Diane and Howard Wohl Fellowship Dr. Alexander Joskowicz
Dr. Ari Joskowicz is Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University (USA). He received his PhD in History from the University of Chicago in 2008. While he publishes and teaches mostly in English and German, he also works in French, Dutch, Hebrew, and Yiddish. During his residence at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Dr. Joskowicz conducted research on his project entitled “Jews and Romanies: An Entangled History.”
Dr. Joskowicz’s project at the Center emerged from his interest in the interplay between Jewish history and transnational minority politics since the Enlightenment. Before embarking on the current project, he was working mostly on the relationship between modern Jewish politics and secularist polemics. His publications on that subject include The Modernity of Others: Jewish Anti-Catholicism in Germany and France (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014) and “Heinrich Heine’s Transparent Masks: Denominational Politics and the Poetics of Emancipation in Nineteenth-Century Germany and France” for the German Studies Review (2011), which won the GSA/DAAD article prize in 2013.
For his Diane and Howard Wohl Fellowship Dr. Joskowicz examined how the persecution of Jews and Romanies (Gypsies or Roma) during the twentieth century, specifically in the Holocaust, entangled the history and memories of these distinct groups. A vast majority of primary sources related to the persecution and destruction of Roma during the Holocaust are housed by institutions that were built to preserve the memories of Jews, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. As such, Dr. Joskowicz sought to examine the museum’s collections relating to the suffering of both Jews and Romanies and how Jewish activists and scholars helped create, store, and represent new knowledge about the fate of Europe’s Romani populations. He traced these efforts from the earliest attempts of European restitution agencies to record the fate of Romani victims in the late 1940s, to the work of individuals such as Simon Wiesenthal since the 1960s, to the efforts of major archives and museums in the present.
Dr. Joskowicz was in residence in the Center from October 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014.