Read Smith’s UPDATED plans as of August 5, 2020,
for an entirely remote fall 2020 semester.
Associate Professor of History and Department Chair
Contact & Office Hours
Henshaw B1 205
Darcy Buerkle is associate professor of history at Smith College and an affiliate in the Study of Women and Gender. In 2011–12, Buerkle held the Walter Benjamin Chair in German Jewish History and Culture at the Humboldt University-Berlin. From 2014 to January 2016 she served as director of the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center, which is housed at Mount Holyoke College.
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 Memory and History (HST 246) and History of Psychoanalysis (HST 255). She teaches advanced topical courses in historiography (HST 350), such as Memory and History, Recent Debates in Gender and Sexuality, and Histories of the Holocaust (HST 355).
Her 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 worked extensively on the history of emotion and German visual culture of the early 20th century. Buerkle’s first book, Nothing Happened: Charlotte Salomon and an Archive of Suicide, was published in December 2013 by the University of Michigan Press; a co-edited volume with Skye Doney titled Mosse’s Europe is forthcoming from the University of Wisconsin Press. She is currently working on two single-authored book projects: 1) The Force of Elsewhere: Fred Zinnemann’s Films 1940–1960, in which she explores the visual rhetoric of departure and landscape as signal and recurring moments in Zinnemann’s oeuvre and 2) Gender, Guilt, and Democracy 1945–1960, which charts women’s contributions to the question of postwar German guilt and the related matters of retribution, and redress through democratic education. In this project, Buerkle seeks a transnational and racialized telling of gendered involvement on the matters of democracy and moral injury, and the possibility of reconciliation and related political action. Buerkle is the author of numerous journal articles; “The Nun’s Story: ‘True in its Essentials,’” appeared in 2018. Smith students may be especially interested in an essay on Käthe Kollwitz and Smith College and another about the teaching of a Smith College seminar on gender and the Holocaust, forthcoming in fall 2020.