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Volker Benkert

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Asst Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4302
Lincoln Fellow
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4302
Biography

BIO AND RESEARCH INTERESTS

Volker Benkert studied History and English at the Universities of Bonn, Edinburgh, St. Petersburg, and Fribourg. He graduated with a Master's Degree from the University of Bonn and a doctorate from the University of Potsdam. His research focuses on the impact of sudden regime change on biographies in 20th century Germany and Europe. In addition to relying on traditional sources, he utilizes extended biographical interviews. Furthermore, he is interested in the formation and function of discourses on the totalitarian past on an individual and collective level. Identifying pervasive discourse patterns particularly among ordinary Germans helps to reveal the transmission of often apologetic views of the past over generations.

TEACHING INTERESTS

Volker Benkert teaches upper-division courses in modern German and European history as well as the Western Civilization and Global History surveys. He also offers several capstone classes such as the HST498 History, Memory and National Myths: Changing European Master-Narratives of World War II. Finally, he conducts Individualized Studies projects with interested students on issues in German and German-Jewish history.

 

 

Education

Dr. Phil Universität Potsdam

Staatsexam Universität Bonn

 

Publications

Monography

  • Glückskinder der Einheit. Lebenswege der um 1970 in der DDR Geborenen. Ch. Links Verlag, Berlin 2017.

Edited Volumes in Preparation

  • Volker Benkert and Michael Mayer (eds.), Terrortimes, Terrorscapes. Temporal, Spatial and Memory Continuities of War and Genocide in 20th Century Europe, under consideration by Berghahn Books: New York for Fall 2017. This volume will include an article of mine entitled: Compartmentalized Memory: Coming to Terms with the Nazi-Past and the Discourse on German Sufferings.
  • Volker Benkert (ed.), Feinde, Freunde, Fremde? Deutsche Perspektiven auf die USA. Under contract with Tutzinger Studien zur Politik. Baden-Baden: Nomos 2017. This volume will include an article of mine entitled: „Freiheit und Freedom passen halt nicht zusammen“. Junge Ostdeutsche und die USA vor und nach 1990
  • Volker Benkert (ed.), Unsere Väter, unsere Mütter. Deutsche Generationen seit 1945, under contract with Campus Verlag Frankfurt/New York 2017. This volume will include an article of mine entitled: Die letzte DDR Generation und das Nationalsozialistische Erbe

