Alexandra Garbarini

Alexandra Garbarini

Charles R. Keller Professor of History

Hollander Hall Rm 314

On Leave 2022-2023


B.A. Williams College (1994)
M.A. University of California, Los Angeles, History (1997)
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, History (2003)



The Great War
(not offered 2022/23)


Before the Deluge: Paris and Berlin in the Interwar Years (not offered 2022/23)


Approaching the Past: Writing the Past (not offered 2022/23)


Alexandra Garbarini is Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Williams College. She is the author of Numbered Days: Diary Writing and the Holocaust (2006), and co-author of Jewish Responses to Persecution, volume 2, 1939-1940 (2011). Numbered Days was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, Holocaust category. In addition to articles and reviews, she co-edited a special issue of the journal Etudes Arméniennes Contemporaines on “Victim Testimony and Mass Violence” (2015); the diary of Lucien Dreyfus, Le journal de Lucien Dreyfus, 20 décembre 1940-24 septembre 1943 : Une époque terrible et terriblement intéressant (French edition, 2018; the English edition is in preparation to be published by Rowman & Littlefield in association with the USHMM); and Lessons and Legacies, vol. XIII, New Approaches to an Integrated History of the Holocaust: Social History, Representation, Theory (2018) Her current research focuses on European Jewish and non-Jewish representations of mass violence in the decades prior to and during the Holocaust.

Since the spring of 2003 she has taught at Williams College, where she offers courses on the history of the Holocaust, European Jewish history, and modern European cultural and political history.

Selected Publications


Jewish Responses to Persecution, vol. 2, 1938-1940. With Emil Kerenji, Jan Lambertz, Avinoam Patt. Lanham, MD: Altamira Press, in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2011.

Numbered Days: Diaries and the Holocaust (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006)
*Finalist for the 2006 National Jewish Book Award, Holocaust category

Edited Volumes and Journal Special Issues

Editor (with Jean-Marc Dreyfus), Le journal de Lucien Dreyfus, 20 décembre 1940-24 septembre 1943 : Une époque terrible et terriblement intéressante (Paris: Éditions Le Manuscrit, 2018).

Editor (with Paul Jaskot), Lessons and Legacies, vol. 13, New Approaches to an Integrated History of the Holocaust: Social History, Representation, Theory (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 2018).

Guest Editor (with Boris Adjemian), “Victim Testimony and Understanding Mass Violence.” Special issue of Etudes Arméniennes Contemporaines, no. 5 (June 2015).

Articles, Review Essays, Encyclopedia Entries:

“‘Unprecedented’: Concepts and Narratives about Mass Violence and the Holocaust,” in Roger Frie, ed., History Flows Through Us: Germany, the Holocaust and the Importance of Empathy (London: Routledge, 2017).

“Document Volumes and the Status of Victim Testimony in the Era of the First World War and Its Aftermath,” Etudes Arméniennes Contemporaines, no. 5 (June 2015), pp. 113-138.

“Power in Truth-Telling: Jewish Testimonial Strategies before the Shoah,” in Jason Coy, Benjamin Marschke, Jared Poley, and Claudia Verhoeven, eds., Kinship, Community, and Self: Essays in Honor of David Warren Sabean (New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 2015), pp. 170-184.

“Diaries, Testimonies, and Jewish Histories of the Holocaust,” in Norman J.W. Goda, ed., Jewish Histories of the Holocaust: New Transnational Approaches (New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 2014), pp. 91-104.

“Engineering Miracles: Joseph Winkler and the History of Survival,” in Zeev Mankowitz, David Weinberg, and Sharon Kangisser Cohen, eds., Europe in the Eyes of Survivors of the Holocaust (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2014), pp. 231-254.

“The Holocaust Is Over?” History and Theory 53, no. 3 (October 2014): 406-418.
“Reflections on the Holocaust and Jewish History,” part of the forum on David Engel’s Historians of the Jews and the Holocaust in Jewish Quarterly Review 102, no. 1 (Winter 2012): 81-90.

Research Interests

Modern Jewish History, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History

Theses Advised

Rebecca Tauber ’21 ‘Under Those Apple Trees’: Jewish Youth Culture, Ideology, and Education in the Largest American Zionist Youth Movement of the 1960s and 1970s

Lindsay Klickstein ’19 (Re)creating History: Holocaust Testimony, Jewish Collective Memory, and Polish-Jewish Relations

Tamar Aizenberg ’18 History Becoming Memory: American Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors and their Jewish Identity in the 21st Century

Charlotte Kiechel ’12 Coming of Age during the Holocaust:  Representing an Adolescence of Survival

Lily Wong ’12 (with Scott Wong and Anne Reinhardt) – Remembering the Nanjing Massacre:  Transnationalism and Atrocity

Cristina Florea ’10The (After)Life of a Dream: East German Children, Selfhood, and the “Socialist Personality” Before and After 1989

Emily Bruce ’07‘These innocent tales’: Family and Nation in the Grimms’ Kinder- und Hausmärchen

Brian Van Wyck ’07Paranoia and Policy: Otto von Bismarck and Russo-Germans Relations, 1875-1881

Kimberly Gilbert ’06History’s Shadow: Holocaust Remembrance in the Berlin Republic, 1990-2005

Mark Esposito ’05Rex vaincra! Léon Degrelle and the Failure of the Rexist Movement

Program Connections at Williams

Jewish Studies