"Who gets remembered? What impact does that have now?" With a deep interest in the collective memory of oppressed minorities, these questions continue to drive scholar Aviva Doery, a recent Master's graduate in Human Rights Practice.
The great-granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, Aviva developed her passion for history and collective memory as a child.
While an undergraduate at Pennsylvania State University Schreyer Honors College, Aviva studied abroad in Germany, where, she says, "I first used a human rights lens" to "look at a minority group within a minority group." Aviva researched the lives of lesbians in Berlin before WWII and after the rise of the Nazi regime. The Nazis targeted gay men for prosecution along with their murderous arrests of Jews, Romani, disabled people, "Slavs," immigrants, "Asocials," and more. Although some received the label, "Asocials" Aviva learned that lesbians did not face prosecution in the same numbers as gay men. Aviva published a theses article about this research for her B.A.
Originally from Connecticut, Aviva moved to Tucson to work for the Alumni Association before transitioning to her current role as Assistant Director for Global Engagement and Special Assistant to the Dean of the Honors College at the University of Arizona. She enrolled in Human Rights Practice to obtain a Master's Degree.
During coursework for Advancing Human Rights Through the Arts, Aviva researched artist Gunter Demnig's installation, known as Stolpersteine, or Stumbling Stones. Demnig sets brass plates commemorating Holocaust victims in front of their former homes. To date, some 70,000 such Stumbling Stones across Europe forces viewers to confront a memory some would rather forget.
For her capstone project, Aviva created a minor in Human Rights in Action for the Honors College. Aviva will soon begin studying for her PhD in the University of Arizona Higher Education doctoral program, and we know Aviva will continue to share her passion for higher education and human rights!