"Visual Witnesses: The Shaping of Holocaust Narratives in National Museums"
Jennifer Hansen received an M.A. in Germanic studies and an M.A. in comparative literature from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a B.A. cum laude in English from Georgetown University. During her tenure at the Museum, she was a Ph.D. candidate in Germanic languages and literatures at the University of Virginia. For her Diane and Howard Wohl Fellowship, Ms. Hansen conducted research for her project, “Visual Witnesses: The Shaping of Holocaust Narratives in National Museums.”
Ms. Hansen is the author of, “The Art and Science of Reading Faces: Strategies of Racist Cinema in the Third Reich” in Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, which was forthcoming at the time of her tenure. She is the recipient of several fellowships, including the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Research Grant; a Dorot Foundation Summer Graduate Research Assistant Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Museum; a President’s Fellowship from the University of Virginia; a Germanic Studies Fellowship from Middlebury College; and a Merit scholarship from Georgetown University. Ms. Hansen has presented papers at several conferences in the United States, focusing on topics such as Jews in contemporary Germany, Elfriede Jelinek, Franz Kafka, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Ms. Hansen is fluent in German and also has language skills in Yiddish, French, and Hebrew.
During her fellowship at the Center, Ms. Hansen conducted research on the visual representation of the Holocaust in different Holocaust museums and exhibits, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Jewish Museum in Berlin, and Yad Vashem. Focusing on visual media such as photography, film, architecture, artifacts, and both internal and external spaces, she examined how different memory cultures require unique representational strategies. She used the Museum’s collections of photographs and films to complete her research.
Ms. Hansen was in residence at the Mandel Center from October 1, 2008 to April 30, 2009.