Raul Hilberg Fellow Ms. Ursula Knoll
Ursula Knoll is a Ph.D. candidate in German studies at the University of Vienna, where she also received an M.A. in German studies and a B.A. in Jewish studies and romance studies. For her Raul Hilberg Fellowship, she conducted research for her project, “Figurations of Sexuality and Race: Reading Nazi Perpetrators in Literature.”
Ms. Knoll worked as a research assistant at the University of Vienna, was an assistant lecturer in German studies at Arabjewa University in Kyrgysztan, and has worked as a German language teacher for several adult education institutions in Austria and Serbia. In addition, she is a playwright in Austria and Germany focusing on the intersection of theatre and academic discourse. A native speaker of German, she is fluent in English and has language skills in French, Hebrew and Russian.
During her tenure at the Center, Ms. Knoll conducted research on the sexualized portrayals of National Socialist perpetrators in three novels: Edgar Hilsenrath’s The Nazi and the Barber (1971), Bernhard Schlink’s The Reader (1997), and Jonathan Littell’s Les Bienveillants (2006). Within this project, she was interested in identifying the functions of gender and sexuality by which the writing of history has been limited within fictional literary and theoretical discourses. Her research sought to question the intersections of sexuality and race in Holocaust literature and their connections to the Nazi management of sexuality and ideology of race. To complete her research, Ms. Knoll read a variety of books available at the Museum as well as archival documents pertaining to the Sicherheitsdienst (NS Security Service), the Einsatzgruppen, and the Lebensborn association.
Ms. Knoll was in residence at the Mandel Center from September 1 to December 30, 2010.