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Darcy C. Buerkle
Associate Professor

email Send E-mail office Office: Neilson Library 2/15 phone Phone: 585-3724
Office Hours: Wednesday 2:00-3:30 p.m.; and by appointment


Professor Buerkle’s research focuses on modern European women's and gender history with an emphasis on German and German Jewish women's intellectual and cultural history. She has also worked extensively on German visual culture of the early twentieth century. Related interests include the history of the social sciences, the history of psychoanalysis and contemporary debates in historiography. Her journal publications range from articles on German women and portraiture in the early twentieth century to the reconstruction of affect through Hannah Arendt, original footage of the 1961 Eichmann trial and the film, The Specialist (1999), and an essay on Norbert Elias, spectatorship and anxiety in an early Weimar film.  An additional article concerns Charlotte Wolff, a Weimar-era doctor who was both part of early GLBTQ organizing and a prolific palm reader in exile. In 2013-14 she is participating in a Kahn Institute project in which she combines her interest in the history of emotion with work on the concept of space through essays regarding the affective space of teaching.  In this project, she is especially focused on a summer seminar that she led at the memorial site of the Buchenwald concentration camp.  Professor Buerkle’s book, Nothing Happened: Charlotte Salomon and an Archive of Suicide was published in 2013 by the University of Michigan Press. You can read more about Professor Buerkle's book here. Her interest in the history of emotion, sexuality and violence, visual culture and the legacy of antisemitism continues in her new book-project on the role of “the victim” in the twentieth century. Relatedly, she is working on the particularities of empathy as a mobilizing force in the history of emancipatory politics.  In 2011-12, Professor Buerkle held the Walter Benjamin Chair in German Jewish History and Culture at the Humboldt University-Berlin.

Professor Buerkle has been honored with two teaching awards granted by the Student Government Association at Smith, the most recent was at Rally Day in 2013.  Her typical course offerings include two surveys in European women's and gender history (HST 252 and HST 253), in addition to a range of colloquia and seminars such as History and Memory (HST 246), and History of Psychoanalysis (HST 255). She teaches an advanced course in historiography (HST 350) as well as other topical seminars for advanced students, such as: Trauma and History, Recent Debates in Gender and Sexuality and Histories of the Holocaust which can be found under the course number HST 355. In Fall 2013, she offers a seminar on Gender and the Holocaust by video-link in collaboration with her colleague Andrea Petö at Central European University in Budapest.