Simone Lässig

Director of the German Historical Institute in Washington/DC with its Pacific Regional Office at University of California Berkeley

Thomas Lindenberger

Director of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarianism Studies  and Professor at the TU Dresden


Lauren Heidbrink

Heidbrink is an anthropologist and associate professor of human development at the California State University, Long Beach. She is author of Migrant Youth, Transnational Families, and the State: Care and Contested Interests (University of Pennsylvania Press 2014), an ethnography on unaccompanied child migration and detention in the United States. Her second book Migranthood: Youth in a new era of deportation (Stanford University Press 2020; published in Spanish with UNAM-CIMSUR 2021) examines the deportation of Indigenous youth in Central America and its enduring impacts on young people, their families and transnational communities. Heidbrink’s research has been supported by a National Science Foundation, Wenner Gren Foundation, and an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship. She was awarded the Fulbright Schuman 70th Anniversary Scholar Award to conduct comparative research on child migration in Greece, Italy, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. She is co-founder and editor of Youth Circulations, a nexus for research, art and activism dedicated to examining the real and imagined circulations of global youth.

Mahshid Mayar

A literary critic and a cultural historian of the US, Mahshid Mayar is an assistant professor of American Studies at Universität Bielefeld. Currently, she is also a research associate at the English Department, Amherst College, Massachusetts. Mahshid’s current research and teaching interests lie in 21st-century poetry of protest, silence and absence, new empire studies, 19th-century cultural history of the US, historical childhood studies, and history of race and racialization. In Erasure: Poetics, Politics, Performance, which is the title of her Habilitation/second-book project, Mahshid interrogates the intercutting of the empire’s politics and poetics in 21st-century examples of poetry of erasure. Mahshid is the author of numerous works on the entangled histories of childhood, empire, and education in the United States, including her first book, Citizens and Rulers of the World: The American Child and the Cartographic Pedagogies of Empire that has been published by the University of North Carolina Press. Together with Marion Schulte (English linguistics, Rostock), Mahshid has edited the essay collection Silence and Its Derivatives: Conversations Across Disciplines (in press with Palgrave Macmillan). Mahshid has held fellowships at the University of Georgetown, Washington, D.C., and at Amherst College, Massachusetts.



Natalia Aleksiun

Dr. Natalia Aleksiun is the Harry Rich Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Florida, Gainesville. She holds doctoral degrees from Warsaw University, Poland, and NYU, U.S. She specializes in the social, political, and cultural history of modern East European and Polish Jewry and the Holocaust. Aleksiun has written extensively on the history of Polish Jews, the Holocaust, Jewish intelligentsia in East Central Europe, Polish-Jewish relations, and modern Jewish historiography. In addition to her 2021 book Conscious History: Polish Jewish Historians before the Holocaust (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization), she is the author of Dokad dalej? Ruch syjonistyczny w Polsce 1944–1950 (Where To? The Zionist Movement in Poland, 1944–1950) (Warsaw, 2002) and co-editor of several volumes, including Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, vol. 29: Writing Jewish History in Eastern Europe (2017) (with Brian Horowitz and Antony Polonsky) and European Holocaust Studies, vol. 3: Places, Spaces and Voids in the Holocaust (2021) (with Hana Kubátová). She edited a critical edition of Gerszon Taffet’s Zagłada Żydów żółkiewskich (2019). She also serves as co-editor of East European Jewish Affairs. Currently, she is completing a new book about Jews in hiding in eastern Galicia during the Holocaust.

Antoine Burgard

Antoine Burgard is a lecturer in contemporary history of humanitarianism at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (University of Manchester). He was previously a postdoctoral fellow of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah in Paris. He holds a History PhD from Université Lumière Lyon 2 and Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). His dissertation has received the Fondation Auschwitz (2018), the French Association for Canadian Studies (2018), the International Council for Canadian Studies (2019), and the UQAM’s Faculty of Humanities (2019) best doctoral thesis awards. He has also conducted a 2-year oral history project with the Fondation Claude Levy in Strasbourg that aimed to collect testimonies of Holocaust survivors in France and the United-Kingdom. He is currently developing a new project on age and migration control in Britain and Canada, in collaboration with the John Rylands Research Institute and the Centre for the History of Science Technology and Medicine in Manchester.

