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North Carolina German Studies Seminar and Workshop Series (NCGS)



Transatlantic Careers and Scholarly Contributions


Thursday, March 3 and Friday, March 4, 2022

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill



Internal Website for Workshop Presenters

For  access click here. Password needed.

The website gives access to the draft papers.



Aims of the Workshop


The workshop focuses on the migration experiences and the transatlantic impact of German historians who emigrated to North America since the late 1950s and made their academic careers in Canada or the United States. Through their bicultural experience, several of them became important transatlantic intermediaries, providing their American colleagues and students with insights into their country of origin and interpreting these for them. Converseley, they also informed German audiences about developments and debates in the American and Canadian academic systems and the history profession. With their specific transatlantic perspective, many of these historians have participated in and influenced theoretical and methodological debates on both sides of the Atlantic. Though the majority of the German historians who came to North America after the Second World War have focused on Modern Central European history, Jewish history, and the history of the Third Reich and the Holocaust as their main fields of research, an increasing number have also contributed to the development of other fields of historical scholarship.

The main objectives of the workshop and the planned book project are: first, to explore the experiences of this considerable group of German migrant historians (currently we have identified 82), which is much larger than any other group of European historians that migrated to Canada and the United States since the late 1950s, and ask what informed both their education and career choices and motivated them to emigrate to North America; second, to examine how their migration experiences informed their own research and teaching as well as their professional service, standing, and influence in both the North-American and German history profession; and third, to discuss more generally the question of whether and how historians can and should draw on their own experiences and biographical stories to contribute to the collective history of their academic discipline and the university system.

We intend to address these aims and the related questions in the workshop and the book project by combining three approaches: first, a database analysis of the social composition, migration history, and career paths of the whole cohort of 82 German migrant historians born between the 1930s and 1980s that we have identified so far will provide a quantitative framework; second, individual biographical stories told by 16 male and female historians of different ages and backgrounds about their socialization, education, and migration experience and the impact of these on their scholarship and career; and third, more generalizing interpretative comments on these biographical stories by other historians who share the migration experience. With this combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, we intend to make an innovative contribution to the scholarship on academic migration and transatlantic careers and at the same time to explore the role that the historian’s own socialization, experience, and identity play in their writing of history.

The preliminary analysis of the group of 82 German-born historians indicated three successive age cohorts of migrant historians, who mainly came from West Germany (only four grew up in East Germany): First, the historians who were born before 1950 and grew up during the war and postwar period. Most of them seem to have left their German home country, which struggled to cope with the Nazi past and the destruction of war, for a better education, a freer intellectual atmosphere, and more job opportunities in Canada and the United States. In our sample of the 82 German-born historians, twenty-one—three of them women (14 percent)—belong to this cohort. Second, the historians who were born in the years of the economic recovery of the 1950s and 1960s. Many of them grew up in relative prosperity in West Germany but experienced a dramatically changing society during the 1960s to 1980s. Several seem to have crossed the Atlantic for an international university education or because they hoped for a job they could not obtain in the overcrowded and underfunded academic system of the unified Germany. Forty belong to this age cohort; three of them were born in the former GDR; fourteen are women (35 percent). Third, the historians who were born and grew up in the times of change during the 1970s and 1980s. Several of them seem to have experienced the American and Canadian education system first as exchange students at high schools and colleges and afterwards decided to pursue their doctoral degrees in one of the two countries and stayed there afterwards to pursue an academic career. Twenty-one belong to this age cohort; one of them was born in the former GDR; seven are women (33 percent).

In the study of these three cohorts of German historians, who migrated to North America since the late 1950, we hope to explore both the personal trajectories and the institutional structures that governed their departure from home, their subsequent fates in their new environment, and the nature of their intellectual contributions. We envision the three age cohorts as an open framework for the structuring of the workshop and the book project. We are interested not only in the similarities and differences of the experiences of the three cohorts, but also in the group as a whole. What we intend to avoid is a “heroic” self-construction of the individual biographical stories written in hindsight. This is challenging because we all are subject to our own “biographical illusions,” but we have encouraged all presenters to stay away from streamlined success-narratives that focus on achievement, and instead to reflect also on ambiguities and paradoxes and to address obstacles they have faced. We hope to foster a (self-)critical and intersectional analysis that relates and compares the individual stories and places them in their transatlantic historical context.



