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< All Fellows and Scholars

Dr. Shirli Gilbert

Dr. Shirli Gilbert
2004-2005 Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Fellow

"Music in the Nazi Camps and Ghettos"

Professional Background

Professor Shirli Gilbert received a Ph.D. in history and an M.A. in music from the University of Oxford, and a B.A. with Distinction in music from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. During her fellowship at the Museum, she was Assistant Professor of History and the Michigan Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. For her Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Fellowship, Professor Gilbert conducted research on “Music in the Nazi Camps and Ghettos.”

Professor Gilbert is the author of Music in the Holocaust: Confronting Life in the Nazi Ghettos and Camps (Oxford University Press, 2005) as well as scholarly articles including “Songs Contest the Past: Music in KZ Sachsenhausen” in Contemporary European History (vol. 13, no. 3, 2004) and “Music as Historical Source: Social History and Musical Texts” in International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music (vol. 36, no. 1, 2005). She is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards and fellowships including the Angus Macintyre Prize from Magdalen College, University of Oxford; Dean’s Medal from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; and the South African Association of University Women Prize for the top female graduate. Professor Gilbert is also Honorary Research Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Fellowship Research

During her tenure at the Center, Professor Gilbert conducted research for a book project which was a continuation of her research on music created under Nazi internment. She focused on social life in the camps and ghettos, and explored how various social and political factors affected the ways in which different groups could make use of music. Professor Gilbert studied the Museum’s Aleksandr Kulisiewicz collection and the Ringelblum archive.

Professor Gilbert was in residence at the Mandel Center from May 15 to August 15, 2005.