DAAD Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Sussex
- National Socialism, concentration camps and Holocaust studies
- German-Jewish history and culture
- Masculinity and gender studies
- Emigration, exile and identity formation
- Regional history
My research interest centre on German and German-Jewish history in modern times, with a focus on the Weimar Republic and National Socialism. In my doctoral thesis, completed as part of the AHRC-funded research project “Before the Holocaust” at Birkbeck, University of London, I explored the key role of the pre-war concentration camps in the evolution of the Nazi regime’s antisemitic policy and the persecution of the Jews. Looking at the camps as sites of terror and exclusion, the study analyses dynamics of social change in German society in the Third Reich.
In subsequent projects, I have researched intellectual migration and the history of science by critically evaluating early “theories of terror” advanced in the 1940s by émigré social scientists in exile. Studying modern identity formation, I also worked on Jews in the German labour movement in the early 20th century. In the past, my scholarship has dealt broadly with the history and theory of psychoanalysis, military history and desertion as well as Holocaust memorial cultures and representations. Furthermore, I was engaged in exhibition projects of the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin (Holocaust Memorial) and Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. I also act as author, reviewer and historical consultant for online teaching modules produced by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung).
Currently, I am studying post-1945 relationships between German-Jewish émigrés form rural areas and their former hometowns. On a regional level, this project examines notions of ‘Heimat’ and history negotiated through contacts between ‘exile’ and ‘home’ as well as the role of grass-root initiatives in trans-national reconciliation efforts. Together with Laura Jockusch and Andreas Kraft, I also prepare the publication of a cross-disciplinary essay collection entitled Revenge, Retribution and Reconciliation: Justice and Emotions between Conflict and Mediation. Based on Buber Society Workshop held in June 2013, the volume will explore how individuals, groups and societies in a variety of cultural contexts, political settings and historical time periods respond to the perpetration of injustice.