Sanna Stegmaier, a second-year joint PhD student in German Studies and Cultural Studies at King’s College, London and Humboldt University, Berlin, has been awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2018-2019 Center Graduate Research Fellowship competition at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. She will arrive at the Center for her two-week residency near the end of August and in addition to conducting research in the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive, she will consult with staff from the Dimensions in Testimony team.
During her time at the Center, Stegmaier will be researching the ways in which “contemporary witness projects…[function] as agents of transnational and transgenerational Holocaust memory in the digital age.” She aims to conceptualize projects such as Dimensions in Testimony, which she calls posttestimony, as original, self-reflective forms of engagement that pose new ethical questions for the field of memory studies and Holocaust education. Stegmaier’s research at the Center will be used as the basis for the third chapter of her dissertation, tentatively titled Posttestimonial Holocaust Memory between the Discursive and the Emotive – A Case study of European and US Witness Projects in the Digital Age.
Stegmaier earned her B.A. in Theatre, Film and Media Studies from the University of Vienna, Austria and her M.A. in Comparative Literature from the same university. Her research interests include Holocaust and genocide studies, memory and trauma studies and 20th century Austrian, German and U.S. literature and culture. She is fluent in German and English, with proficiency in French, Hebrew and Latin. Her publications include “From the Posttraumatic to the Posttestimonial – Doron Rabinovici’s Die letzten Zeugen (2013) between Discursive and Emotive Holocaust Memory” (2018) and “The Shadow of the Falling Man as an End of (Im)mediate Trauma” (2013).
Stegmaier has been awarded numerous fellowships and grants, including the AHRC London Arts and Humanities Partnership Modern Languages Research Studentship, which provided her with a doctoral research stipend for three and a half years. She has presented her work at conferences held by the American Comparative Literature Association, the Network for Memory Studies, and the Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland. In addition to her research experience, Stegmaier has taught several courses in the German department at King’s College, London.
The Center Graduate Research Fellowship enables advanced-standing PhD candidates from any discipline to spend a month in residence at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research to advance dissertation research through the use of the Visual History Archive (VHA) and other USC resources. Stegmaier earned an honorable mention in the 2018-2019 competition because of her innovative research in the area of digital genocide studies, one of the Center’s three core research themes, and because of the value to her research that the in-depth consultation enabled by the award will provide.