Kerstin Barndt

Associate Professor, German, University of Michigan

Kerstin Barndt studied German literature, philosophy, and linguistics. Her research and teaching focuses on the literary and visual cultures of the long twentieth century. Sentiment and Sobriety. The New Woman Novel in the Weimar Republic, Barndt’s first book, explores the intersections between gender, literary form, and an emerging “middle sphere” within Germany’s literary public after WWI. The project’s particular emphasis on gender theory and women’s history has also opened doors to the museum world. At Dresden’s Hygiene Museum (Museum of Hygiene), Barndt curated exhibits on the history of abortion, and the birth control pill. The experience of working with an interdisciplinary team of scholars, artists, and museum educators, inspired Barndt to broaden her approach to scholarly inquiry. At the University of Michigan, she currently teaches not only classes on Weimar modernism and Nazi culture, on memory, history, and the arts in Berlin’s long twentieth century, but also on museum studies and material culture.

Her current book manuscript, Exhibition Time. History, Aesthetics, and Memory undertakes a journey through Germany’s post-unification landscape with its ever-expanding number of museums, memorial sites, and exhibitions. The cutting edge exhibition sites selected for this study work through the tensions between national representation and regional revival, globalization, deindustrialization, and migration. Barndt analyzes these projects with an eye on their specific representations of time and history.

Her latest book, Weimar Publics/Weimar Subjects. Rethinking the Political Culture of Germany in the 1920s, co-edited together with Kathleen Canning and Kristin McGuire, was published in 2010 by Berghahn Books.

–> University of Michigan staff page


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