Kimberly Cheng

Kimberly Cheng is a PhD Candidate in the Joint PhD Program in Hebrew and Judaic Studies/History at New York University. Her dissertation focuses on encounters between Central European Jewish refugees and their Chinese neighbors in WWII Shanghai and has been supported by the USC Shoah Foundation, Leo Baeck Institute, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She holds an M.S. Ed from the University of Pennsylvania.

Anca Cretu

Doina Anca Cretu is a historian of foreign aid, migration, and human rights. Her work is at the intersection between international history and modern history of Central and Eastern Europe. She is currently a Research Fellow within the ERC Consolidator Grant “Unlikely Refuge? Refugees and citizens in East-Central Europe during the Twentieth Century,” hosted by Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Anca holds a PhD in International History at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and was previously a 2019-2020 Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. She also held visiting positions at University of Oxford, Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is currently working on her first monograph, preliminarily titled In Quest of an Ideal: Foreign Aid and State Building in Interwar Romania.

Laura Hobson Faure

Laura Hobson Faure is a professor at the Panthéon-Sorbonne University-Paris 1, where she holds the chair of Modern Jewish history and is a member of the Center for Social History (UMR 8058). She is the author of A Jewish Marshall Plan: the American Jewish Presence in Post-Holocaust France (in French, Armand Colin, 2013; Indiana University Press, 2022) and Ambiguous Rescue: The Migrations of Central European Jewish Children through France to the United States, 1938-1942 (forthcoming). She also co-edited L’Œuvre de Secours aux Enfants et les populations juives au XXème siècle. Prévenir et Guérir dans un siècle de violences and a collective volume on Children without Families in Twentieth Century Conflicts (forthcoming in French, editions CNRS).

Sheer Ganor

Sheer Ganor is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Sheer Ganor is a historian of German-speaking Jewry and modern Germany. Her work focuses on the nexus of forced migration, memory and cultural identities. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled “In Scattered Formation: Displacement, Alignment and the German-Jewish Diaspora.” This study traces the emergence of a transnational diasporic network of Jewish refugees who escaped Nazi Germany and its annexed territories. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Sheer held a postdoctoral research fellowship at the German Historical Institute. She has published in the Journal of Contemporary History, the German Historical Institute Bulletin Supplement and others. Her research has been supported by a variety of institutions, including the Central European History Society and the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes.

Olga Gnydiuk

Currently I am a postdoctoral researcher at the CEU working on the topic of welfare provision for working mothers and children in the project “ZARAH: Women’s Labour Activism in Eastern Europe and Transnationally, From the Age of Empires to the Late 20th century”. In 2019 I have defended a PhD dissertation titled “Who is a ‘Ukrainian’ child? UNRRA/IRO welfare workers and the politics of unaccompanied children of presumed Ukrainian origin in the aftermath of WWII (1945-1952)” at the European University Institute. Now I am working on turning my dissertation in a book manuscript. I also received a master degree in history at the EUI (2014) and in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge (2012).

Bettina Hitzer

Bettina Hitzer is Heisenberg Fellow at the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarianism Studies at the Technical University Dresden as well as Privatdozentin at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. From 2014-2020, she was Leader of the Minerva Research Group “Emotions and Illness: Histories of an Intricate Relation” at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. She was awarded the 2020 Leipzig Book Fair Prize for her most recent book, Krebs fühlen (2020) [English edition: Cancer and Emotions in Twentieth Century Germany, OUP 2022]. She is the author or (co-)editor of nine books, most recently Feeling Disease in Modern History: Experiencing Medicine and Illness (with Rob Boddice; Bloomsbury 2022) and In unsere Mitte genommen. Adoption im 20. Jahrhundert (with Benedikt Stuchtey; Wallstein 2022) as well as four special issues including “History of Science and the Emotions” (Osiris, 2016). Currently, she works on a research project about the post-1945 history of adoption in East and West Germany.

