This talk explores Vienna, from the 1850s to the present, as an unusually rich source for studying the history of Jews in photography. The majority of ‘quality studios’ in Vienna before 1938 were run by Jewish women, and over one hundred fifty Jewish photographers were among the prisoners at the Mauthausen concentration camp during World War II. Berkowitz argues that the historiography of photography is unsettled when a notion of Jewish ‘difference’ is integrated, emphasizing novel approaches promoted by networks of Jews and applications to the wider world–including Los Angeles.
About the Speaker: MICHAEL BERKOWITZ is professor of modern Jewish history at University College London, and editor of Jewish Historical Studies: Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England. He earned his PhD from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) where he studied under George L. Mosse. In 1989- 90 he was a Monkarsh postdoctoral fellow at the University of Judaism. Berkowitz’s current work is on the engagement of Jews and photography. He is preparing a book tentatively entitled Jews and Photography in Britain: Connections and Developments, 1850-2007. He is co-editor, with Avinoam Patt, of “We Are Here”: New Approaches to the History of Jewish Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany (Wayne State University Press, 2010) and author of The Crime of My Very Existence: Nazism and the Myth of Jewish Criminality (University of California Press, 2007) as well as three other books.