The UCLA Fritz, Jenny, and Gustav Berger Fellowship in Holocaust Studies

The UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies is pleased to announce the Fritz, Jenny, and Gustav Berger Fellowship in Holocaust Studies. The Fellowship is open to any UCLA doctoral student engaged in Holocaust related research including, but not limited to:

  • Comparative literary and cultural approaches to Holocaust memory and representation.
  • The evolution of knowledge of, and disciplinary approaches to, the Holocaust.
  • The near destruction and revival of Yiddish language, literature, and historiography.
  • The “universalization” of the Holocaust and its relation to other instances of genocide.
  • Understudied areas of research on the borders of the Holocaust.

2019-2020 applications coming soon

2017-2018 Recipient

Benjamin Ratskoff [Comp. Lit.] is working on a dissertation project that brings the fields of Holocaust memory studies and Black Marxist scholarship together. The field of Holocaust memory studies naturally centers on the period following the Nazi Holocaust. Shifting focus towards the period of the Nazi’s rise and height of power, however, brings the field’s important interventions around trauma and memory in dialogue with black writers who perceived in Nazism an uncanny repetition of their own traumas of slavery and colonialism. These writers challenged the uniqueness and singularity of the Nazi Holocaust avant la lettre. Bringing them in dialogue with Holocaust memory studies illustrates how their critiques of Nazism also work to represent memories of slavery and colonialism. At the same time, Black Marxist scholarship often overlooks the particularly Jewish experience of Nazi violence in its effort to integrate Nazism into a genealogy of colonialism and racial capitalism. However, putting this scholarship in dialogue with the memory work of Holocaust survivors brings Jewish voices into debates about Nazism’s colonial pedigree. Bringing together these fields in his dissertation project clarifies the position of Jews and the Nazi Holocaust within a global system of racial violence and, in doing so, urgently recalibrates our understandings of antisemitism, colonialism, and white supremacy in more complex and shifting terrain.

The Berger Fellowship provides a full year of support and was endowed by Ellen Goodhill in memory of her parents who found refuge from Nazi-occupied Europe in Shanghai.