(November 9, 2015)
Annual Van Thyn lecture to be presented at Centenary November 18
SHREVEPORT, LA — Dr. Glenn Kurtz, author of Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film, will deliver the 2015 Rose and Louis Van Thyn lecture at Centenary College on Wednesday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m. in the Whited Room at Bynum Commons. The lecture is free and open to the public.
At Centenary, Kurtz will discuss Three Minutes in Poland, which was named a "Best Book of 2014" by The New Yorker, the Boston Globe, and National Public Radio and has received critical acclaim from many other national publications. The book traces Kurtz's four-year journey to identify the people in a three-minute film captured by his grandfather during a visit to a predominantly Jewish town in Poland in 1938, one year before the outbreak of World War II. Three Minutes in Poland draws on interviews, photographs, documents, and artifacts to illuminate the record of both heartbreaking loss and improbable survival contained within what was originally a travel souvenir.
Kurtz is a graduate of Tufts University and the New England Conservatory of Music and holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Stanford University. He has taught at Stanford, San Francisco State University, and New York University. Kurtz's essays have appeared in the New York Times, Salon, and Southwest Review, and his first book, Practicing: A Musician's Return to Music, received enthusiastic reviews and has been published in Italian and Chinese in addition to English. Kurtz lives in New York City where he is the host of "Conversations on Practice," a discussion series about the writing process and the writer's life that attracts prominent guests such as Marin Amis and Adam Gopnik.
The Van Thyn lecture series honors Rose and Louis Van Thyn, Holocaust survivors who dedicated themselves to retelling their stories so that people would not forget or repeat those horrors. For her extraordinary community service, Mrs. Van Thyn was awarded the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Centenary's 2002 commencement exercises.
Friends of the Van Thyns established the Rose and Louis Van Thyn Board of Regents Endowed Lectureship in November 2009. The Van Thyn Lectureship provides educational opportunities for the students of the College and members of the surrounding community, with a goal of teaching about the history of the Holocaust, and how to recognize signs of intolerance and provide a means for preventing prejudice and hatred.