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< All Fellows and Scholars

Dr. Irene Kacandes

Dr. Irene Kacandes
Norman Raab Foundation Fellow

“’Who Will Witness for the Witness’: A Reevaluation of Co-Witnessing”

Professional Background

Dr. Irene Kacandes is currently The Dartmouth Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. As the Norman Raab Foundation Fellow, Dr. Kacandes will be conducting research for her project titled “’Who Will Witness for the Witness’: A Reevaluation of Co-Witnessing.”

Dr. Kacandes is fluent in German, English, Modern Greek, and French. She has speaking and reading abilities in Spanish and Italian.

Dr. Kacandes is a prolific writer who has published several monographs including the most recent Let’s Talk About Death: Asking the Questions that Profoundly Change How We Live and Die [with Steve Gordon] (Prometheus Press, 2015). Her most recent edited volume is Eastern Europe Unmapped: Beyond Borders and Peripheries [with Yuliya Komska] (Berghahn Books, 2017). She edited with Marianne Hirsch, Teaching the Representation of the Holocaust (MLA, 2004). Dr. Kacandes has published numerous articles and book chapters related to trauma and the Holocaust. A sought-after speaker, in 2016 she delivered the Berlin Fellows Distinguished Lecture at the Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany; the Presidential Address at the German Studies Association 40th anniversary conference in San Diego; and the Susanne Zantop Memorial Lecture at Dartmouth College. Dr. Kacandes is recipient of funds from the Mellon Foundation, the Navarino Foundation, and the SONY corporation, among others, and was a fellow for a project on the Holocaust at the Norwegian Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Fellowship Research

While in residence at the Mandel Center, Dr. Kacandes researched what she has termed “co-witnessing,” that is, the role of those who did not directly witness the atrocities of the Nazi Judeocide in passing on the legacy of those who did. She used the museum’s various collections, including the Boder Archives.  

Dr. Kacandes was in residence at the Mandel Center until November 30, 2017.