Alexandra Krebs

Gerda Henkel Fellow in Digital History

German Historical Institute Washington
1607 New Hampshire Ave NW | Washington DC 20009

Biographical Summary

Alexandra Krebs joined the GHI as the Gerda Henkel Fellow in Digital History in October 2022. During her fellowship, she is also affiliated with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University (Fairfax, VA). She studied history, Latin, and educational sciences at the University of Mainz (Germany) and the University of Palermo (Italy). After her teacher training in 2017, she worked as a high school teacher. Since 2018, she has been delegated to Paderborn University as a research assistant and lecturer in theory and didactics of history. Her teaching and research focus on digital history learning in cooperation with archives and other institutions beyond the classroom.

In her Ph.D. project, Alexandra has worked with the archive of the Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel and the State Institute of Teaching in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany (QUA-LiS NRW). She developed an innovative web-based learning environment, the App in die Geschichte [App into History]. The app enables students to conduct historical research in digital archives and provides several tools based on sound theoretical foundations. The online platform offers different modules and topics. The “Bethel Module” covers the history of the “T-4 Euthanasia Program” of Nazi Germany between 1940 and 1941 and the contexts of eugenics and forced sterilization.

Furthermore, she conducts empirical studies on user behavior in the app. The aim is to elaborate on different user types and adapt the app accordingly. Therefore, she analyzes qualitative and quantitative data with digital research methods like log file analysis and combines different data types via computer-based cluster analyses (unsupervised learning). She will produce digital tools for historical learning in her new project and create other modules including a bilingual module regarding the history of migration and displaced persons in Germany and America.

Main Areas of Interest

  • Digital history learning in cooperation with archives and other institutions beyond the classroom
  • History of “euthanasia”, eugenics, and forced sterilization
  • History of migration and displaced persons
  • Digital research methods (log file analysis, machine learning algorithms, qualitative content analysis)