Esther Adaire

Adjunct Instructor

Esther Adaire is a PhD candidate and teaching fellow at the Graduate Center, CUNY, in the field of Modern European History. She also holds an MA in History and a BA in Theatre & Performance, both from Goldsmiths, University of London. Her doctoral research focuses on the rise of a new far-right in Germany since 1989, in particular relation to how this has been shaped by - and in turn has shaped - a politics of memory surrounding the crimes of National Socialism, the process of reckoning with the past, and East German traumas following unification. Related topics of research encompass neo-Nazi underground networks (including the music scene); far-right activities within the German military and security services; memory of the German Democratic Republic; and disinformation campaigns. She has published papers on the topics of neo-Nazism in the early years of German unification, and the dissolution of East German memory (see below).

At Cooper she teaches/has taught classes on the making of modern society, and global politics since 1989. Elsewhere she has taught classes on Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, and its aftermath, as well as comparative fascisms. 

Prior to entering academia, she was a DJ in the post-punk music scenes of London and Berlin.


“Destroying German History: The Work of Heiner Müller as a Challenge to Public Memory,” in Comminications of the International Brecht Society, Issue 2020:1 (April 2020)

“This Other Germany, the Dark One." Post-Wall Memory Politics Surrounding the Neo-Nazi Riots in Rostock and Hoyerswerda’ in German Politics and Society, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Winter 2019), pp. 43-57



  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

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