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Research Interests for Claudia Koonz

Research Interests: Contemporary Islamophobia, Nazi racial politics, genocide

How does it happen that citizens who consider themselves deeply moral can believe that some of their fellow citizens embody a danger so lethal that they must be eliminated? In "The Nazi Conscience," I examined public culture during the so-called normal years of the Third Reich (1933-1939) and identified the key role of popular racial science and expert opinion in convincing mainstream Germans that Jews, homosexuals, Roma (Gypsies) were so "alien" that they scarcely counted as human at all. In my current research I ask similar questions about contemporary Europeans' reactions to Muslim women who wear the headscarf, or "hijab." I am less concerned with fanatics' hate speech than with the subtle prejudices common in generally liberal milieus. Identifying visual and textual representations of the "hijab" in mass-market media, I analyze the production of ethnic panic in countries where immigration is economically essential, but immigrants are culturally marginalized. In my research and courses, I examine the formation of ethnic fears that endow the "us" with the conviction they have been summoned to rid the world of an evil "them."

Keywords:
antisemitism, ethnic fundamentalism, Feminism, France, Germany, hijab, Islam, islamophobia, Nazi genocide
Current projects:
Ethnic identity formation as manifested in experts', politicians', and feminists' responses to women wearing Muslim headscarves public spaces.
Areas of Interest:

comparative genocides
history of Nazi racial policies
Gender in historiography of Nazi Germany
gender and ethnic violence

Recent Publications   (search)
  1. C. Koonz, Agency, Gender, and Race in Nazi Germany, in Gender Politics and Mass Dictatorships: Between Mobilization and Liberation, Korean edition (I can't read the name of the Press), edited by Jie-Hyun Lim and Karen Petrone (Fall, 2010), pp. 61-91, Blackwell will release English ed on Jan 11, 2011, http://bookshop.blackwell.co.uk/jsp/id/Gender_Politics_and_Mass_Dictatorship/9780230242043#synopsis, ISBN 9788958623052 [abs]
  2. C. Koonz, What Can a Document Tell Us?, edited by David Scrace (2010), Center for Holocaust Studies, University of Vermont (..)
  3. C. Koonz, Hijab: A Word in Motion, in Words in Motion: Toward a Global Lexicon, edited by Anna Tsing and Carol Gluck (2009), Duke University Press, ISBN [ISBN13 978-0-8223-4536-7] [books.php3]
  4. C. Koonz, NEBENSTRANG UND HAUPTSTRÖMUNG:, in Geschlecht in moderner deutschen Geschichte, edited by Karen Hagemann and Jean H. Quataert (2008), Campus, Frankfurt a.M., ISBN 3 593 38 3829
  5. C. Koonz, A Tributary and a Mainstream: Gender, Public Memory, and the Historiography of Nazi Germany, in Gendering Modern German History, edited by Karen Hagemann and Jean H. Quataert (2008), pp. 147-168, Berghahn, Oxford and New York, ISBN 9 781845 45 2070 (www.berghahnbooks.com.)

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