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For the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide

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Book Launch: Life is War: Surviving Dictatorship in Communist Albania

Dr Shannon Woodcock

Wed 25 May 2016

Time: 6.30pm-8pm

Dr Shannon Woodcock’s new book, Life is War: Surviving Dictatorship in Communist Albania, turns to the small nation of Albania. From sheltering Jewish refugees from genocide in World War Two, this book explores how the multicultural and multi faith Albanian community was attacked by the Communist Party between 1944 and 1991 in order to create a homogeneous and violently policed atheist state. This work is a contribution to the field of genocide studies as it explores the persecution of racial and ethnic groups in the context of Enver Hoxha’s unique application of socialist political ideology. Through following the life stories of six individuals, Life is War uses oral history to bring the reader into the homes and memories of those who survived Albanian communist persecution. Dr Woodcock will speak about ethnic and racial persecution within the uniquely isolated and oppressive Albanian communist state. This period in Albanian history (1946 –1991) is framed by the Holocaust and the Yugoslav wars, and provides the missing link in terms of genocide studies and history between World War Two, when the Albanian community famously sheltered and protected Jewish refugees from Europe, and the 1990s, when the Albanian community of Kosovo was the target of Milosevic’s genocidal “Operation Horseshoe.” Life is War explores how racial concepts and stereotypes, alongside gendered stereotypes, were vital to the organisation of the communist state.

Dr Shannon Woodcock is a genocide scholar who has held the Pearl Resnick Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and published widely in the field of the Holocaust of Romani people in Romania. She is currently a research associate in the Faculty of Creative Industries at Queensland University of Technology, Australia, where her current project examines colonial genocide in Australia.

Admission is free, but booking is essential as space is limited.

Location: The Wiener Library - click for map

How to book: