BOONE - Dr. Thomas Pegelow Kaplan, Director of the Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies at Appalachian State University, was awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship to carry out long-term research in Germany.
Through the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Dr. Pegelow Kaplan was awarded 10,000 euros and will be hosted from mid May to August by the Technische Universität Berlin's (TU Berlin) Center for Research on Antisemitism. The focus of the institution is the interdisciplinary research of anti-Semitism in its various causes, manifestations and effects in the past and present, as well as research and teaching on prejudices and their consequences such as xenophobia, and racism. Adjacent areas of work important to the institute are German-Jewish history, the Holocaust, and right-wing extremism.
Dr. Pegelow Kaplan's research will contribute to two books, a collection of essays in collaboration with Dr. Wolf Gruner, the Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies at the University of Southern California, and a monograph entitled Entreaties for Survival: Trans-European Jewish Petitioning Practices During the Holocaust. Both works will explore the detailed account of how petitions written across German-controlled Europe by members of the Jewish communities in the occupied territories demonstrate the need to eschew oversimplified definitions of resistance versus collaboration in favor of a more complex and nuanced understanding of the topic.
In addition, Dr. Pegelow Kaplan will be giving invited talks at various universities and research institutes, including the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University and Berlin's Humboldt University.
Dr. Pegelow Kaplan's fellowship will not only further his own research, but help to build ties between Appalachian and institutions in Germany. "Part of my stay is about building bridges and starting cooperations with German institutions," says Dr. Pegelow Kaplan. "These can range from invitations by the Zentrum fuer Antisemitismusforschung (Center for Research on Anti-Semitism at TU Berlin or ZfA) to bring Appalachian students to Berlin and work with students and faculty of the ZfA's MA program in the interdisciplinary study of anti-Semitism, to exchanging speakers and launching publication projects." Among others, ASU students in Professor Pegelow Kaplan's spring 2017 seminar on the Holocaust will benefit from his continued work in Germany during their spring break excursion to Germany and Poland when they will conduct their own research.