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Dr. Mary J. Gallant


About Me

For years I dedicated my scholarship to developing an awareness of the Holocaust as a turning point in the lives of millions of people in Europe and in particular what surviving that genocide meant for the individuals themselves, their families, and our present time in history. Career Accomplishments: Some Highlights My earliest book was Coming of Age in the Holocaust; the Last Survivors Remember (2002) [ISBN-7618-2403-0]. At my first position with small liberal arts and sciences graduate school, I developed grant proposals and got funding for my own research while helping graduate students with assistantships. One of these research grants funded the in-depth interviews from which I later transcribed what is in the book. The experiences these Holocaust survivors shared, the window into the soul that they allowed me to share, has never left me even though many years have passed. I often reflect on the community ethnography we carried out just before the in-depth interviews took place. The Holocaust project was cut short by factors beyond what I could do anything about, but I will still have moments when I open a book on something shared and find myself in that space again wondering to myself “now why did she say that?” Many of the survivors were still silent about the traumatic events of the past yet with memories they cannot forget. In 1994, I had a paper accepted for presentation at the World Conference of Holocaust Survivors connected with the Errinerung und die Zukunft II in Berlin, GDR. My paper was titled, “Children and Adolescents in the Holocaust: Effects of Trauma.” Some of these were later portrayed in the 2002 book. Thousands of people from all over the world attended that colloquium, --survivors of the Holocaust, scholars and survivors, people from many walks of life. The colloquium went on from Germany to London and then Oxford, this time my presentation was on rescue during the Holocaust. Altogether, the watershed from that world conference alone had an exceptional effect on my pattern of presentations and publications for many years thereafter. In 2000, after the Remembering for the Future (RFTF) conference at the University of South Florida, Palgrave published a three volume work edited by John K. Roth and Elisabeth Maxwell under that conference title in which I have a book chapter, “Social Dimensions of Rescue in the Holocaust,” Volume 2:254-270. More recently I contributed to another book chapter on the Kindertransport in a volume out of the University of Washington Press edited by Myrna Goldenberg and Amy H. Shapiro, Different Horrors, Same Hell; Gender and the Holocaust (2013). In 1998 my curriculum proposal for Sociology of the Holocaust allowed me to bring my perspective on the Holocaust to students when as a department of Sociology we served as the only Coordinate Major for the Education department on our campus. Students in the General program were as welcome as the coordinate majors. At the present time we have a new Holocaust Center on our campus that goes much farther than any one course in bringing the message of the Holocaust to life. In connection with my other research focus I have a second book that is just now coming out on the US market titled, Friendship Networks in Medical School; A Network Analytic Approach to the Study of Social Solidarity (ISBN is 978-3-8465-4077). Though I continue to focus on the Holocaust in my research and teaching, my appointment at Rowan University was to teach classical social theory. I do this every semester as well as teach a Senior Seminar titled Sociological Imagination. As Chair of Sociology for 2007 to 2015, I oversaw a lot of the changes that our departmental structure now has, including our becoming a department of Sociology and Anthropology. We continue to make new curriculum together with other interdisciplinary programs since becoming part of the new College for Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS). My new research examines the first and second years of medical school programs from a social organizational approach. For the next several years I look forward to my new research contributing answers to the questions raised by the uncertainty problem which appears to be faced most acutely by medical students in their first two years of training.

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