Susan Opotow is a social psychologist and professor at John Jay College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her scholarship on commonplace and extraordinary injustice examines the dynamics of exclusionary and inclusionary change.  She situates her research in conflictual contexts (e.g., environmental degradation and post-war periods) to examine changes in the scope of justice over time. Current work examines representations of past injustice in museums and images, utilizing her professional background in photography.  She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and Editor of Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology and served as President of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (2009). 

Since 2009, to examine changes in the scope of justice, Opotow has studied German cultural sites on the Third Reich. Interpretive strategies developed at each site address the question, “How was this possible?” in exhibitions that combine historical data, transcripts, images, and objects to educate visitors and deepen Germany’s national discourses about its past.  Looking back at this past from the vantage of the present foreshortens time and exposes policies, norms, and laws that, once normal, seem pathologically narrow now. How these sites deploy images and information to engage visitors with weighty moral question is the focus of this project.

Seminars & Working Groups