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Personal profile

Personal profile

My PhD project, funded by technē (AHRC), is a cultural family history of German bourgeois subjectivities in the Third Reich. Using the large collection of letters and documents I found in my late grandmother's attic in Freiburg i. Br. in south-west Germany, I investigate the interplay between worldviews and Nazi ideology in the context of the Third Reich as a 'participatory dictatorship'. Members of my family represented all four categories of the 1935 Nuremberg Laws, ranging from what the Nazis called an Aryan to what they considered a Jew. My historical subjects thus occupied a liminal, albeit mostly privileged, position.

By bringing together Bourdieusian practice theory, cultural history, the history of generic fascism, the history of emotions, and microhistory, I embed the meaning making evident from the letters in the larger contexts of their time to trace the successes and limitations of the Nazi transformation of German society and politics in the period 1933–1945 and into the early postwar period. I am particularly interested in the role played by worldviews, mentalities, and bourgeois kinship networks in enabling and obstructing the Nazi dictatorship and the Holocaust. 

During the summer term of 2022 and through to early 2023, I co-curated The Wiener Holocaust Library's exhibition 'Holocaust Letters' (February - June 2023), which shows letters from The Library's extensive family collections as sites of knowledge production about the Holocaust and as material objects, each with a history and an afterlife of its own. As part of the exhibition, I co-organised an international workshop 'Letter Writing in Holocaust Studies' to facilitate further methodological reflection about working with letters as historical sources.

Education/Academic qualification

History (Secondary), PGCE, Oxford University Department of Education

20002001

Historical Research, MSt, Oxford University

19992000

External positions

Co-organiser, Exploding the Archive

1 Sept 202210 Jan 2023

Project Intern, The Wiener Holocaust Library

25 Apr 202224 Feb 2023

Keywords

  • German history
  • Nazism
  • Völkisch worldview
  • Antisemitism
  • Emotions
  • Bourgeoisie
  • Gender History
  • Microhistory
  • Family History
  • Micro-archives
  • Heimat
  • Cultural History
  • History of Emotions
  • Holocaust
  • German society & culture
  • Translation
  • Narratives
  • Literature of the Third Reich
  • Autobiography & Memoirs
  • Holocaust Literature

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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