Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Virginia
Website URL
Transnational German History and Culture, Weimar Germany, Nazi Germany, Democracy Studies, History and Theories of Fascism, Critical Theory, and Cultural Studies, Green Ideas and Practices
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am an associate professor of German and History at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (Virginia). I hold a joint appointment in the Departments of German and the Corcoran Department of History and am the director of the European Studies Program and the Center for German Studies.

My research combines the historical study of German culture with theoretical analysis. I have published broadly on the political culture of Weimar democracy and am currently completing my manuscript, Invisible Fatherland: Constitutional Patriotism in Weimar Germany. The book’s argument revolves around the republic’s challenge to rally the nation around legally coded principles and ideas—such as equality and justice—that are as such are imperceptible to the senses. The republic’s symbolic politics made these norms and ideals visible and concrete, thus drawing the contours of a democratic alternative to the extremist politics the interwar period also engendered.

My second book project on “Hitler and the Holocaust (under contract with Bloomsbury Academic) provides a concise and adaptable survey of the German dictator and his genocidal regime within an interdisciplinary and transnational framework. The focus is on deeply intertwined processes of biographical and societal radicalization that culminated in the targeted murder of six million European Jews. The book concludes with a discussion of Hitler’s changing representations and legacies today.

My third research interest revolves around the idiom and culture of sustainability or Nachhaltigkeit. My co-edited volume on German environmental sustainability explores this topic in an interdisciplinary and transnational perspective. The project emerged from a “Generation Green” lecture series that formed the core of a crossdisciplinary seminar in German Studies and Science, Technology, and Society. My own article in the edited volume explores Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power. I expect to develop this exploratory essay into a book-length historical study of the German culture of sustainability.

Recent Publications

Books and Journals

Environmental Sustainability in Transatlantic Perspective: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Co-edited with Dana Eley (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013 (Climate and Energy series).

Nationalism, Nativism, and the Revolt Against Globalization, Special Issue of EuropeNow (Journal of the Council for European Studies). Co-edited with Kyrill Kunakhovich and Nicole Shea; February 2018.

Articles and Book Chapters

“The Israel-Hamas War: Where is Europe?” Coauthored with Peter Debaere; in EuropeNow Daily, December 19, 2023.

“Memory, Responsiblity, and Transformation: Antiracist Pedagogy, Holocaust Education, and Community Outreach in Transatlantic Perspective.” Coauthored with Hannah Winnick (Heinrich Boell Foundation/Obama Foundation), Journal of Holocaust Research, 35/2 (April 2021). Special issue on “Confronting Hatred: Neo-Nazism, Antisemitism, and Holocaust Studies Today.”

Anchoring the Nation in the Democratic Form: Weimar Symbolic Politics beyond the Failure Paradigm”, in: German Modernities from Wilhelm to Weimar: A Contest of Futures, ed. Geoff Eley, Jennifer Jenkins, Tracie Matysik (London, New York, Bloomsbury, 2016), 259-281.

Nuclear Power? No, Thank You!” Germany’s Energy Revolution Post-Fukushima,” in: Achilles and Elzey (eds.), Environmental Sustainability in Transatlantic Perspective, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 104-127.

“The Economy Under the Nazis: Keynesianism Avant La Lettre?”, 2013. Coauthored with Peter Debaere, Darden Business Publishing, UVA-GEM 112.

With a Passion for Reason: Celebrating the Constitution in Weimar Germany,Central European History, Volume 43, Number 4 (December 2010), Special issue on the Culture of Politics / Politics of Culture in the Weimar Republic.

Reforming the Reich: Democratic Symbols and Rituals in the Weimar Republic,” in Kathleen Canning, Kerstin Barndt, and Kristin McGuire (eds), Weimar Publics / Weimar Subjects: Rethinking the Political Culture of Germany in the 1920s (New York: Berghahn Books, 2010), 175-191.

“Nationalist Violence and Republican Identity in Weimar Germany,” in David Midgley and Christian Emden (eds), German Literature, History and the Nation. Papers from the Conference: “The Fragile Tradition” (Cambridge 2002), Oxford 2004, 305-328.

“Blutdurst’ und ‘Symbolhunger’: Zur Semantik von Blut und Erde”, in Walter Delabar, Horst Denkler, Erhard Schütz (eds), Spielräume des Einzelnen: Deutsche Literatur in der Weimarer Republik und im Dritten Reich, Berlin 2000, 185-315.

Book Reviews and Blogs

Review of Laura Hilton and Avinoam Patt (eds), Understanding and Teaching the Holocaust (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2020), Holocaust and Genocide Studies 37:3, December 2023.

Conversation with Richard J. Evans on the relevance of a past Cholera epidemic in the time of Coronavirus. Coauthored with Peter Debaere; Darden Water Blog, October 27, 2020.

Review of Benjamin Ziemann, Contested Commemorations. Republican War Veterans and Weimar Political Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2013), European History Quarterly, 46:1 (2016), 203-204.

Review of Shulamit Volkov: Walther Rathenau. Weimar’s Fallen Statesman (New Haven: Yale UP, 2012); German History, March 3, 2015.

“The Economy Under the Nazis: Keynesianism Avant La Lettre?,” 2013, Darden Business Publishing, UVA-GEM 112 (with Peter Debaere).

Review of Mark Edmundson, The Death of Sigmund Freud: The Legacy of His Last Days (New York: Bloomsbury, 2007), published on H-German (August 2011).

Review of Christian Emden, Walter Benjamins Archäologie der Moderne: Kulturwissenschaft um 1930 (Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2006), published on H-German (October 2007).

Review of Pamela E. Swett, Neighbors and Enemies: The Culture of Radicalism in Berlin,1929- 1933 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), Social History 31:4 (2006), 497-499.

Review of Laurence A. Rickel’s Nazi Psychoanalysis (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2002, published on H-German (March 2004).

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Germany, Europe, Transatlantic
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
Modern, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Environment, Genocide, Holocaust & Nazi Persecution, World War I, World War II