Sarah Gensburger is a senior researcher in social sciences at the CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research). Since 2018, she has served as the deputy director of the ISP.

Sarah Gensburger

Senior researcher, CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research), deputy director of the ISP

personal website :


Research interests :

My research interests are at the intersection of political science, ethnographic work and contemporary historiographic issues. I am interested in the social dynamic of memory. In my dissertation, I studied the process of remembrance through the title of Righteous among the Nations. Since, as a sociologist, I have been working on the memorialization process in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Paris as well as on the social appropriations of the past by visitors at memorials and commemorative sites and exhibitions. As a social historian, I have been studying everyday life, housing issues and social networks in World War Two Paris, at the crossing of urban history and Holocaust history.

More recently, and as a political scientist this time, I have been studying the governmentality of memory and the way it has become a category of public intervention in Western democracies. In 2019, in this perspective, with Sarah Dybris McQuaid, I co-edited a special issue of the International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society untitled Administrations of Memory.  

In addition to my academic work, I have been involved in several digital humanity projects (https://happened-here.com/)


Université Paris Nanterre, bâtiment Max Weber 3é etg
200 av de la République
92000 Nanterre

Email : firstname.lastname@cnrs.fr

Main publications

Beyond Memory. Can we really learn from the past ?, London, Palgrave, forthcoming, with Sandrine Lefranc.

Memory on my doorstep. Chronicles of the Bataclan Beighborhood (Paris, 2015-2016), Leuven University Press, 2019.

Visites scolaires, histoire et citoyenneté. Les expositions du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale, La Documentation française, coll. Musées-Mondes, 2016, avec Sylvain Antichan, Jeanne Teboul et Gwendoline Torterat.

National Policy, Global Memory. The Commemoration of the Righteous among the Nations from Jerusalem to Paris, New York, Berghahn Books, 2016.

Witnessing the Robbing of the Jews. A Photographic Album, Paris 1940-1944, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, hardcover and paperback editions, 2015.

Full list of publications

View all on the HAL-SHS platform.

Latest news on the website