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< All Fellows and Scholars

Ms. Kathryn Brackney

Kathryn Brackney
2015-2016 L. Dennis and Susan R. Shapiro Fellow

“Images of the Horizon in Memory of the Holocaust: Historicizing the Limits of Representation.” 

Professional Background

Kathryn Brackney is a doctoral candidate at Yale University, where she studies modern European intellectual and cultural history. English is her native language; she also works in French, German, Biblical Hebrew, and Yiddish. While in residence at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Ms. Brackney conducted research for her dissertation, “Images of the Horizon in Memory of the Holocaust: Historicizing the Limits of Representation.”

Previous presentations by Ms. Brackney include: “Imagining the Limits of Modernity: The Holocaust and the Space Race,” delivered for Humanism and Its Prefixes, a conference held at the University of California, Berkeley, October 3–4, 2015; “Images of the Horizon in Depictions of the Holocaust: Historicizing the Limits of Representation,” delivered for War and Its Consequences, a conference held at Yale University on February 13, 2015; and “Haunting Without Ghosts: The Continued Life of Photographic Action in Color Slides from the Łódź Ghetto,” delivered for An Aesthetic of Absence at the University of Toronto, March 8–10, 2012. She has been invited to give lectures on topics related to media and World War II for courses at Yale University, the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), and Wesleyan University. She has several grants including, the Baden-Württemberg Stipendium from the University of Heidelberg (2014) and the Baron Student Research Grant from the Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism (2014 and 2015).

Fellowship Research

For her L. Dennis and Susan R. Shapiro Fellowship, Ms. Brackney traced how depictions of the Holocaust have changed in the post-war decades by examining images of the horizon—a line that constitutes the beginning and end of representation. Her work complicates modernist characterizations of the Holocaust as unimaginable with what might be described as exercises in mapping. Before this history was deemed beyond the limits of representation, what did it look like and how was it situated on a figurative landscape? How did the Holocaust eventually become a scrim of projection for other landscapes of modernity? Ultimately, Ms. Brackney was interested in exploring how the Holocaust has interacted with the most basic images and metaphors that we use to understand the modern world.

Ms. Brackney was in residence at the Mandel Center from February 1 to June 30, 2016.