Death is only the Beginning
STANFORD BIO in HISTORY DEPARTMENT
Assistant Professor of Modern European History and, by courtesy, German Studies
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
B.A., Harvard University, summa cum laude
Edith Sheffer joined the History Department faculty in 2010, having come to Stanford as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities in 2008. Her recent book, Burned Bridge: How East and West Germans Made the Iron Curtain, challenges the conventional history of the Iron Curtain. It suggests that the physical barrier between East and West Germany was not simply imposed by Cold War superpowers, but was an outgrowth of anxious postwar society on both sides. Her current project, Inventing Autism under Nazism: The Surveillance of Emotion and Child Euthanasia in the Third Reich, also examines the global consequences of everyday actions. This work investigates Hans Asperger’s creation of the autism diagnosis in Vienna from 1938 through the Second World War and situates it within the context of Nazi efforts to define the national community and the murder of disabled children. A related project through Stanford’s Spatial History Lab, “Forming Selves: The Creation of Child Psychiatry from Red Vienna to the Third Reich and Abroad,” maps the transnational development of child psychiatry as a discipline, tracing linkages among its pioneers in Vienna in the 1930s through their emigration from the Third Reich and establishment of different practices in the 1940s in England and the United States.