Workshop Program

For a PDF of the workshop program click here


3:00–3:30 PM (Zoom Seminar)


Karen Hagemann and Konrad H. Jarausch (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) 

3:30–4:30 PM

German Historians in North America after 1945 – A Cohort Analysis

Karen Hagemann:

A sense of freedom, possibility and a wide-open future”: German Historians in North America after 1945 – A Cohort Analysis

4:30-4:45 PM



4:45–7:10 PM  (Zoom Webinar)

GROWING UP DURING WAR AND POSTWAR: Scholars born in the 1930s and 1940s in East or West Germany


Introduction and Moderation: Karen Hagemann (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Presentation by

    • Volker R. Berghahn  (Columbia University):

Born in 1938: The Twists and Turns of a Life in Teaching and Research in Three Academic Cultures

    • Konrad H. Jarausch (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill):

Inadvertent Intermediary: Becoming a German Historian in the US

    • Michael Geyer (University of Chicago):

“I came to the United States to get a job”: The Transatlantic Mis/adventures of a Military Historian, 1977-2016

Comment: Andreas Daum (SUNY Buffalo)

Short  break before the start of the discussion



Friday, March 4, 2022


9:30 AM–12:00 PM (Zoom Seminar)

CHILDREN OF THE YEARS OF THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY: Scholars born in the 1950s and 1960s in East or West Germany



Introduction and Moderation:  Andrea Sinn (Elon University)

Presentation by

    • Frank Biess (University of California-San Diego):

Professors, Post-Structuralism, and the ‘Postwar’: My Journey from the Swabian Province to Southern California

    • Andreas Daum (SUNY Buffalo):
      Moving Transatlantic: Opportunities, Contingencies, Choices
    • Wolf Gruner (University of Southern California):

From East Berlin to West Los Angeles. An unexpected Journey

    • Gregor Thum (University of Pittsburgh):

Going East and Going West. As Central Europeanist in the US

Comment: Helmut Walser Smith (Vanderbilt University)

Short  break before the start of the discussion

12:00–1:00 PM 

Lunch Break


1:00–3:30 PM (Zoom Seminar)


Introduction and Moderation: A. Dirk Moses (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Presentation by

    • Karen Hagemann (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill):

“Discrimination can take many forms…”: Historian by Passion, Professor and Migrant by Chance

    • Thomas Kühne (Clark University):
      German American Identity and the Demise of National Histories
    • Uta Poiger (Northeastern University):

Women Make History But Not on Their Own Terms

    • Ulrike Strasser (University of California-San Diego):

Straight Outta Niederbayern: Writing Gender History on the US West Coast

Comment: Till van Rahden (Université de Montréal)

Short  break before the start of the discussion

3:30-4:00 PM



4:00-6:30 PM (Zoom Seminar)

GROWING UP IN TIMES OF CHANGE: Scholars born in the 1970s and 1980s in East or West Germany



Introduction and Moderation: James Chappel (Duke University)

Presentation by

    • Anna von der Goltz  (Georgetown University):
      The Unlikely Story of an Anglophile German in America
    • Thomas Pegelow Kaplan (Appalachian State University):

Reexamining Histories and Memories of Violence in Central Europe
from a Hybrid Space: A German-Born Scholar of Generation X in U.S. Academe

    • Andrea Sinn (Elon University):
      Transatlantic Mediator or German Abroad? On the Role of DAAD German Studies Professors in the United States
    • Philipp Stelzel (Duquesne University):

One Transatlantic Trajectory I Have Known

Comment: Astrid M. Eckert (Emory University)

Short  break before the start of the discussion

6:30-6:50 PM

Final Remarks: Konrad H. Jarausch



Organizers of the Workshop


Main organizers:

  • Karen Hagemann (James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • Konrad H. Jarausch (Lurcy Professor of European Civilization, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)


In collaboration with:

  • Thomas Pegelow Kaplan (Levine Distinguished Professor of Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies, Appalachian State University)
  • Andrea Sinn (Stella S. and John C. O’Briant Developing Professor and Associate Professor of History, Elon University)
  • Teresa Walch (Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro)

Workshop Assistants:

  • Kevin J. Hoeper (Ph.D. Candidates, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History), email:  
  • Kenneth Alarcón Negy  (Ph.D. Candidates, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History), emails:
  • Maddie James (Ph.D. Candidates, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History)


Sponsors and Supporters of the Workshop

  • German Academic Exchange Service
  • Max Kade Foundation
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Center for European Studies
  • Carolina Seminar Series
  • The James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence in Graham Memorial

We would like to thank our sponsors warmly for their support!



