Danny M. Cohen

Danny M. Cohen

Associate Professor of Instruction

Annenberg Hall
2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208-0001


Danny M. Cohen is a learning scientist, education designer, and fiction writer. Concerned with collective memories and marginalized narratives of atrocity, he focuses his teaching and research on community programming for social justice, memorialization and education design, and appropriate and inappropriate pedagogies for educating about violence. Danny is the founder of Unsilence, through which he and his colleagues create educator training and learning experiences for teenagers that bring to light hidden stories of human rights. He is a governor-appointed member of the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission, he was a Faculty Fellow of the Auschwitz Jewish Center, and he sits on the editorial advisory board of the journal The Holocaust in History and Memory. Danny is also a writer of young adult human rights fiction, including the historical novel Train and the short stories The 19th Window and Dead Ends.

Curriculum Vitae

Adobe Acrobat PDF View Danny M. Cohen's CV.


  • 2016 - Faculty Honor Roll
  • 2014 - Faculty Honor Roll
  • 2013 - Outstanding Instructor Award
  • 2013 - Faculty Honor Roll
  • 2012 - Faculty Honor Roll
  • 2011 - Alumni Leadership Award



Year Degree Institution
2011 PhD, Learning Sciences Northwestern University
2005 MA, Learning Sciences Northwestern University


Year Title  
2011 Historical narratives in tension: Holocaust educators' perceptions of victimhood

Research Interests

Holocaust and human rights education; The design of informal learning environments; Collective memory and marginalized narratives; Pedagogies for educating about violence and atrocity



SESP 303

Program Design & Implementation How can we encourage meaningful social change? How can we design effective programs that address social problems and social needs? We will attempt to answer these questions by exploring specific steps of the design process. By examining characteristics of youth and community programs in the fields of education, social welfare, human development, health promotion, human rights, and civic engagement - at the local, national, and international levels - we will seek to identify commonalities and understand differences among them. A major goal of this course is to acquire an intellectual and applied understanding of the principles of program design and development,which include a sustained consideration of issues affecting the quality of program implementation. Considerable attention will be devoted to specific steps within the design process, as well as case studies of actual programs. We must also acknowledge that what counts as a social need or social problem is subjective and complex and that programs can therefore be controversial and difficult to manage. In light of this, we will touch on the organizational, ethical, and political contexts of implementation.

SESP 351

Topics: Holocaust Memory, Memorials, and Museums What is Holocaust memory? How has Holocaust memory changed over time, and how does the Holocaust continue to affect our understanding of trauma, atrocity, and human rights today? This new seminar will address individual memory, including survivor and witness testimony, memory and trauma, and the impact of the Holocaust on survivors' families and communities. We will also explore collective Holocaust memory and the development of mainstream Holocaust narratives. We will consider Jewish, non-Jewish, and national Holocaust memorialization, including rituals of commemoration and the establishment and development of Holocaust memorials, museums, and institutions in the United States and around the world. Course texts -- including film and fiction -- will support us to ask questions about the relationships between individual and collective memories, as well as between commemoration and education. Evaluation will consist of class and online participation, reflection papers, and a take-home midterm. The course will culminate in a student-led final presentation and project.


Topic: The Holocaust and Education How can we design engaging and relevant Holocaust education? How has Holocaust education developed over time? What is its purpose? And what is its future? In this course, we consider and debate the complexities and challenges of Holocaust pedagogy, including responding to learners' emotions and misconceptions. We explore the possible goals of educating about the Holocaust, the merits and challenges of addressing all of the Nazis' target groups, and the relationship between Holocaust education and genocide education. We study the benefits and challenges of prioritizing specific perspectives, including those of victims, survivors, the second and third generations, rescuers, liberators, bystanders, perpetrators, and collaborators. Through theoretical texts, fiction, film, witness testimony, school curricula, and museum and online exhibitions, we explore appropriate and inappropriate teaching methods and consider the design of training for Holocaust educators across formal and informal learning environments.


Professional Service

Year Organization Position Description
2011 Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission Commissioner

Editorial Boards

Year Journal Name Position
2012 The Holocaust in History and Memory Member of Editorial Advisory Board

Last Updated: 2017-08-31 13:42:59