Semmens, Kristin 1973-

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Semmens, Kristin 1973-

PERSONAL:

Born July 22, 1973. Education: University of Victoria, M.A., Ph.D.

CAREER:

Academic. University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, lecturer and postdoctoral research fellow.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Commonwealth scholarship, 1999.

WRITINGS:

Seeing Hitler's Germany: Tourism in the Third Reich, Palgrave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS:

Kristin Semmens is an academic. Born on July 22, 1973, she completed both a master of arts degree and a Ph.D. from British Columbia's University of Victoria. In 1999 she was awarded a Commonwealth scholarship and studied with Richard Evans at Cambridge University on the topic of Germany coming to terms with its Nazi past. Semmens then became a lecturer and postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Victoria.

Semmens published her first book, Seeing Hitler's Germany: Tourism in the Third Reich, in 2005. The book looks at the ways that the Nazi government took control over the tourism industry in Germany and used it as a political tool to comply with their ideologies on Germany's history and point towards its upcoming greatness. Semmens then shows how the industry changed after the fall of the Nazis.

Writing on the Institute of Historical Research Reviews in History Web site, Corinna M. Peniston-Bird remarked that "Semmens justifies her choice of topic by arguing that tourism not only provides insights into the politicisation of cultural practices, but is revealing of the regime's authority when faced with popular demand. She suggests there is still more to be said about its relationship to consumer culture and public memory. The study of leisure travel is, however, a study in its own right, illuminating conceptions of space, of home, and of consumer entitlement, as well as of collective identities, defined both from within, and against an other." Peniston-Bird concluded that "Semmens has provided an original and accessible discussion of a thought-provoking and under-researched subject of historical enquiry. And as this book shows, neither the study of ‘normality’ nor the study of tourism requires defensive justification, not least when the prosaic acquires such significance to both the rulers and the ruled."

Pamela E. Swett, reviewing the book in the Canadian Journal of History, noted that the author's "book is eminently readable, and she makes her case for studying the importance of tourism in creating a totalitarian society that many Germans enjoyed, at least into the early 1940s. The author also convincingly demonstrates why Germans were so eager to get on the roads again as quickly as possible after peace was reestablished." Observing that Semmens does "an admirable job searching archives," Swett concluded that "Seeing Hitler's Germany will be invaluable to anyone interested in the history of European tourism, propaganda, or consumption in the first half of the twentieth century."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Canadian Journal of History, March 22, 2006, Pamela E. Swett, review of Seeing Hitler's Germany: Tourism in the Third Reich.

Central European History, June 1, 2006, Peter Fritzsche, review of Seeing Hitler's Germany, p. 325.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, April 1, 2006, J. Kleiman, review of Seeing Hitler's Germany, p. 1472.

Reference & Research Book News, November 1, 2005, review of Seeing Hitler's Germany.

ONLINE

H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (November 1, 2005), Corey Ross, review of Seeing Hitler's Germany.

Institute of Historical Research Reviews in History,http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/ (May 4, 2008), Corinna M. Peniston-Bird, review of Seeing Hitler's Germany.

University of Victoria, Canada Web site,http://www.uvic.ca/ (May 7, 2008), author profile.

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