DAAD Chair of East European Jewish History
The DAAD Chair in Eastern European Studies was inaugurated in 2021 and was enabled through state philanthropy, with funds from the German Government’s Department for Academic Affairs and matching support from the University of Sussex.
Professor Katrin Steffen is the first DAAD Chair in Eastern European Studies at Sussex. She is a historian specialized in modern European History, with a special focus on the History of East Central and Eastern Europe and on Jewish History and Culture. She completed her Ph.D. in 2002 from Free University of Berlin on the milieu of Polish-speaking Jews in Poland in the Interwar Period under the title of „Jewish Polishness“, and finished her habilitation in 2019 at Martin-Luther-University in Halle-Wittenberg. She has taught at the Universities of Free University in Berlin, Hamburg, Halle-Wittenberg, Frankfurt (Oder) and Warsaw and was a visiting professor at the L'École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris in 2017. Before coming to Sussex, Katrin Steffen was a member of Faculty at the Nordost-Institut in Lueneburg (University of Hamburg). She was also a Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute in Warsaw (2002-2007) and holder of the Max-Weber-Grant at University of Halle-Wittenberg (2007-2008). She has published widely on Polish-Jewish relations, on the history of Jews in Europe before, during and after the Holocaust, on Holocaust memory in Europe, on forced migrations, and on the transnational history of science, expert cultures and the circulation of knowledge. Right now she is preparing a double biography on the transnational lives of two scientists from Poland, namely Jan Czochralski and Ludwik Hirszfeld, during the19th and 20th century, forthcoming with Wallstein Publishing House in 2021, and together with Francois Guesnet a volume of the journal Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry : Jews in Polish and German Lands: Encounters, Interactions, Inspirations.