ACDIS at Illinois to host symposium on "The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II: The Massacre of Nanjing" honoring Illinois Alumnae Minnie Vautrin and Iris Chang

Matthias Grosse Perdekamp
12/12/2017

Minnie Vautrin Statue at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum in Nanjing, China. Vautrin is a native of Secor, Illinois and a U of I alumna, class of 1912, who saved more than 10,000 girls and woman during the Nanjing Massacre from December 1937 to February 1938. The statue shows Vautrin protecting Chinese civilians who are displayed on the relief in the back. In Nanjing Minnie Vautrin is known as the 'Goddess of Mercy for Women and Children in Nanjing.' Location: Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum in Nanjing, China. Photo by: Matthias Grosse Perdekamp, July 28, 2017
Minnie Vautrin Statue at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum in Nanjing, China. Vautrin is a native of Secor, Illinois and a U of I alumna, class of 1912, who saved more than 10,000 girls and woman during the Nanjing Massacre from December 1937 to February 1938. The statue shows Vautrin protecting Chinese civilians who are displayed on the relief in the back. In Nanjing Minnie Vautrin is known as the 'Goddess of Mercy for Women and Children in Nanjing.' Location: Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum in Nanjing, China. Photo by: Matthias Grosse Perdekamp, July 28, 2017
As acting president of Ginling College, Minnie Vautrin (Illinois class of 1912) sheltered more than 10,000 Chinese women from rape and deadly violence during the Nanjing Massacre. The Program in Arms Control & Domestic and International Security (ACDIS) at Illinois will host a symposium recalling the history of the Sino-Japanese war and honoring Vautrin. The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II: The Massacre of Nanjing will be held on December 16, 2017, at the Levis Faculty Center, Room 300, 919 West Illinois Street, Urbana.

On the 80th anniversary of the fall of Nanjing (Nanking), the symposium will recall the mass atrocities committed in the then Chinese capital by the Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War, through the journal entries of Illinois alumna Minnie Vautrin and the book “The Rape of Nanking” by alumna Iris Chang (Illinois class of 1989). The speakers include scholarly experts on the massacre as well as the parents of Iris Chang.

“The symposium will portray two outstanding alumnae who have profoundly touched the lives of many through their undeterred courage in face of adversity,” says ACDIS director Cliff Singer. “Vautrin and Chang are superb examples for our students, staff, and faculty at Illinois. It is inspiring and humbling to learn from them how much just one individual upholding her values can do for others.”

Matthias Grosse Perdekamp, ACDIS faculty and symposium chair notes, “Minnie Vautrin saved more than 10,000 girls and women and very well might be the leading humanitarian to graduate from Illinois since its inception in 1867. Iris Chang is the courageous journalist who triggered the contemporary discussion of the long-ignored mass atrocities during the Sino-Japanese War. This process seems very important for reaching reconciliation and lasting peace in East Asia.”

The symposium is free and open to the public. The program details, travel information, and digital copies of Minnie Vautrin’s diary may be found on the symposium website: http://go.illinois.edu/Nanjing.

The symposium has been generously co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Chicago, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, Department of Physics, Program in Jewish Culture and Society, School of Journalism, University Laboratory High School, and Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program.

Recent News

  • Accolades

Professor and Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs Brian DeMarco has been named a University Scholar by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The award recognizes faculty who have made significant contributions in their fields of research and teaching, in line with the university’s reputation for leading-edge innovation and excellence. DeMarco is among 12 faculty members in the University of Illinois System to be selected for this honor in 2018.

  • Research
  • High Energy Physics

Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced its launch of the Institute for Research and Innovation in Software for High-Energy Physics (IRIS-HEP). The $25 million software-focused institute will tackle the unprecedented torrent of data that will come from the high-luminosity running of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s most powerful particle accelerator located at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. The High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) will provide scientists with a unique window into the subatomic world to search for new phenomena and to study the properties of the Higgs boson in great detail. The 2012 discovery at the LHC of the Higgs boson—a particle central to our fundamental theory of nature—led to the Nobel Prize in physics a year later and has provided scientists with a new tool for further discovery.

The HL-LHC will begin operations around 2026, continuing into the 2030s. It will produce more than 1 billion particle collisions every second, from which only a tiny fraction will reveal new science, because the phenomena that physicists want to study have a very low probability per collision of occurring. The HL-LHC’s tenfold increase in luminosity—a measure of the number of particle collisions occurring in a given amount of time—will enable physicists to study familiar processes at an unprecedented level of detail and observe rare new phenomena present in nature.

  • Research
  • Biological Physics

Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have produced the most precise picture to date of population dynamics in fluctuating feast-or-famine conditions. Professor Seppe Kuehn, a biological physicist, and his graduate student Jason Merritt found that bacterial population density is a function of both the frequency and the amplitude of nutrient fluctuations. They found that the more frequent the feast cycles and the longer a feast cycle, the more rapid the population recovery from a famine state. This result has important implications for understanding how microbial populations cope with the constant nutrient fluctuations they experience in nature.

  • In the Media
  • High Energy Physics

Six years after discovering the Higgs boson, physicists have observed how the particle decays — a monumental contribution to scientists' understanding of the Standard Model of particle physics and the universe at large, study researchers said.

Excitement swirled in the physics community when, in 2012, physicists discovered the Higgs boson, an elementary particle predicted by the Standard Model that relates to how objects have mass. But this discovery didn't mark the end of Higgs boson exploration. In addition to predicting the existence of Higgs boson particles, the Standard Model posits that 60 percent of the time, a Higgs boson particle will decay into fundamental particles called bottom quarks (b quarks).