on privacy and democracy across the social sciences and engineering. She is also an artist whose work has been exhibited and performed internationally. She received an MFA from Bard in 2007 and taught media and sound art at Temple University and The New School from 2009-2012. She often collaborates with designers, and combines theory and practice in her teaching and her research. Read Jessica鈥檚 full bio here.

Caroline Laurent

Caroline D. Laurent is Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies whose interdisciplinary research focuses on twentieth- and twenty-first-century French and Francophone literatures and cultures, with special emphasis on Metropolitan France, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia.听Professor Laurent notably specializes in comparative genocide studies in relation to literature and art. Her book manuscript,听The Words of Others: Remembering and Writing Genocide as an Indirect Witness, examines literary and graphic representations of genocidal violence (the Holocaust, the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, and the Khmers rouges鈥 violence and genocide in Cambodia). She is particularly interested in the perspectives of indirect witnesses and in issues related to transgenerational transmission of trauma. She has published several articles on these questions in Nouvelles 茅tudes francophones, French Cultural Studies, and Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics.听Read Caroline鈥檚 full bio here.

Miranda Spieler, BT天堂 Faculty Fellow

Miranda Spieler is an historian of the French colonial empire whose work focuses on the relationship between law and violence. She is the author of听Empire and Underworld听(Harvard, 2012), which was awarded the George L. Mosse Prize and the J. Russell Major Prize from the American Historical Association in 2013. As Faculty Fellow, she is researching the prosecution of masters for atrocities in nineteenth-century French colonies with a focus on the problem of slave testimony. She is also completing a book project entitled听Slaves in Paris: Scenes from an Imperial Capital, which examines the history of slaves in France听during the long eighteenth century.听

She spent the academic year 2017-2018 as an external fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center working on her book,听Slaves in Paris, which is under contract with Harvard University Press.听Read Miranda鈥檚 full bio here.