Bios of Workshop Participants on the Program


Scholars born in the 1930s and 1940s in East or West Germany


Volker R. Berghahn (born 1938 in Berlin) grew up in Essen, Braunschweig, und Hamburg. He first studied law at the University of Göttingen and moved afterward in the United States to study political science and history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received his MA. in 1961. He defended his Ph.D. at the University in London in 1964, and his Habilitation at the University in Mannheim in 1971. Since 1975 he was Professor for European History at Warwick University. In 1988, he moved back in the U.S. to become a professor at Brown University. In 1998, he became the Seth Low Professor for History at Columbia University. His major fields of research are German and European history and the American-German relations. He won numerous prestigious fellowships and grants. His most recent books are: Hans-Guenther Sohl als Stahlunternehmer und Präesident des Bundesverbandes der Deutschen Industrie, 1906-1989 (2020); Journalists between Hitler and Adenauer. From Inner Emigration to the Moral Reconstruction of West Germany (2019); and American Big Business in Britain and Germany: A Comparative History of Two “Special Relationships” in the 20th Century (2014).


Michael Geyer (born 1947 in Freiburg) studied at the Albert Ludwigs Universität, Freiburg history and German language and literature, got his First Staatsexamen for höhere Schulen similar (in 1972to an MA) there and also obtained his doctorate from Albert Ludwigs Universität Freiburg in 1976. Following his dissertation, he moved to St. Antony’s College at Oxford University as a postdoctoral researcher (1976-1977). He taught at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor from 1977 to 1986, first as an Assistant and since 1981 as an Associate Professor. In 1986, she moved to The University of Chicago, where he became a Full Professor and he since 2015 is the Samuel N. Harper Professor Emeritus of German and European History in the Department of History. He won several prestigious grants and fellowships. His research interests include twentieth-century German history, with a focus on military history and resistance movements during the Third Reich, as well as German intellectual history and the politics of memory. He won numerous prestigious fellowships and grants. His most recent books are: Zeitalter der Gewalt: Zur Geopolitik und Psychopolitik des Ersten Weltkriegs, ed. with Helmut Lethen and Lutz Musner (2015); Total War: Economy, Society, Culture at War, vol. 3 of The Cambridge History of the Second World War, ed. with Adam Tooze (2015); and Beyond Totalitarianism: Stalinism and Nazism Compared, ed. with Sheila Fitzpatrick (2009).


Konrad H. Jarausch (born 1941 in Magdeburg), grew up with his widowed mother in Bavaria and the Rhineland. He moved in the U.S. to study at the University of Wyoming in 1960 and defended his dissertation at the University of Wisconsin in 1969. He started his teaching career in the United States as an Assistant Professor at University of Missouri, Columbia and has been teaching as Lurcy Professor for European Civilization at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1983. He served as a president of the German Studies Association (1985–86), Chair of the Conference Group of Central European History, was from 1994 to 1998 co-founder of UNC/Duke Center for European Studies, and from 1998 to 2006 co-director of the Center for Contemporary History in Potsdam. He won numerous prestigious fellowships and grants. The focus of his work has been German and European history, with his earlier studies dealing with the First World War, as well as German students and professions, while his later work was more concerned with East Germany, re-unification and cultural democratization. Among the more than four dozen volumes which he wrote or edited, his most recent books are: Broken Lives: How Ordinary Germans Experienced the Twentieth Century (2018); Out of Ashes: A New History of Europe in the Twentieth Century (2015); and Reluctant Accomplice: A Wehrmacht Soldier’s Letters from the Eastern Front (2011).


Michael H. Kater (born in 1937 in Zittau) moved to Canada in his teenage years. He studied history and sociology from 1955 to 1959 at the University of Toronto (UoT); 1959-60 at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München; 1960-61 again at the UoT, where he got his M.A. From 1961 to 1966 he worked on his dissertation at the University of Heidelberg. He defended his dissertation in 1966 at the University of Heidelberg. He started his teaching career as a Lecturer at the University of Maryland (European Division) in 1965 to 1967.  In 1967 he started as Assistant Professor at York University, where he became Associate Professor in 1970 and Full Professor on 1973. From 1991 to 2001, he has been a Distinguished Research Professor at York University, since then he is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus. He has served on several committees of the American Historical Association as well as various editorial boards of historical journals. He won numerous prestigious fellowships and grants. The focus of his work is on the history of modern Germany, particularly National Socialism and the Third Reich. His most recent books are: Culture in Nazi Germany (2019); Hitler Youth (2004); and The Twisted Muse: Musicians and their Music in the Third Reich (1997).



