Douglas and Carol Cohen Fellow Professor Jennifer Jordan
Professor Jennifer Jordan received a Ph.D. and an M.A. in sociology from the University of California, San Diego and a B.A. in anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. During her fellowship at the Museum, she was Assistant Professor of Sociology and Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. For her Douglas and Carol Cohen Fellowship, Professor Jordan conducted research for her project “Places of Persecution and Resistance in Berlin: Comparing Wartime Sites to Contemporary Memorial Landscapes.”
In her academic work Professor Jordan explores themes of space, community, urban planning, globalization, and memorialization in Berlin and beyond its borders. She is the author of “Collective Memory and Locality in Global Cities” in Global Cities: Cinema, Architecture, and Urbanism in a Digital Age, Patrice Petro and Linda Krause, eds. (Rutgers University Press, 2003); with Rick Biernacki, “The Place of Space in the Study of the Social” in The Social in Question: New Bearings in History and the Social Sciences, Patrick Joyce, ed. (Routledge, 2002), and “In Place of a Conclusion” in Cultures of Globalization, Fredric Jameson and Masao Miyoshi, eds. (Duke University Press, 1998). At the time of her fellowship she was working on a book manuscript titled Building Culture: Markets, Memory and Urban Change in Post-1989 Berlin. Professor Jordan received several awards for her doctoral research, including the Social Science Research Council/Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies Award. She has lectured on such topics as “Places, States, and Historic Preservation in Cold War Berlin” (American Sociological Association), “Resonance and Real Estate: Memorial Construction in an International Context in Post-1989 Berlin” (Council for European Studies), and “Building Culture: Collective Memory and Urban Change in Berlin” (Yale University). She has been a fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee’s Center for 21st Century Studies, where she conducted research on “Transnationalism and the Ends of Community,” and has also participated in a Fulbright Summer Seminar on German Studies on “Urban Planning in Germany.”
While in residence at the Museum, Professor Jordan studied wartime sites and contemporary memorial landscapes in post-1989 Berlin. In her research she crossed disciplinary boundaries and addressed fundamental questions about memorialization. She questioned why some sites of resistance by or persecution of Jews and other groups are forgotten by all but eyewitnesses or diligent historians, while others become the site of public ceremonies, well-tended outdoor museums, or at least enduring markers of some kind. Using qualitative methods to explain why particular plots of land become invested with official collective memory while others do not, Professor Jordan investigated a range of places, including damaged and demolished synagogues, “wild” concentration camps, forced labor camps and factories, and sites of persecution of the Roma and Sinti.