Surrounded by books, papers, binders and memories, Dr. Ben Moore sits at his computer, scrolling intently through his latest research findings. He muses aloud at the cost to access online records and databases, but clearly, to him, the monetary price of this information is nothing compared to the benefits.
Moore, an associate professor of English and the chair of the Fontbonne English and communication department, is the 2009-2010 recipient of the Fontbonne Scholar/Artist Award. Moore follows in the footsteps of two previous Fontbonne Scholar/Artists: Dr. Jason Sommer, professor of English, and Victor Wang, fine arts instructor.
For the past few years, Moore has tirelessly researched the Bosnian genocide of the mid-1990s. The more he learned, the more his interest grew.
"This project became far larger than I ever expected," Moore says. "It expanded into lectures, visits from genocide experts, films and even music performances. There has been so much interest - it's been featured all over the world."
In 2007, Moore and Dr. Jack Luzkow, Fontbonne associate professor of history and chair of the department of history, philosophy, and religion, co-taught an honors course introducing students to the Bosnian genocide. Students interviewed Bosnian survivors who reside here in St. Louis, turning their interviews and additional research into a video and contributing their findings to both the Bosnian Memory Project, an ongoing Fontbonne endeavor, and Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide, a multimedia exhibit. Both were developed in collaboration with the Union of Citizens of the Municipality of Prijedor and the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center.
"This has made me aware of an opportunity we have now to preserve memory that would otherwise be lost. We have a chance for Fontbonne to make a lasting contribution to the history of the metropolitan area and also to the world," Moore explains.
He is humbled by the attention these projects have received, and he gives credit to all of those people who have contributed to them along the way. For the foreseeable future, he says, this research is his life, and he's grateful to his colleagues for recognizing his efforts with the Fontbonne Artist/Scholar Award.
"Considering others are also deserving, this award is not something I take for granted," he says. "I'm going to try and live up to it. I want to use this to promote the bigger picture, especially the Bosnia project. This is a chance for Fontbonne to make a larger contribution in keeping with its mission."