Friederike Kind-Kovács

PD. Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovacs is a senior researcher at the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarianism Studies at TU Dresden and a lecturer at Regensburg University. In 2019 she won the “Regensburg Prize for Women in Academia and the Arts.” In the past, she held the Senior Botstiber Fellowship at IAS Budapest and a Fellowship at the Imre Kertész Kolleg in Jena. She is the author of Written Here, Published There: How Underground Literature Crossed the Iron Curtain (CEU Press, 2014), a monograph for which she won the University of Southern California Book Prize in Cultural and Literary Studies in 2015. She also co-edited From the Midwife’s Bag to the Patient’s File: Public Health in Eastern Europe (CEU, 2017) and Samizdat, Tamizdat and Beyond. Transnational media during and after socialism (Berghahn, 2013). Her second monograph Budapest’s Children: Humanitarian Relief in the Aftermath of the Great War will be published by IUP in July 2022.

Simone Laqua-O’Donnell

Simone Laqua-O’Donnell studied at the Universities of Hamburg, Cambridge and Oxford, where I she wrote her doctoral thesis on women and early modern Catholic reform at Balliol College. In 2006, she was awarded a Research Fellowship at Downing College, Cambridge. In 2009, Simone joined the School of History and Cultures, University of Birmingham (UK). Laqua-O’Donnell is interested in social, cultural and religious history from the early modern to the modern period (16th – 20th century). She is currently working on two research projects: the first is on global Protestantism and the networks of radical religious communities (a collaboration with Dr. Kat Hill, Birkbeck); the second project is a study of the role of children in Protestant missions in Britain and Germany.

Magali Michelet

Magali Michelet studied modern and contemporary history as well as German philology and comparative literature at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), the University of Münster (Germany) and at the Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic). In 2018, she published a revised version of her Master’s thesis entitled “Dream and Reality of an Exile“, in which she focused on the first and second generations of Czechoslovak exiles in Switzerland after the repression of the Prague Spring, 1968. She is currently working on a PhD thesis in the framework of a Swiss SNSF Project directed by Prof. Kristina Schulz at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland) called “The Children of the Wardrobe” in Switzerland (1946-2002). It concerns the children of foreign seasonal workers during the second post-war period who were not allowed to join their parents in Switzerland, but who chose to defy the law in order to reunite their families illegally. Some of these children were thus unable to leave the “house” or go to school in Switzerland. Working primarily with oral history, Magali Michelet is interested above all in the life paths, experiences and multiple dimensions of the memory of these former “hidden children.”

Rosemarie Peña

Dr. Rosemarie Peña is the founder and president of the Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA). In this role, she has co-produced and hosted four international academic conferences since 2011. A fifth conference planned for April 2020 at Rutgers-Camden was  postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rosemarie earned bachelors degrees in Psychology and German and both her MA and PhD in Childhood Studies at Rutgers University in Camden, NJ. Her research explores displaced childhoods; particularly, the historical and contemporary intersections of transnational adoption and child migration. Her dissertation, The Rekinning: Portraying Postwar Black German Transnational Adoption, is a discourse analysis of  two historical documentary films. Rosemarie has presented at numerous conferences and is a frequently invited keynote, internationally. She is a contributing author in several edited volumes published in both German and English. Her peer reviewed articles appear in The Encyclopedia of Children and ChildhoodGenealogy Journal, and the Journal of Adoption and Culture. Rosemarie’s most recent essay, “Stories Matter: Contextualizing the Black German American Adoptee Experience(s)” is included in Marion Kraft’s edited volume Children of the Liberation: Transatlantic Experiences and Perspectives of Black Germans of the Post-War Generation in 2019.

