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Jennifer Allen

Assistant Professor of History

Allen_jennifer_2017_resized Jennifer Allen is a historian of modern Europe. She specializes in the history of twentieth century Germany, but also researches and teaches on the theories and practices of historical memory; grassroots and countercultural activism; utopian thought; and Europe after the Cold War. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled In Pursuit of Sustainable Utopia: Art, Political Culture, and Historical Practice in Germany, 1980-2000. It charts the history of Germany's grassroots efforts to revitalize the concept of utopia for the postwar era. She argues that, contrary to popular accounts, German interest in radical alternatives to existing society had not diminished. By braiding together case studies from politics, art, and intellectual culture, Allen demonstrates that Germans chose to resist an increasing sense of political disenfranchisement, social alienation, and cultural impotence in the 1980s and 90s. Instead, these groups not only envisioned a new German utopia from the bottom up but also attempted to enact their vision. In doing so, they reclaimed utopian hope from the dustbin of historical ideas.
Allen received her B.A. (2006) in political and social thought from the University of Virginia and her M.A. (2010) and Ph.D. (2015) in history from the University of California, Berkeley. Her work has been supported by the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, Yale's Council of European Studies, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Institute for International, Comparative and Area Studies at UC San Diego with support from the Thyssen Foundation, and the Institutes for European Studies and International Studies at UC Berkeley. 

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