EducationPh.D. UC Santa Cruz, History of Consciousness Dept., with a designated emphasis in Feminist Studies (2011)
M.A. Sociology, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany, Minors: Women and Gender Studies, German Philology (2004)
Exchange student, State University of St. Petersburg, Russia; Faculty of Sociology (2000/01)
Work Shared in CORE
Pioneers and Partisans: An Oral History of Nazi Genocide in Belorussia. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015 (paperback 2018).
Jüdische Partisaninnen. Der verschwiegene Widerstand in der Sowjetunion. Berlin: Dietz, 2007.
Migration and Mobility in the Modern Age: Refugees, Travelers, and Traffickers in Europe and Eurasia. Eds. Anika Walke, Jan Musekamp, Nicole Svobodny. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017.
Refereed articles and chapters
“’To Speak for Those Who Cannot’: Masha Rol’nikaite on Anti-Jewish and Sexual Violence during the German Occupation of Soviet Territories.” Jewish History 32 (November 2018), in press.
“Split Memory: The Geography of Holocaust Memory and Amnesia in Belarus.” Slavic Review 77, no. 1 (2018): 174-192.
“Jewish Youth in the Minsk Ghetto: How Age and Gender Mattered,” Kritika–Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, 15, no. 3 (2014): 535-62.
“Memories of an Unfulfilled Promise: Internationalism and Patriotism in Post-Soviet Oral Histories of Jewish Survivors of the Nazi genocide,” Oral History Review 40, no. 2 (2013): 271-98.
“Pamiat’, Gender, i Molchanie: Ustnaia Istoria v (Post-) Sovetskoi Rossii i Prizrachnaia Gran’ mezhdu Privatnym i Publichnym” (in Russian, Engl.: “Memory, Gender, Silence: Oral history in (Post-) Soviet Russia and the Blurry Line Between the Public and the Private”). Laboratorium: Zhurnal Sotsialnykh Issledovanii (St. Petersburg, Russia), 1 (2011): 72-95.
“Remembering and Recuperation: Memory Work in the Post-Soviet Context.” Zeitgeschichte (Vienna, Austria) 36, no. 2 (2009): 67-87.
“’There was no work, we worked only for the Germans’: Ghetto and ghetto labor in the German-occupied Soviet territories.” The Ghetto in Global History, 1500 to the Present Ed. Wendy Goldman and Joe Trotter. London: Routledge, 2017, 93-109.
“Introduction.” Migration and Mobility in the Modern Age: Refugees, Travelers, and Traffickers in Europe and Eurasia. Eds. Anika Walke, Jan Musekamp, Nicole Svobodny. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017, 1-1-31.
“Formen des Widerstands. Sowjetische Juden in Weißrussland und der nationalsozialistische Genozid.” Deutsche Besatzung in der Sowjetunion 1941-1944: Vernichtungskrieg-Reaktionen-Erinnerung. Eds. Babette Quinkert, Jörg Morré. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schönigh Verlag, 2014, 259-275.
“Introduction” to Michael Kutz, If, By Miracle: A Holocaust Survivor’s Tale. Toronto: Azrieli Foundation, 2013.
„‘Wir haben über dieses Thema nie gesprochen.’ Jüdischer Überlebenskampf und sowjetische Kriegserinnerung.“ Umdeuten, verschweigen, erinnern: Die späte Aufarbeitung des Holocaust in Osteuropa. Eds. Micha Brumlik and Karol Sauerland. Frankfurt/M: Campus, 2010, 25-46.
“’It wasn’t that bad in the ghetto, was it?’ – Living On in the USSR after the Nazi Genocide.” Survivors of Nazi Persecution in Europe after the Second World War: Landscapes after Battle Vol. I. Eds. Suzanne Bardgett, David Cesarani, Jessica Reinisch, and J.D. Steinert. London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2010, 218-36.