Susanne Quitmann

Susanne Quitmann is a doctoral candidate and research assistant in the DFG-funded project ‘The Voices of British Child Migrants’, which is associated with the Munich Centre for Global History (LMU Munich). Her research focuses on the British child migration schemes to Canada and Australia (1869–1960s) and the role children’s voice play(ed) in history. Before coming to Munich, Susanne Quitmann received degrees in history, global history, and political science from the University of Heidelberg. She also studied at Royal Holloway University of London, and Yale University, where she worked as a Teaching Assistant as well.

Chelsea Schields

Chelsea Schields is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine, where she researches and teaches on the histories of sexuality, race, oil, and empire in the Caribbean and Europe. She earned her Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and has held fellowships from the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the German Historical Institute. Her first book, Offshore Attachments: Oil and Intimacy in the Caribbean, is forthcoming with the University of California Press. With Dagmar Herzog, she is co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Sexuality and Colonialism (Routledge, 2021). She is now researching how social scientific knowledge on race, the family, and sexuality traveled from the US and colonial Caribbean to postwar Europe, shaping social policy in the age of decolonization.

Kelly Condit-Shrestha

Kelly Condit-Shrestha is a transnational U.S. historian of migration, childhood, adoption, race, and Asian American studies. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of History at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she has also held postdoctoral positions in the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC) and Immigration History Research Center (IHRC). Her work has been featured in zeitgeschichte, Adoption & Culture, Youth Circulations, and U.S. History Scene. Her most recent publication is the chapter contribution, “Archives, Adoption Records, and Owning Historical Memory,” in the edited volume Children and Youth as Subjects, Objects, Agents: Innovative Approaches to Research Across Space and Time (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). She is currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled Adoption and American Empire: Migration, Race-Making, and the Child, 1845–1988. She also serves as a network representative for the Immigration/Migration Network of the Social Science History Association.

Swen Steinberg

Swen Steinberg is a historian and acting Strategic Advisor and Head of Communications of the German Historical Institute in Washington/DC and its Pacific Regional Office at UC Berkeley. Swen teaches as Assistant Professor (term adjunct) at the Department of History at Queen’s University in Kingston,  he also serves as a Research Ambassador of the German Academic Exchange Service. Early in 2019, Swen joined the Advisory Committee of the Austrian Archive for Exile Studies and the Exile Library in Vienna. He is the editor of the Blog Migrant Knowledge and organizer of the Migrant Knowledge Network, a board member of the German Studies Collaboratory, and co-organizer of the international standing working groups In Global Transit: Spatial and Temporal Dimensions in Global Migration and Lost Knowledge: Approaching Migrant Knowledge After Migration.  Swen’s most recent interests are located at the intersection of migration and knowledge, borderland networks, refugees from Nazi Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe, and especially unaccompanied minors. Most recent articles include “On Austrian Refugee Children: Agency, Experience and Knowledge in Ernst Papanek’s ‘Preliminary Study’ from (1943)” (Journal of Austrian-American History, 2021) and “Knowledge from Five Continents. Escape Destinations in Publications of German-speaking Political Refugees, 1933-40” (Mediations through Exile: Cultural Translation and Knowledge Transfer on Alternative Routes of Escape from Nazi Terror, eds. P. Strobl, S. Korbel, 2021). Recent special issues include Refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe in British Overseas Territories in the Yearbook of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies(2020, with Anthony Grenville), Knowledge and Young Migrants in KNOW: A Journal on the Formation of Knowledge (2019, with Simone Lässig), and Knowledge and Migration in Geschichte und Gesellschaft (2017 with Simone Lässig).

Emma Wyse

Emma Wyse is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Queen’s University. She received her BA from McGill University in History and Western Religions, and her MA in History from Queen’s University. Her research examines the movement of British Jewish children to Canada and Australia in the Second World War. In particular she is interested in how Jewishness was perceived by the host countries, and how pro-British migration attempts conflicted with anti-Semitic attitudes, at the government level, the level of intermediary organizations like the Children’s Aid Society, and of host families taking in evacuee children.

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