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< All Fellows and Scholars

Dr. Kirsten Dyck

Dr. Kirsten Dyck
2013-2014 Cummings Foundation Fellow

“Music and Genocide”

Professional Background

Dr. Kristen Dyck is instructor in American Studies at James Madison University, Virginia. She earned her PhD in American Studies from Washington State University in 2012. Dr. Dyck is a native speaker of English, an intermediate speaker of German, and possesses basic proficiency in Russian and Latin. Recent lectures include: “Music in Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah,” at the Music in Detention Conference, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Germany) in March 2013; “‘ZOGland:’ Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories in White-Power Music,” Musicology Departmental Colloquium, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in June 2012; and “Collective Memory of the Holocaust in White-Power Song Lyrics,” Second International Graduate Students’ Conference on Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University (Worcester, MA) in March 2012. While in residence in the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Dr. Dyck conducted research on her project entitled “Music and Genocide.”

Dr. Dyck is the author of two published works: “‘The Blood of My Ancestors’: Nostalgia in White-Supremacist Hate Rock,” in Böse Macht Musik: Zur Ästhetik des Bösen in der Musik, eds. Sara R. Falke and Katharina Wisotzki (2012); and “‘Call That Justice’: White-Power Music and Censorship in the Information Age,” in White Power Music: Scenes of Extreme-Right Cultural Resistance, eds. Anton Shekhovtsov and Paul Jackson (2012). Dr. Dyck was previously awarded the Fulbright Study/Research Grant to Germany (2011-2012) and was part of the Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellows Program in 2011.

Fellowship Research

For her Cummings Foundation Fellowship Dr. Dyck examined the Museum’s archives including those that of the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda 1926-1945 and the Dienststelle Rosenberg—Überwachung der geistigen und weltanschaulichen Schulung der NSDAP Selected Records, 1934–1945 in order to show how the Nazis trained and educated members with music. Dr. Dyck also examined the Museum Library’s large collection of secondary Holocaust literature. Dr. Dyck plans to integrate the knowledge she gained from her time as a Fellow with her knowledge of music psychology to try to determine how something like music could be used to facilitate mass killing and genocide.

Dr. Kristen Dyck was in residence in the Mandel Center from April 1 to August 31, 2014.