About Our High School Genocide Education Program Presenters

The Zoryan Institute’s Promoting Equity, Tolerance, Reconciliation, and Awareness Through Genocide Education Program presentations are led by notable graduates of the Zoryan Institute’s Genocide and Human Rights University Program (GHRUP).

Presenter Bios

Dr. Alison MacAulay

Dr. Alison MacAulay received her PhD in History from the University of Toronto in Spring 2022. Her research focuses on film, film productions, and film spectatorship in Rwanda in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Using an interdisciplinary methodology grounded in history, film studies, and genocide studies, her research explores the relationship between film and historical knowledge production. Her work is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Jackman Humanities Institute, and the University of Toronto. Alison has taught undergraduate courses on African history, genocide, and film at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Alison also works as a producer and executive producer on a number of short films and documentaries currently in production and post-production in Rwanda.  

Allison Bailey

Allison Bailey is a PhD student studying violence, gender, and medieval history at the University of Toronto. She has her Master’s Degree in History from the University of Calgary, and is an experienced teaching assistant with a dynamic and ever-growing portfolio.

Dr. Andrew Basso

Dr. Andrew R. Basso studies political violence, human rights, and transitional justice. He is affiliated with Wilfrid Laurier University’s Laurier Centre for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy.

Cheng Xu

Cheng Xu is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the University of Toronto and the Cadieux-Léger Fellow at Global Affairs Canada. He is also a former Canadian Armed Forces infantry officer and paratrooper as well as Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholar whose doctoral thesis aims to develop a theory of the impacts of social relations on insurgent mobilization and civil war duration and outcomes. His latest publications include an examination of insurgent fragmentation in Southern Philippines in Third World Quarterly, the debates surrounding liberal peacebuilding in International Journal, and theories of genocide in Genocide Studies International. His research interests include insurgency movements, civil wars, mass political violence, and genocide.

Hazal Halavut

Hazal Halavut is a PhD Candidate at the Women & Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto. Interested in postcolonial feminist theory, psychoanalysis, trauma and memory studies, her written work encompasses literary criticism to state violence and witnessing; feminist history and politics to colonial traumas. Her doctoral project grapples with the question of what remains after collective loss when loss is historically erased, politically denied and collectively repressed.  By excavating the traces of the Armenian Genocide at the intersection of history, memory and literature in Turkey, she investigates how unreconciled histories of racial and colonial violence slip into the present through affect and shape national identities as well as collective imaginaries. Hazal is also the co-editor-in-chief of the online feminist journal, 5Harfliler.

Lauren Fedewa

Lauren Fedewa is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History and the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. Lauren’s research interests include Holocaust and genocide studies, modern Jewish history, and European history. She is currently working on her dissertation tentatively titled “‘Always One Step Away from Death, and Always Afraid’: Jewish Women who Passed as Polish-Christian Forced Laborers in Germany during the Holocaust.” Lauren earned a B.A. in History and Germanic Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park (2015) and an M.A. in History from the University of Vermont (2018). Lauren is a Claims Conference Saul Kagan Fellow in Advanced Shoah Studies (2022-2024) and has been the recipient of several other fellowships, including a visiting fellowship at the Leibniz-Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung (2022), a Summer Graduate Research Assistantship at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies (2017), and the Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellowship (2017). She has previously received a U.S. Fulbright Student Research Grant in affiliation with the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University Hannover (2018-2019), and worked as a contractor (2022) at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where she researched and wrote entries for the Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945. Vol. V: Nazi Sites for Racial Persecution, Detention, Resettlement, and Murder of Non-Jews (Indiana University Press, forthcoming).

Neekoo Collett

Neekoo Collett is a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Toronto, where her research interests include repression, violence, and religion. Her dissertation theorizes why governments change their use of repressive tactics over time, using mixed methods to investigate the repression of one religious minority in Iran as a case study. Neekoo’s research has been funded by SSHRC at both the Master’s and Doctoral level, presented at numerous international conferences, and recognized with a Doctoral Fellowship at the Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict, and Justice.