Danny Cohen

Danny M. Cohen

Assistant Professor of Instruction

Annenberg Hall
2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208-0001
Danny M. Cohen is a learning scientist and education designer. Concerned with collective memories of atrocity, he focuses his teaching and research on the development of community programming for social justice, memorialization and museum design, and appropriate (and inappropriate) pedagogies for educating about violence. Danny is the director and creator of Unsilence, a series of educational experiences for teenagers and the public that bring to light marginalized narratives of the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights. Danny was a Faculty Fellow of the Auschwitz Jewish Center and he is a current Global Justice Fellow of the American Jewish World Service. He is an appointed member of the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission and 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 and keeps a blog about his work as a human rights educator.

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

Selected Publications
Cohen, Danny M. (In Press/Under Review). Dead Ends in Jilovsky, Esther, Silverstein, Jordy, & Slucki, David (Eds.), In the Shadows of Memory: The Holocaust and the Third Generation Vallentine-Mitchell Publishers, London.

Lassner, Phyllis D. and Cohen, Danny M. (2014). Magical transports and transformations: The lessons of children’s Holocaust fiction. Studies in American Jewish Literature, Volume 33, Number 2: 167-185.

Cohen, Danny M. (2013). Masks of Holocaust memory. The Holocaust in History and Memory, 6: 73-86.

Cohen, Danny M. (2012). Teaching about T4. The Holocaust in History and Memory, 5: 103-115.

Norris, Linda, Cohen, Danny M., and Mann, Stacey (2012). When histories horrify: Supporting visitors’ responses through responsible interpretation. History News: The Magazine of the American Association for State and Local History, 67(4): 16-20.

Mann, Stacey & Cohen, Danny M. (2011). When a boxcar isn't a boxcar: Designing for human rights learning. Exhibitionist, 30(2) : 26-31.

Cohen, Danny M. (2011). Overlapping triangles: Teaching the interdependency of Holocaust victimhoods. The Holocaust in History and Memory, 4: 41-60.

Research Interests
How are different forms of prejudice connected? How do collective acts of remembering and forgetting particular atrocities affect collective actions in the present? And how can we design learning environments that support young people to engage with the lessons of violent histories? My research combines the design of Holocaust education -- grounded in canonical texts of Holocaust Studies -- with pedagogical design -- framed by core ideas within the field of the Learning Sciences. I focus on the pedagogical implications of educators' perceptions of Holocaust history, as well as how young people draw connections between Holocaust history and contemporary cases of oppression and atrocity. Underpinning my research is my interest in how the marginalization of particular collective memories lead to enduring exclusions of particular social groups.


SESP 303 Program Design and Implementation How can we encourage meaningful social change? How can we design and implement effective programs that address social problems and social needs? We will attempt to answer these questions by exploring specific steps of the design and implementation process, including conducting a needs analysis, creating global and incremental goals, designing virtual and physical environments, and ensuring program sustainability. 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. You will work in small teams to design original social programs that address issues you care about.
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.
TEACH_ED 351 Topic: The Holocaust and Education


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: 2014-09-22 15:05:44