Articles and Book Chapters

  • Kein ‚Untergang‘ der Geschichtskultur, aber auch keine Bereicherung. Über Bernd Eichingers Film der Untergang, in: Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 56. Juli/August 2005. p. 414-419.
  • The last GDR Generation? The GDR and the Process of Transformation after 1990 seen through the Eyes of East Germans born between 1967-73, in: Bernd Weisbrod, et al. (eds.), History by Generations. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag 2013, p. 195-215.
  • Jewish Studies in Germany, in: Scripta Judaica Cracoviensia 11, Fall 2013, 69-75.
  • Genormt, tradiert und kreativ verändert. Ein Kanon von Sozialisationstypen in der DDR am Beispiel der letzten DDR-Generation, in: Michael Mayer and Oksana Nagornaja, (eds.), Работа над прошлым: ХХ век в памяти послевоенных поколений России и Германии (Working on the Past: The 20th Century in Memory and Communication of Post-War Generations in Germany and Russia) Moscow: Kamennyj pojas 2014, p.164-73.
  • Performativer Wandel oder Generationelle Differenzierung? Die Letzte DDR-Generation und das Ende des Staatssozialismus, in: Michael Mayer (Deutsch-Russische Historikerkommission) (ed.), Das letzte Jahrzehnt des Staatssozialismus in der DDR und der Sowjetunion. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag 2015, p. 355-366.
  • Von der Breite und Tiefe ostdeutscher Kohortenprägungen. Warum die letzte DDR-Jugend keine Generation wurde, in: Adriana Lettrari et. al. (eds.), Die Generation der Wendekinder. Wiesbaden: Springer VS-Verlag, 2015, p. 37-54.
  • Jason Bruner, Volker Benkert, Lauren Harris, Marcie Hutchinson, Anders Erik Lundin, Developing a Critical Comparative Genocide Method, in: World History Connected 14, 2 June 2017.
  • Lauren McArthur Harris, Marcie Jergel Hutchinson, Volker Benkert, Jason Bruner, Anders Erik Lundin, Teaching, Learning, and Researching Genocide Comparatively, in: World History Connected 14, 2 June 2017.
  • Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter“ – Apologie und Erlösung von der Vergangenheit im Fernsehkrieg, in: Jens Westemeier und Roman Töppel (eds.), So war der deutsche Landser. Die populäre und populärwissenschaftliche Darstellung der Wehrmacht. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schoeningh Verlag 2017 (in print).
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 101Global History Since 1500
SGS 111Global History Since 1500
HST 429Modern Germany
HST 493Honors Thesis
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 101Global History Since 1500
SGS 111Global History Since 1500
HST 355Total War and Crisis-Modernity
HST 492Honors Directed Study
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 101Global History Since 1500
SGS 111Global History Since 1500
HST 355Total War and Crisis-Modernity
HST 499Individualized Instruction
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 101Global History Since 1500
SGS 111Global History Since 1500
HST 302Studies in History
HST 356Europe since 1945
HST 493Honors Thesis
HST 495Methods of Historical Inquiry
HST 499Individualized Instruction
HST 590Reading and Conference
HST 591Seminar
HST 790Reading and Conference
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 101Global History Since 1500
HST 104West Civ: French Rev to EU
SGS 111Global History Since 1500
HST 355Total War and Crisis-Modernity
HST 492Honors Directed Study
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 369History & Memory of Holocaust
HST 493Honors Thesis
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 101Global History Since 1500
HST 104West Civ: French Rev to EU
SGS 111Global History Since 1500
HST 355Total War and Crisis-Modernity
HST 356Europe since 1945
HST 492Honors Directed Study
HST 493Honors Thesis
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 101Global History Since 1500
HST 104Western Civilization
HST 355Total War and Crisis-Modernity
HST 493Honors Thesis
HST 499Individualized Instruction
HST 700Research Methods
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 101Global History Since 1500
HST 104Western Civilization
SGS 111Global History Since 1500
HST 355Total War and Crisis-Modernity
HST 492Honors Directed Study
HST 499Individualized Instruction
Summer 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 101Global History Since 1500
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 101Global History Since 1500
HST 356Europe since 1945
HST 370Eastern Europe in Transition
HST 498Pro-Seminar
Presentations

Invited Talks

  • “Amerikanische Perspektiven auf die Europäische Integration“, Lecture for the Excellence Program for Junior Leaders in the Bavarian State Chancellery. Vortrag im Rahmen des Exzellenz-Programms Europa für Nachwuchsführungskräfte im Rahmen der LEAT-Fortbildungen der Bayerischen Staatskanzlei, 02/25/2015
  • „Die Konstruktion ostdeutscher Generationen. Ansätze der Generationenforschung“ Keynote at the Conference: „Die Generation der Wendekinder. Elaboration eines Forschungsfeldes“at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, 02/26/2015
  • „Neue Dimensionen der generationellen Auseinandersetzung mit dem DDR-Staatssozialismus“, Andrássy Universität Budapest, 03/17/2015
  • “Vergangenheitsbewältigung im Fernsehen?” Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, 6/18/2015
  • Apologia and Redemption. German Victims and German Perpetrators in Contemporary German Film. University of Massachusetts Amherst, 10/1/2015
  • The Last Generation of the GDR and the First Generation of the Berliner Republik"? Western New England University, 10/1/2015
  • The Implosion and Afterlife of Communist East Germany, Northern Arizona University, 10/2/2015

