Blog

 

Freya and Martin (Margaret Sullavan and Jimmy Stewart) try to escape from Nazi Germany across the Alpine border to Austria in “The Mortal Storm” (US 1940)

This blog provides the opportunity to stay informed before, during, and after the conference: participants post about their ongoing research and presentations as well as links to calls, projects, reviews and publications.

Amanda Leslie and Asher Goldstein, August 20, 2021: Timeline of Canada’s park system from pre-contact to the present

As part of our research paper “Naturalizing citizenship: Canada’s national parks and the promotion of imaginaries of citizenship on Indigenous land,” we have devised a timeline of Canada’s park system from pre-contact to the present, which identifies five distinct eras in the development and management of national parks.

Hadwig Kraeutler, August 13, 2021: Engaging (with) environments: Some essentials. The museologist, writer, art historian Alma S. Wittlin (b. Lviv/Ukraine, 1899; d. Palo Alto/CA, 1991)

Alma Wittlin was an Austrian émigré, who exiled to the UK in 1937, later (from 1952 for good) living in the USA. Wittlin’s professional achievements were often triggered by migrations, voluntary and forced, and by her adapting to the varying environments (social, cultural, natural) which the moves implied. Wittlin, with a PhD in Art History (University of Vienna, 1925), from early, had also developed a keen interest in nature and natural phenomena. This mix of preoccupations generated different capacities, succouring her efforts to integrate, and make a living in changing surroundings. Wittlin engaged in pioneering activities, articulating, disseminating and teaching about the natural environment, mainly through museum and exhibition work. The museologist Alma Wittlin became known after the Second World War in the Anglo-American professional contexts for her research publications, especially two books, The Museum: Its history and its tasks in education, (London 1949 – Karl Mannheim, Series Editor, The International Library of Sociology and Social Reconstruction, Routledge & Kegan) and Museums: In search of a usable future (Cambridge/ MA, MIT 1970).

The following quotes convey her concerns, underlining the urgency for reasoning with sustainable development in mind, and the museum’s relevance in this. Wittlin wrote (1949: xiii): “Two considerations have prompted the writing of this essay. Firstly, the conviction that the unsettled conditions which have been and are still developing increasingly in contemporary society will not find a balance until general education, […] has been radically revised and adjusted to existing reality, and, secondly, the belief that the museum – the method of communicating, information and experience by the visual means of the exhibition and the appeal of the three-dimensional object – holds special potentialities for the fulfilment and the furtherance of educational requirements.”

Wittlin wrote (1970: 183): “The hottest current issue is ecology […] the study of the interdependence of all living things among themselves and with the organic environment. It is not a novel issue but one that has rapidly assumed dramatic importance […].”

Pointing out examples of Alma Wittlin’s engagement with nature and its representations, reflected in published and unpublished sources, I discuss aspects of interrelatedness of the capacities which an individual migrant offered, and the array of possible responses/echoes of variously situated opportunities, here from an environmental and museological perspective.

Hadwig Kraeutler (2021, Vienna/Dornbirn, Austria), hadwig.kraeutler@chello.at

Marlen Eckl, August 6, 2021: Festschrift for Prof. Guy Stern

Dear Members of NASES, 
This is to inform you that we are preparing a Festschrift for Prof. Guy Stern to celebrate his exceptional life and extraordinary accomplishments on his 100th birthday on Jan. 14, 2022. The Festschrift will contain personal memories of his friends and colleagues as well as scholarly essays regarding topics of exile and migration and last but not least various combinations of both categories. Königshausen & Neumann, our publisher in Germany, is setting the publication date for fall 2021 and there is still time for all of you to join the Tabula Gratulatoria in our volume. If you want to become part of it, please give us your name and profession as well as the city and state you are currently living in by August 27th. And by all means, feel free to share this information with other interested parties.  We are looking forward to hearing from you.
 With best wishes, Marlen Eckl and Frederick A. Lubich
 

Swen Steinberg, July 23, 2021: Migrant Knowledge Blog

For all interested in the intersection of migration and knowledge: check the Migrant Knowledge blog of the German Historical Institute Washington, DC, organized by its Pacific Regional Office at the University of California, Berkeley. Migrant Knowledges blog publishes short articles from recent research – refugees and exiles among them, also environmental topics -, shares links (CfPs, recent publications, conference reports) and news from the Migrant Knowledge Network.

Swen Steinberg, July 22, 2021: Recent publication

Recent publication on German refugees in Britain: Working for the War Effort by Charmain Brinson and Richard Dove.

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