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Anna Holian

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SUM/WTR Faculty Other
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4302
Biography

 

Associate Professor, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

 

Research

Anna Holian is a cultural, social, and political historian of twentieth-century Europe, with a special interest in the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. Her other key research interests are migration and displacement; architecture, urban planning, and city life; nationalism and internationalism; and film studies. Her geographical area of specialization is Germany. However, her work ranges broadly across continental Europe and has a strong comparative and transnational dimension.

Holian's first book, entitled Between National Socialism and Soviet Communism: Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany, tackles the big question of how Europeans made sense of the Second World War. It examines how Eastern European refugees in postwar Germany defined and represented themselves. Focusing on Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, and Jewish refugees, it explores how divergent historical narratives about the war, especially wartime encounters with Nazi and Soviet power, formed the basis for the development of distinct displaced political communities.

She is currently working on two new book-length research projects. The first, entitled "Reconstructing Livelihoods after Genocide: Jewish Shops and Shopkeepers in Postwar Germany," examines how Jewish survivors established themselves in trade in West Germany during the first two postwar decades and considers what role their businesses played in the reconstruction of Jewish life more generally. It also considers how survivors’ personal economic histories mapped onto the larger economic history of postwar West Germany. It challenges the prevailing view that Jews in postwar Germany were “sojourners,” temporary residents who were prepared to leave—and abandon their businesses—at the earliest opportunity. Combining economic and spatial history, it treats Jewish businesses both as economic ventures and as interventions in the postwar urban built environment.

Her second project, “Europe’s War Children: A Cinematic History," explores how postwar European filmmakers addressed what was perceived as one of the critical issues of the day: “war children.” Combining historical and film studies methodologies, it examines how the “problem” of war children was represented in popular culture and how popular cultural understandings drew on and fed discussions among politicians, social workers, and medical professionals.

Holian is also involved in a large collaborative research project entitled “Geographies of the Holocaust.” Based at Middlebury College and Texas State University, the project brings together historians, art historians, and geographers to explore how spatial methods of analysis can enhance our knowledge of the Holocaust. Together with the geographer Alberto Giordano, she has examined spatio-temporal patterns of flight and deportation in Italy during the period of German occupation. The results of their research were published in Geographies of the Holocaust, ed. Anne Kelly Knowles, Tim Cole, and Alberto Giordano (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014). More information about the project can be found at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website:  

http://www.ushmm.org/learn/mapping-initiatives/geographies-of-the-holocaust

A visualization for the Italian case study can also be found at the Stanford Spatial History Project website:

http://www.stanford.edu/group/spatialhistory/cgi-bin/site/viz.php?id=383&project_id=1015

 

Selected Publications

Books

Between National Socialism and Soviet Communism: Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany, in the series Social History, Popular Culture, and Politics in Germany, ed. Geoff Eley (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2011)

 

Articles and Book Chapters

“The Architecture of Jewish Trade in Postwar Germany: Jewish Shops and Shopkeepers between Provisionality and Permanence,” Jewish Social Studies 23:1 (Fall 2017), 101-133

“Jews, Foreigners, and the Space of the Postwar Economy: The Case of Munich’s Möhlstrasse,” in Space and Spatiality in Modern German-Jewish History, ed. Simone Lässig and Miriam Rürup (Oxford: Berghahn, 2017), 263-79

A Missing Narrative: Displaced Persons in the History of Postwar West Germany,” in Migration, Memory, and Diversity in Germany after 1945, ed. Cornelia Wilhelm (Oxford: Berghahn, 2016), 32-55

“Retracing the ‘Hunt for Jews’: A Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Arrests during the Holocaust in Italy,” with Alberto Giordano, in Geographies of the Holocaust, ed. Anne Kelly Knowles, Tim Cole, and Alberto Giordano (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014), 53-86

“Introduction: The Refugee in the Postwar World, 1945-60,” with G. Daniel Cohen, Journal of Refugee Studies 25:3 (September 2012), 313-25

"The Ambivalent Exception: American Occupation Policy in Postwar Germany and the Formation of Jewish Refugee Spaces," Journal of Refugee Studies 25:3 (September 2012), 452-73

“Anticommunism in the Streets: Refugee Politics in Cold War Germany,”  Journal of Contemporary History 45:1 (January 2010), 134-161

“Between Nationalism and Internationalism: Displaced Persons at the UNRRA University of Munich," in Diaspora Identities: Exile, Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism in Past and Present, ed. Susanne Lachenicht and Kerstin Heinsohn (Chicago: University of Chicago Press/Campus Verlag, 2009), 109-29

“Displacement and the Postwar Reconstruction of Education: Displaced Persons at the UNRRA University of Munich, 1945-1948,” Contemporary European History 17:2 (May 2008), 167-95

“From Political Prisoners to Displaced Persons: Nationalism, Anti-Communism, and Ambivalence in the Formation of a Polish DP Community,” in Beyond Camps and Forced Labour: Current International Research on Survivors of Nazi Persecution, edited by Johannes-Dieter Steinert and Inge Weber-Newth (Osnabrück: Secolo, 2008)

The Hidden Child: Jewish Children and the Holocaust in Fred Zinnemann’s The Search (1948)" (under review), 35 mss pages

 

Teaching

Holian's teaching focuses on modern German and European history and the history of migration. She regularly teach courses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Germany, the Holocaust, European fascism, Europe since 1945, migration in modern Europe, and history and film.

Education

University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Ph.D. History with distinction, 2005
M.A. History, 1997
B.A. History with general and departmental honors, 1990

 

Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 640Historical Methods
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 495Methods of Historical Inquiry
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 640Historical Methods
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 304Studies in European History
HST 590Reading and Conference
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 294Special Topics
HST 495Methods of Historical Inquiry
HST 598Special Topics
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 304Studies in European History
HST 356Europe since 1945
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 304Studies in European History
HST 499Individualized Instruction
HST 500Research Methods
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 429Modern Germany
HST 493Honors Thesis
HST 495Methods of Historical Inquiry
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 492Honors Directed Study
HST 495Methods of Historical Inquiry
HST 499Individualized Instruction
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 304Studies in European History
Service
  • Rookie Camp: A Seminar on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Participant (2005 - 2005)
  • Visiting Committee to the Social Sciences Division of the University of Chicago, Presenter (2002 - 2002)