Scholars, Historians to Explore “Psychology of Hatred”

OGDEN, Utah – “The Psychology of Hatred” will be the focus of Weber State University’s 9th Annual Holocaust Commemoration, April 14 and April 15.

This year’s event features scholars of the Nazi genocide, U.S race relations, and Holocaust films. On Monday, April 14, at 7 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater, the Babcock Performing Readers will present readings from literature depicting slavery and the Holocaust. Following their presentation, film historian Steven Alan Carr will place recent Holocaust films in a broader historical context.

The commemoration activities continue Tuesday, April 15 at 8:30 a.m. in the Wildcat Theater, with a series of lectures on the Holocaust, genocide and race relations. The commemoration will culminate in a roundtable discussion involving the speakers at 2 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Diversity Center.

All events are free to the public.

Prior to the commemoration, the film “American History X” (1998) will be screened on April 10 at 7 p.m. in the Wildcat Theater. A Former neo-nazi skinhead (Edward Norton) tries to prevent his younger brother (Edward Furlong) from going down the same path. The film is rated “R” for graphic, brutal violence, including rape, pervasive language, strong sexuality and nudity.  

This year’s speakers include:

The Babcock Performing Readers is a non-profit organization dedicated to the art of oral interpretation of the printed word. Currently in their 23rd season, The Babcock Performing Readers present monthly productions of poetry, prose, lyrics and plays from authors such as Edgar Alan Poe, William Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Shel Silverstein. Through animating words with vivid imagery, the reader, or group of readers, brings life to the words.

Steven Alan Carr is a film historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., as well as an associate professor of communication at Indiana University / Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Ind. In his presentation, “The Holocaust and the Alienated Gaze of Postwar American Film,” Carr will place the recent spate of Holocaust films within a broader historical context. Carr earned his doctorate in Radio, Television and Film. He wrote his dissertation on “The Hollywood Question: America and the Belief in Jewish Control over the Motion Picture Industry before 1941.” Last summer, he taught a unit on Holocaust film to Holocaust Studies Fellows. 

Michael Marrus will present “The Holocaust: Can We Understand the Killers?” He received his Master of Arts and doctorate from the University of California at Berkley. Marrus is currently Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust studies at the University of Toronto and dean of the graduate school. He has lectured internationally, has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a visiting fellow of St. Anthony’s College, Oxford, and the Institute for Advanced Studies of the Hebrew University. Marrus was a member of a recently concluded international historical commission which examined the role of the Vatican and the Holocaust. Vichy France and the Jews a book he wrote in collaboration with Robert Paxton in 1981 received a National Jewish Book Award. His prize-winning book, The Holocaust in History has been translated into many languages.

James Waller received a Master of Science degree from the University of Colorado in Motor Behavior / Sports Psychology and a doctorate from the University of Kentucky in Experimental Social Psychology. Waller draws from seven years of research to mount an original argument for understanding why political, social, and religious groups wanting to commit mass murder are never hindered by lack of willing executioners. In his presentation, “Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing,” Waller contends that being aware of our own capacity for inhumane cruelty and knowing how to cultivate the moral sensibilities that curb that capacity are the best safeguards against future genocide. He is currently a professor at Whitworth College where he received the Whitworth Teaching Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching and Research.

Bertram Wyatt-Brown is the Richard J. Milbauer Professor of History at the University of Florida. He will speak about the psychology of hate from the perspective of race relations in the United States before the Civil War. He previously taught at Colorado State University, the University of Colorado, Case Western Reserve University, and last spring, at the University of Richmond as the Douglas Southall Freeman Professor. Wyatt-Brown earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of the South, his master’s of arts degree from Cambridge University, and his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. His publications include eight books, including Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South, the Shaping of Southern Culture, and, most recently, Hearts of Darkness: Wellsprings of a Southern Literacy Tradition. In 1983, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award.

Anne M. Wyatt-Brown, who will conduct the roundtable discussion, has been an associate professor in the Program of Linguistics at the University of Florida since 1983. In 2000, she was the Undergraduate Coordinator and the Coordinator of Scholarly Writing and Linguistics. In 1999, she was elected a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Aging Studies, International Journal of Aging and Human Development, Journal of Aging Identity, and Pysart: The Journal. Her work in progress is a book-length project, “Aging and The Holocaust: The mystery of Survivorship.”

The Psychology of Hatred

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, April 10

7 p.m.   Wildcat Theater Film
 “American History X (1998)”

Monday, April 14

7 p.m. Wildcat Theater           The Babcock Readers
 “Dramatic reading of literature from slavery to the Holocaust."

8 p.m. Wildcat Theater   Steven Allen Carr
 “The Holocaust and the Alienated Gaze in the Postwar American Film

Tuesday, April 15:

8:30 a.m.  Wildcat Theater       Michael Marrus
     “The Holocaust: Can We Understand the Killers?”

10 a.m.    Shepherd Union Ballroom  James Waller
     “Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing

11:30 a.m.   Wildcat Theater   Bertram Wyatt-Brown
    “ Hatred, Honor and World Affairs, Past and Present

2 p.m. Diversity Center     Roundtable Discussion
 Moderated by Anne M. Wyatt-Brown


Oliver Griffin, history professor
(801) 626-6781 · 

Barry Gomberg, affirmative action director
(801) 626-6240 ·


Jeff Heiner, commemoration publicity committee
(801) 626-7212 ·

April Conyers,  commemoration publicity committee
(801) 626-7212 ·