Conference Papers

  • "Die letzte DDR-Generation und das Nationalsozialistische Erbe“, Unsere Väter, unsere Mütter. Deutsche Generationen im 20. Jahrh. Conference, Tutzing 04/2015
  • “Freiheit und Freedom passen halt nicht zusammen”, Feinde, Freunde, Fremde? Deutsche Perspektiven auf die USA nach 1945. Conference Tutzing 05/2015
  • „The new Unspeakable and the Same Old Story. Apologetic and Redemptive Tropes in Recent German Film”, Beyond Speech. Silence and the Unspeakable across Cultures. Conference at the University of Manchester, UK, 05/2015
  • „Digital Museums, Survivor Testimony, and Common Themes of Violence”. German Studies Association Conference, Washington, DC, 10/2015
  • “Testimonies of Atrocity Survivors: Creating a Comparative Framework”, Conference on Colonial Conquest in the Nazi East and the American West. Value and Limits of Comparative Approaches. Northern Arizona University, 10/2015
  • “Negotiated Spaces - Negotiated Careers – Negotiated Lives. East Germans and Late Socialism”, Conf. The Many Faces of Late Socialism, Univ. of Cologne, 05/2016.
  • „Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter.“ Apologie und Vergangenheitserlösung im Fernsehkrieg“, Conf. So war der deutsche Landser. Die populäre Darstellung der Wehrmacht. Arbeitskreis Militärgeschichte und Zentrum für Militärgeschichte der Bundeswehr, München 06/2016.
  • “Cultural Memory of the Holocaust on the Small Screen. Apologia and Redemption in German Contemporary Film”, Conf. British Association for Holocaust Studies, University College London, 07/2016.
  • Volker Benkert. "Apologia and Redemption in the TV miniseries ‘Our Fathers, our Mothers". Terrortimes, Terrorscapes? Temporal, Spatial and Memory Continuities of War and Genocide in 20th Cen (Jul 2014).
  • Volker Benkert. "Apologia and Redemption: Contemporary German Filmmakers and the Evolution of Perpetrators into Victims",. Historical Justice and Memory Conference, Dec 5-7, 2013, Columbia University New York (Dec 2013).
  • Volker Benkert. "Manichean Memory. German Crimes, German Sufferings, and the Third Generation". German Studies Association Conference, Denver, CO (Oct 2013).
  • Volker Benkert. "Performativer Wandel oder Generationelle Differenzierung? Die Letzte DDR-Generation und das Ende des Staatssozialismus". Akademie für Politische Bildung, Das letzte Jahrzehnt des Sozialismus in der DDR und der Sowjetunion (Jul 2013).
  • Volker Benkert. Compartmentalized Memory: Coming to Terms with the Nazi-Past and the Discourse on German Sufferings". ASU Conafernce Memory and Countermemory: For an Open Future (Nov 2012).
  • Volker Benkert. "Jewish Studies in Contemporary Germany". ASU Jewish Studies, Revival of Jewish Studies in Eastern Europe (Nov 2012).
  • Volker Benkert. "The Foreign Mirror. The last GDR Generation and its Encounter with the Nazi Past". German Studies Association Conference, Louisville, KY (Oct 2011).
  • Volker Benkert. The GDR and the Process of Transformation after 1990 seen through the eyes of the last GDR Generation. German Historical Institute Washington. Conference History by Generations (Dec 2010).
  • Lisa Parisi, Carolyn Moss and Volker Benkert. Through his Own Eyes: Victor Klemperer's Observations on Ordinary Germans and his Self-Perception as a German. 1933-1949. German Studies Association Conference Oakland, CA (Oct 2010).
  • Volker Benkert. 1939-1989-2009. A Seventy Year Retrospective on Eastern Europe, Nov 9th 2009. ASU SHRPS. Launch (Nov 2009).
  • Volker Benkert. Biographies in Transisiton. The last Children of the GDR. German Studies Association Conference (Oct 2009).
  • Volker Benkert. Biographies in Transistion. The last Children of the GDR. ASU Faculty Brown Bag Talk (Apr 2009).
Honors / Awards

Conferences Organized

  • Member of the Organization Committee for the Conference “Revival and New Directions?: Jewish Arts in German Speaking Countries, Fall 2010
  • Co-Organizer together with Michael Mayer of the International Conference Terrortimes, Terrorscapes? Temporal, Spatial and Memory Continuities of War and Genocide in 20th Century Europe, Akademie für Politische Bildung, Tutzing Germany, August 1-4, 2014
  • Organizer of the International Conference “Unsere Väter, unsere Mütter. Deutsche Generationen im 20. Jahrhundert”, Akademie für Politische Bildung, Tutzing Germany, 4/24-26, 2015
  • Organizer of the International Conference “Feinde, Freunde, Fremde? Deutsche Perspektiven auf die USA” Akademie für Politische Bildung, Tutzing, 5/15-17, 2015
  • Co-Organizer together with Jason Bruner of the International Comparative Genocide Symposium, Arizona State University 10/23-25, 2015

