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Elisabeth Pönisch

Since October 2013 I am a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Sociology of the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. I am currently writing my dissertation under the guidance of Professor Ulrich Bröckling. The second supervisor is Professor Patrick Wagner of the Martin-Luther-University in Halle-Wittenberg.

I studied sociology and contemporary history at both the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg and the University of Umeå (Sweden).

Research: “The Jews’ Houses in the German Reich since 1939. A Life-World Study on Everyday Life and Neighbourhood”

The research focus in my dissertation lies on the enforced “relocation” to and life in the so-called “Jews’ Houses”, which were established in the course of the “Law on Tenancies with Jews” in 1939. Within a very short time most of the Jews got the order to move into smaller flats with other Jewish people. This “relocation” was often affiliated to a strange neighbourhood. My research project is an interdisciplinary study about this specific and unfamiliar daily life of the Jews in these houses. These specific aspects of life were never part of scientific interest neither for historians nor for sociologists. My research will provide a reinterpretation of the normality concepts by focusing on exactly these underinvestigated aspects. Thereby, the subjective experiences - perception as well as the social interaction and the relationships between each other - will be investigated. I focus on social processes and social dynamics. In order to realize this, I use archival sources and ego-documents, such as diaries, letters, and memoirs.

I am particularly interested in:

  • Shoah Studies
  • Cultural Sociology
  • Sociological Theory
  • Jewish History