Dr. Lauren van Vuuren is a South African-born historian, currently living in Berlin. As an AW Mellon Fellow, and then lecturer, at the University of Cape Town, she has taught and researched a wide range of subjects, from the history and theory of warfare and violence, to representations of the South African and German past on film. In December of 2012, she came to the Free University as a research fellow in contemporary history and encountered the most compelling world she had ever experienced: Berlin. There, the sheer weirdness of its gloomy winter merged with her understanding of its recent past to convince her of Berlin's uniqueness, both as a place and as an idea. Within a year she had permanently relocated to the city. Today she researches, writes about, and teaches on Berlin's twentieth-century history. Sharing the stories of this excoriating place has become an enduring joy for her. She is the recipient of the South African Thomas Pringle award for short story writing in 2013 and is currently collaborating with a photographer on a book of stories and photographs about Berlin.
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