Freedman Fellows presentations continue Feb. 8 with a look at ”The Myth of Dresden”

The Freedman Fellows Presentation Series will continue Friday, Feb. 8, as Susanne Vees-Gulani, associate professor of modern languages and literature, presents “The Myth of Dresden: Origins & Manifestation of the German Victim Discourse I.”

The event will take place in the Kelvin Smith Library, Room LL06, from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Since a February 1945 firestorm caused by heavy air raids largely destroyed Dresden, this German baroque city has served as a symbol for the brutality of warfare and suffering. Vees-Gulani challenges the unquestioned acceptance of the Dresden victim status because the city was in fact neither an unjustified military target nor was the level or timing of the bombings exceptional.

Vees-Gulani explores the reasons for this misinterpretation, based on data from the 17th century to 1945, such as paintings, postcards, photographs and tourist guides, that helped create an image of Dresden of mythic dimensions. The goal is to design a database and subsequent visualizations that communicate the various connections successfully and help better understand the complex interplay between historical facts, victim narrative and cultural representation.

Co-presenter Richard Wisneski, team leader for acquisitions and metadata at the Kelvin Smith Library, will describe various metadata approaches to Vees-Gulani’s project, with the pros and cons of each. Attention will be given to metadata strategies and planning.

This presentation is free to attend. Pizza and beverages will be provided.

The Freedman Fellows Program is a partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences and Kelvin Smith Library. This program aims to identify and support scholarly research of faculty at Case Western Reserve University. Awards are granted to faculty to sustain projects that are currently active, hold scholarly or instructional value, integrate the use of digital tools, and have clear project outcomes in support of digital scholarship.

To learn more about the Freedman Fellows Program and its recipients, visit