Scholars born in the 1950s and 1960s in East or West Germany


Frank Biess (born in 1966 in Brackenheim b. Heilbronn) studied history, German literature, and political science at the Universities of Marburg and Tübingen in Germany from 1988 to 1991. He moved to the United States in 1991 as an exchange student at Washington University in St. Louis, where he obtained his MA in 1993. From 1993 to 1999, he was a doctoral student at Brown University where he defended his dissertation in 1999. After his postdoctoral fellowship at Rutgers University, Biess started as an Assistant Professor at the History Department of the University of California, San Diego in 2000, where he is currently teaching as a Full Professor. He won numerous prestigious fellowships and grants.  His research interests are twentieth-century German history, transnational history, as well as the history of war, violence and emotions. His most recent books are: German Angst? Fear and Democracy in the Federal Republic Germany (2020); Explorations and Entanglement: Germans in Pacific Worlds from the Early Modern Period to the World War (2018), ed. with Hartmut Berghoff and Ulrike Strasser; and Science and Emotions after 1945. A Transatlantic Perspective, ed. with Daniel Gross (2014).


Andreas W. Daum (born 1963 in Cologne) studied from 1983 to 1985 history, political science and art history at the University of Cologne, and continued at the Ludwig-Maximilian Universität München, where he obtained his MA in 1990 and his Ph.D. in 1995. In 1987 he studied abroad at Emory University. From 1995 to 2000, he worked at the German Historical institute in Washington D.C. He has received awards and fellowships from various institutions, including a fellowship at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University in 2001-02 and the Alexander von Humboldt Preis in 2019. In 2003, he started as a Professor of Modern History at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His research interests include German, European and transatlantic history from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, history of historiography, history of science and emigration after 1933. His most recent books are: Alexander von Humboldt (2019); The Second Generation: Émigrés from Nazi Germany as Historians: With a Biobibliographic Guide, ed. with Hartmut Lehmann, and James J. Sheehan (2016); and Kennedy in Berlin (2008).


Wolf Gruner (born 1960 in East Berlin) studied history at the Humboldt University of Berlin from 1984 to1989. In 1994, he defended his Dissertation at the Technical University of Berlin, in 2006 his Habilitation. In 1995, he worked for the Topography of Terror Berlin, 1998-2000 the Center for the Research on Antisemitism (TU Berlin) and 2004-2007 the Institute for Contemporary History Munich/Berlin. He was a fellow at institutions in Israel, Japan, the United States and Germany. In 2003, he was the E. Desmond Lee Visiting Professor of Global Awareness at Webster University, St. Louis. Since 2008, he holds the Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies and is Professor of History at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he is the Founding Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research since 2014. He is a member of the Academic Committee of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and other international advisory boards. His main fields of research are Holocaust and comparative Genocide studies, Jewish and Latin American history. His recent books include: The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia. Czech Initiatives, German Policies, Jewish Responses (2019, German original 2016, Czech 2019, Hebrew 2021); coedited with Thomas Pegelow Kaplan Resisting Persecution. Jews and Their Petitions during the Holocaust” (2020), and coedited with Steve Ross New Perspectives on Kristallnacht” (2019).


Karen Hagemann (born 1955 in Hamburg) studied history, German language and literature and education at the University of Hamburg from 1974 to 1980 and passed her Erstes Staatsexamen für das höhere Lehramt there. In 1989 she defended her dissertation at the same university. Beginning in 1987 she started as a lecturer (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) and then senior lecturer (Wissenschaftliche Assistentin) first at the Department of History at the TU Berlin and from 1995 at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of Women and Gender that she co-founded with Karin Hausen. In 2000, she defended her Habilitation at the TU Berlin. After fellowships and visiting professorships in the United States, Canada (where she was the DAAD chair at the Munk Center of the University of Toronto) and Germany, she was from 2003 to 2005 Professor and co-director of the Centre for Border Studies at the University of Glamorgen, Wales, and has been, since 2005, James G. Kennan Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has won numerous prestigious fellowships and grants. Her main fields of research are German, European and transatlantic history, social and cultural history, the history of military and war, and women’s and gender history. Her most recent books are: the Oxford Handbook of Gender, War, and the Western World since 1600 (2020), which she edited with Stefan Dudink and Sonya O. Rose; Umkämpftes Gedächtnis: Die Antinapoleonischen Kriege in der deutschen Erinnerung (2019); and Gendering Post-1945 German History: Entanglements, ed. with Donna Harsch and Friederike Brühöfener (2019).


