Linda Schmucker


Doctoral researcher

Department of Modern Languages: German Studies


PhD Title: Travelling Childhood Memories of the Second World War: German-American Women’s Participation in the US-American Contemporary Memoir Boom
Supervisor: Dr. Joanne Sayner
PhD German Studies

I graduated from the University of Kentucky in the USA with an MA in German Studies and an MA in Education. During my graduate studies in German literature I developed a strong interest in life writing and submitted a thesis on the autobiography of Fanny Lewald, Meine Lebensgeschichte (1861-1862), which documents growing up female and Jewish in 19th century Germany.


My PhD research focuses on transcultural childhood memories of the Second World War and the participation of German-American women in the contemporary memoir boom in the United States. Although the topic of German Vergangenheitsbewätigung and the reemergence of wartime suffering in German public debate has been the focus of extensive scholarship, research on how members of the so-called Kriegskinder generation who later emigrated to the United States remember the Third Reich and the Second World War as children or adolescents is rare. My doctoral thesis explores the identity negotiations narrated in selected memoirs of this group as expressions of both personal and collective memory. Therefore, my analysis intervenes in debates about gendered experiences of the Second World War and competing conceptualizations of victimhood in German and American contexts and the role life writing plays within these.

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