Centre for Research in Communication and Culture

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Chris Szejnmann BA London, PhD London, Senior Fellow HEA

Photo of  Chris Szejnmann

Professor of Modern History

CURRENTLY ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Profile

I studied at London University and taught at Royal Holloway, Middlesex University and the University of Leicester, where I was Director of the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust Studies between 2003 and 2007. I was appointed Professor of Modern History at Loughborough University in 2008 where I was responsible for re-establishing History as an Academic Subject from 2009-10, and then became the Head of the Department of Politics, History and International Relations, 2011-14. I have served on numerous University Committees and chaired the Review of the Effectiveness of Senate in 2015.

Holocaust education for primary school children in Loughborough, 7.7.16.

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Welcoming delegates and visitors to the international conference.
Left to right: Chris Szejnmann, Professor of Modern History, Loughborough University;
Bob Allison, Vice-Chancellor of Loughborough University;
Dame Helen Hyde, National Holocaust Commission.

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Delegates and visitors

National Socialist Morality conference in Frankfurt, 18.9.15

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Chris giving a paper at the ‘National Socialist Morality’ conference in Frankfurt, 18.9.15

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Chris giving a paper at the ‘NS-Volksgemeinschafts’ conference in Hanover, 25.6.15

Professional Responsibilities (current)

Most of my work focuses on how contemporaries responded to Nazism and genocide, and how Germans and non-Germans have come to terms with the Second World War and the Holocaust after 1945. Currently I am working on a number of projects. A Companion to Nazi Germany (co-edited with Shelley Baranowski and Armin Nolzen for Wiley Blackwell, forthcoming 2016) seeks to take stock of, reflect on, and suggest new avenues for research and engagement on some of the major issue surrounding Nazism and the Third Reich and their undiminishing importance and relevance in today’s societies. Life and Love in Nazi Prague: Letters  from an Occupied City (co-edited with Kate Ottevanger for I.B. Tauris, forthcoming 2017) makes accessible the recently discovered letters by the Jewish widow Marie Bader to her lover during the Nazi occupation of Prague. The letters give a vivid, insightful, moving and sometimes dramatic picture about Jewish life at a time when Reinhard Heydrich, a key architect of the Holocaust, organised the deportation of local Jews. Contesting the Rise of the Nazis for Wiley Blackwell Publishers (2017) will offer a comprehensive survey and new interpretations in the field.

My main research project, Capitalism and its Discontents in Modern Germany, focuses on one of the greatest challenges capitalism experienced in its history. At the beginning of the twentieth century many Germans rejected capitalism due to economic and moral-ethical considerations. Anti-capitalism was a complex and diverse phenomenon, thriving in conditions of instability and uncertainty. During the world economic slump from the late 1920s capitalism’s future and Germany’s place in it looked bleak, leading to a powerful anti-capitalistZeitgeist from which the Nazis benefitted most. This project analyses a broad spectrum of rhetoric and images in society, and highlights ambivalences, commonalities and changes over time of anti-Capitalist discourse and practices. See ‘Nazi Economic Thought and Rhetoric during the Weimar Republic. Capitalism and its Discontents’ (2013); ‘Semantik der Kapitalismuskritik in Deutschland nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg’ (2015).  

I am keen on transferring knowledge with external partners in the areas of pedagogy and teaching innovation in order to drive innovation and research that leads to social and cultural impact. My collaboration with the National Holocaust Centre and Museum is leading to innovative projects relating to Holocaust Teaching to Primary School ChildrenHolocaust Exhibition and Holocaust Testimony. I am co-hosting the international conference “A Primary or Secondary Concern? Holocaust Education in Schools in the 21st Century: Current Practices, Potentials and Ways Forward” at Loughborough University and the National Holocaust Centre and Museum on 7/8 July 2016.

'National Socialist Morality’ conference

Chris giving a paper at the ‘National Socialist Morality’ conference in Frankfurt, 18.9.15

Chris giving a paper at the ‘National Socialist Morality’ conference in Frankfurt, 18.9.15

'NS-Volksgemeinschafts' conference

Chris giving a paper at the ‘NS-Volksgemeinschafts’ conference in Hanover, 25.6.15

Chris giving a paper at the ‘NS-Volksgemeinschafts’ conference in Hanover, 25.6.15

My appointment at Loughborough University in 2008 with the brief to re-establish the subject history after an absence of 20 years has made me rethink the meaning, purpose and teaching of history in the rapidly changing society we live in. I have become a champion of interactive, learner-centred and research-led education that exploits learning technologies and focuses on student engagement.  This has resulted in exciting e-learning initiatives, including the pioneering of Lecture Capturing (click here for our findings as part of a national evaluation of this new resource; for more resources see: elearning), use of swivl in the teaching room, SMS (Text) messaging within Learn, use of camcorders for presentations and feedback, interactive large-group teaching with Box of Broadcast and live tweeting, the use of History Timeline interactive History Resource, the development of a (in preparation) online HistoryHub, tablets in teaching, and the use of LectureTools. The innovative use of learning technologies is an integral part of our strategy of promoting excellence and new initiatives in learning and teaching in the History subject area, which has led to collaboration with several bodies, including the UK’s History Subject Centre (now HEA) and JISC. I have given numerous conference papers on teaching pedagogy, have won several teaching awards (Teaching Innovation Award at Loughborough University, 2009-10, 2010-11), and have been part of successful external teaching innovation bids (HEA and Echo360). In 2014 I won ‘The Innovative Teaching Award’ at the Loughborough Academic Awards, and I was appointed Senior Fellow of the HEA.

Besides teaching on various team-taught Undergraduate modules (Introduction to Academic Studies; Modern Europe: From Enlightenment to the Present) I am currently offering the following option courses: Modern Germany: From Racial Dictatorship to Re-civilization (Year 2) and The Rise of the Nazis (Year 3). I would welcome to supervise doctoral theses on a wide range of topics relating to Modern European History. Currently I am supervising ‘The “Sicherheitspolizei und Sicherheitsdienst” (Sipo-SD) in German occupied Belgium and Northern France’ (Robby Van Eetvelde), ‘The National Socialist economic “New Order” for Europe during World War II’ (Raimund Bauer), and ‘In Defense of Honour and Masculinity– In-Group Pressure, Violence, and Self-Destruction in the Third Reich´s Elite, 1933-1945’ (Franziska Karpinski).

Modern Germany on the Internet (maintained by Chris Szejnmann).

http://homepages.lboro.ac.uk/~eucws/

Ordinary People as Mass Murderers:

Perpetrators in Comparative Perspectives

Edited by Olaf Jensen and Claus-Christian W Szejnmann.

See more about the book on the Barnes & Noble website →

Ordinary People as Mass Murderers:

How the Holocaust Looks Now

International Perspectives

Edited by Martin L Davies and Claus-Christian W Szejnmann

See more about the book on the Barnes & Noble website →

How the Holocaust Looks Now

Vom Traum zum Alptraum:

Sachsen in der Weimarer Republik

By Claus-Christian W Szejnmann

See more about the book on the Amazon website →

Vom Traum zum Alptraum:

Nazism in Central Germany:

The Brownshirts in 'Red' Saxony (Monographs in German History)

By Claus-Christian W Szejnmann

See more about the book on the Amazon website →

Nazism in Central Germany:

Rethinking History, Dictatorship and War:

New Approaches and Interpretations

By Claus-Christian W Szejnmann (Editor)

See more about the book on the Amazon website →

Rethinking History, Dictatorship and War:

Heimat, Region, and Empire:

Spatial Identities under National Socialism (The Holocaust and its Contexts)

By Claus-Christian W Szejnmann (Editor), Maiken Umbach (Editor)

See more about the book on the Amazon website →

Heimat, Region, and Empire:

Recent publications