 

Service to the Field

  • Conference Section Moderation for the Rocky Mountain European Scholars Consortium (RMESC), Session C - Who are the Germans? October 2007
  • Member of Arizona Holocaust Education Initiative, 2009-10
  • Commentator at the German Studies Conference 2013 for Panel on Memory and Transnationalism
  • Speaker ASU Institute for Humanities Research: Lecture on Digital Futures for Humanities, Oct 2014. “Digital Humanities, the Public, and the Museum”, with Jason Bruner and Lauren Harris

 

Service at Arizona State University

  • Mentored or co-mentored seven ASU Honors Theses and more than 35 honors contracts at Arizona State University 2007-present
  • Co-mentored two Master’s Thesis: ‘Transnational Literary Identities in Eastern Europe’, ASU English Department, Spring 2008 and “Exploring the Benefits of Employing Comics in the Language Classroom”, ASU School of International Letters and Cultures, Spring 2015
  • Search Committee Member for Senior Lecturer in German, SILC, Spring 2010
  • Speaker at German Film Series, Spring 2012
  • Member of the Fulbright Selection Committee at ASU, 2011-present
  • Obama-Scholar Mentor, 2012-2014
  • Member advisory committee for Grossman Lectures in Jewish Studies, 2012-14
  • Member of the University General Studies Council, 2012-2013
  • Member of the Undergraduate Studies Committee / History, 2012-present
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies in History, since Fall 2015
  • ASU IHR Seed Grant Workshop, speaker together with Jason Bruner, Jan 2016
  • ASU Institute for the Science of Learning and Teaching Showcase. Presenter together with Jason Bruner on Comparative Genocide in the Classroom, Jan. 2016

 

Teacher Training Workshops Organization

  • Free State of Bavaria. Teacher Training Workshop. Akademie für Politische Bildung Tutzing in collaboration with the Akademie für Lehrerfortbildung und Personalführung Dillingen. “Geschichte der Europäischen Integration”, 2/9-13. 2015
  • Free State of Bavaria. Teacher Training Workshop. Akademie für Politische Bildung Tutzing in collaboration with the Akademie für Lehrerfortbildung und Personalführung Dillingen. “Geschichte des Nahostkonflikts”, 5/4.-8. 2015
  • Arizona State University. Teacher Training Workshop. “Teaching the Holocaust and other Genocides Comparatively Using Digital Tools”. Together with Jason Bruner, Marcie Hutchinson, Lauren Harris, Anti-Defamation League, the USC Shoah Foundation and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

 

Outreach Activities

  • Led outreach program to Mountain Pointe High School, Phoenix, ‘The Persecuted Spouse. Intermarried German Jews from 1933 to 1950’ Spring and Fall 2009
  • Martin Luther and Germany. Supervised student research of members of the Lutheran Campus Ministry together with Pastor McCluskey. Spring 2010
  • Speaker at the Arizona Academic Decathlon, Fall 2011
  • Speaker at the Arizona History Education Council, Fall 13. “Holocaust Education”
  • Panel discussion “Deceptive Images: Nazi Propaganda, World War II, and the Holocaust” March 20, 2014. Burton Barr Central Library, Phoenix
  • Speaker at the Arizona History Education Council, Fall 2014 together with Jason Bruner. “Teaching Genocide Comparatively”
  • Invited Lecture at the Salon Spirit of the Senses in Scottsdale, AZ. “25 Years after the Berlin Wall.”, August 2014
  • Interview for Deseret News, UT “Faith Remains Fragile in East Germany” 10/2014
  • Speaker at the Arizona History Education Council Conference, Fall 2015 together with Lauren Harris and Marcie Hutchinson. “Using Digital Media and Digital Tools to teach Genocide Comparatively”
  • Volker Benkert, Apologia and Redemption: WWII in contemporary German Film. Presentation for ASU Osher Lifelong Learning, December 2015.
  • Volker Benkert, Comparative Genocide in the Classroom, Presentation at the Educators Conference on the Holocaust, Scottsdale February 2016.

 

Expertise Areas