“Reconsidering the Past: Interviews with Jewish Survivors of the Nazi Genocide in the Post-Soviet Context.” Sociology of Memory: Papers from the Spectrum. Ed. Noel Packard. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009, 45-62.
„Jüdischer Überlebenskampf und offizielle sowjetische Kriegserinnerung. Biographische Erzählungen im Kontext von kollektivem Gedächtnis und Erinnerungspolitik.“ Von Honig und Hochschulen. Dreizehn gesellschaftskritische Interventionen. Zehntes DoktorandInnenseminar der Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. Ed. Grit Jilek et al. Berlin: Dietz, 2007, 10-29.
„Biographien jüdischer Überlebender in der früheren Sowjetunion – Flucht, Widerstand und (Nicht-) Anerkennung.“ Collaboration and Resistance during the Holocaust: Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. Eds. David Gaunt, Paul Levine, and Laura Palosuo. Wien: Peter Lang, 2004, 479-506.
Manuscripts in progress
“Was Soviet Internationalism Anti-Racist? Toward a History of Foreigners in the USSR.” Russia’s Races: Meanings and Practices of Race in Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union. Ed. David Rainbow (submitted, forthcoming with University of Toronto Press, 2018).
My book, “Pioneers and Partisans: An Oral History of Nazi Genocide in Belorussia,”
analyzes how the first generation of Soviet Jews experienced the Nazi genocide and how they remember it in a context of social change. Based on oral histories, video testimonies, and memoirs produced in the former Soviet Union, I show that the young Soviet Jews’ struggle for survival, and its memory, was shaped by interethnic relationships within the occupied society, German annihilation policy, and Soviet efforts to construct a patriotic unity of the Soviet population.
I elaborate this point by showing the significance of individual and collective efforts and reproductive labor for the struggle for survival, in hiding places and partisan formations, and how these efforts were subsequently erased in the construction of the Soviet war portrayal.
The work is part of a growing attention to the Nazi genocide in the occupied Soviet territories and the social dynamics associated with war and genocide. Foregrounding questions of identity and memory, the book contributes to understanding the problems and strategies of minority and displaced groups to attain social inclusion.
Many oral history interviews that I conducted for this project are available online for further research. Please visit the Belarusian Oral History Archive at http://www.nashapamiac.org
An ongoing research project looks at the long aftermath of the Nazi genocide in Belarus. In particular, I am interested in how people remember and live with the effects and repercussions of systematic violence. I try to account for the shared suffering of Jews and non-Jews during the German occupation, and for a mass murder that, in part, relied on local participation. I have been working in local archives, interviewed survivors and current residents, and explored local sites of persecution to understand, how communities, which in some cases lost more than half of their population, rebuilt life after genocide and remember the dead, or why some victims are intensely forgotten.
Simultaneously and together with other scholars I explore opportunities to use digital technology to further humanistic scholarship. Initiated by the Holocaust Geographies Collaborative, the Holocaust Ghettos Project seeks to develop a place-based model of the Holocaust, which will help bridge the divide between studies focused on either victims or perpetrators by locating them together in places of ghettoization. Currently, we are developing a Historical GIS database and visualization of Nazi ghettos that will enable further analytical work. For more information on the Collaborative, please see http://holocaustgeographies.geo.txstate.edu
Upcoming Talks and ConferencesRoundtable participation: “Witnessing Anti-Jewish Violence in Soviet-Era Testimonies.” Annual Meeting of Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Boston, MA. 6-9 December 2018.
“The Aftermath of World War II and Nazi Genocide in Belarus: History, Memory, Representation.” Lecture series of Centre d’études des mondes russe, caucasien et centre-européen (EHESS / School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences), Paris, in partnership with University Paris Nanterre. 18 February 2019.
Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)
Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS)
American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
Affiliated Member of the Holocaust Geographies Collaborative (http://holocaustgeographies.geo.txstate.edu
Affiliated Research Member of Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign