HSS Faculty Focus: Trauma, Privilege, and Adventure

Tuesday, November 7, 2023, 12:15 - 2pm

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Atina Grossmann, professor of history in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, discusses the ambivalent, paradoxical, and diverse experiences, emotions, and memories of Jews who found refuge from National Socialism and the Holocaust in India and Iran after 1933 as part of talk entitled, "Trauma, Privilege, and Adventure: Jewish Refugees Between ‘Orient’ and European Catastrophe." Always shadowed by the emerging European catastrophe, uprooted Jews were also precariously privileged as white Europeans, in non-western, colonial, or semi-colonial societies. An extensive collection of family correspondence and memorabilia extending from wartime Nazi Berlin throughout the global diaspora of German Jewry as well as archival, literary, visual, and oral history sources illuminates refugees’ everyday lives, in the changing context of interwar fascination and contact with the “Orient,” global war against fascism, anti-colonial independence movements, and gradual revelations about the destruction of the European world they had escaped.

The HSS Faculty Focus series is held in The Cooper Union Library.

Professor Grossmann's current research focuses on “Trauma: Privilege, Adventure in Transit: Jewish Refugees from National Socialism in Iran, India, and Central Asia in Transnational Context.” She has been recently appointed to the Editorial Board of the American Historical Review (journal of the American Historical Association, HA) and to the Editorial Advisory Board of Holocaust and Genocide Studies (journal of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum) and Member of the Scholars Advisory Board of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Battery Park, NYC. She received a Ph.D. from Rutgers University and a B.A. from The City University of New York.

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