Emily AshdownHDR student
Emily’s research focuses on the representation of Jewish and non-Jewish victim groups at Nazi sites of atrocity in Poland and Germany. Her research explores four sites in particular: these being Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Dachau and Hadamar. Despite these being four very different sites, created in different years, for different purposes, with different victims imprisoned in these spaces; they all became sites of mass atrocities and primary sources to Nazi crimes. These sites are linked in ways that often are overlooked at first glance. They have each created museums on the site to and it is the groups represented in these spaces which Emily is interested in investigating. How Holocaust victims and how victims of Nazi tyranny are seen at these interconnected sites. Her research aims to analyse these sites questioning what the historical, cultural, political, and national motivation are in play at these sites and who they benefit but also who they silence.
Her proposed thesis title is Complicating the Victims: Representations of Holocaust and victims of Nazi violence at sites of atrocity.
She is working under the supervision of Associate Professor Tony Joel, Associate Professor Steven Cooke, and Dr Donna-Lee Frieze.
Prior to commencing her candidature at the beginning of 2023, Emily completed a MA in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies where she researched the Graf Spee Eagle to explore how we deal with objects of historical significance that have painful histories attached to them. Additionally, she completed a BA (Honours) in history where she explored the representation of women in Armenian Genocide and Holocaust memorials in the United States.