Thomas Kühne (born 1958 in Cologne), grew up in the Swabian town of Nagold and studied history and German language and literature at the University of Tübingen, where he got his Erstes Staatsexamen für das höhere Lehramt in 1986 and received his PhD in 1992. He defended his Habilitation at the University of Bielefeld in 2003. He held teaching and research positions at the Universities of Konstanz, Bielefeld, Tübingen and Weingarten before moving to the US in 2003. He has been at Clark University since 2004, where he holds the Strassler Chair for the Study of Holocaust History and is the Director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He has won numerous prestigious fellowships and grants. His research focuses on genocides and wars in modern history, especially on Holocaust perpetrators and bystanders, the history of masculinities and the memorialization of war and genocide. His most recent books are The Rise and Fall of Comradeship: Hitler’s Soldiers, Male Bonding and Mass Violence in the Twentieth Century (2017); Globalizing Beauty. Body Aesthetics in the 20th Century, ed. with Hartmut Berghoff (2013); and Belonging and Genocide. Hitler’s Community, 1918-1945 (2010).


Uta Poiger (born 1965 in Wuppertal) studied history at the Ludwig-Alberts University in Freiburg, got her an MA in History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and defended in her PhD at Brown University in 1995. Before coming to Northeastern University as Chair of the History Department in 2011, Poiger taught for sixteen years at the University of Washington, Seattle, where she was the Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History and Adjunct Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Currently she is Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities and Professor of History at Northeastern University. In her research, she examines 20th-century German culture and society from a transnational perspective and makes the study of race and gender central to these explorations. She won several awards and honors. Her books include Jazz, Rock, and Rebels: Cold War Politics and American Culture in a Divided Germany (2000); The Modern Girl Around the World: Modernity, Consumption, Globalization, ed. with Alys Eve Weinbaum et al. (2008).


Till van Rahden (born 1967 in Bremen) studied history, sociology and literature at the Universität Bielefeld from 1988-1991. He received his MA. in American history at The Johns Hopkins University in 1993 and his doctorate in Modern History at Bielefeld University in 1999 and was then a research assistant in the history department. From 2000-06, he was Senior Lecturer (Wissenschaftlicher Assistent) at the Department of History at the Universität of Cologne, and 203-03 a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of History of the University of Chicago. Since 2006 he is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary history at the Université de Montréal, from 2006 to 2016 as holder of the Canada Research Chair in German and European Studies. He is also an adjunct research professor at Carleton University in Ottawa. He won several grant and fellowships. His research fields are the German and European history of the 19th and 20th centuries, gender issues, theory and history of modern democracies and the history of Jews in contemporary Europe. His most recent books are: Demokratie: Eine gefährdete Lebensform (2019); Autorität: Krise, Konstruktion und Konjunktur, editor (2016); and Jews and other Germans: Civil Society, Religious Diversity and Urban Politics in Breslau, 1860–1925 (2008).


Ulrike Strasser (born 1964 in Passau) studied after her Abitur in 1984 from 1984 to 1987 philosophy and history until the Zwischenprüfung first at the University of Regensburg and then at the University of Passau. Her MA in Medieval Studies she got at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo in 1990, and her PhD at the University of Minnesota in 1997. From 1997 until 2013 she taught at the University of California Irvine first as an Assistant and since 2003 aa Associate Professor. Since 2013 she is Full Professor at the University of California at San Diego. In recognition of excellence in teaching and research, Strasser has been the recipient of many awards and fellowships. Her research focuses on early modern German and European history, religious history, gender and sexuality, and history and theory. Her most recent books are: Missionary Men in the Early Modern World: German Jesuits and Pacific Journeys (2020); Cultures of Communication, Theologies of Media” (2017); Explorations and Entanglement: Germans in Pacific Worlds from the Early Modern Period to the World War (2018), ed. with Hartmut Berghoff and Frank Biess; and State of Virginity: Gender, Politics, and Religion in a Catholic State (2004).


Gregor Thum (born 1967 in Munich) studied History and Slavic Literature at the Free University of Berlin from 1988 through 1995. From 1995 to 2001 he was Lecturer (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) for East European history at the Viadrina European University in Frankfurt an der Oder, where he also defended his Ph.D. in 2002. He held the position of DAAD Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh (2003-08), of Junior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies (FRIAS) (2008-10), and of DAAD Associate Professor at the University of Washington (2010-11). In 2012, he returned to University of Pittsburgh as Assistant Professor. His field of research are 19th and 20th century Central European history with a particular interest in the German borderlands of East Central Europe; forced migration, “ethnic cleansing,” and genocide in 20th-century Europe; German-Polish relations; and the politics of the past. His most recent books include: Uprooted: How Breslau became Wrocław during the Century of Expulsions (2011); Helpless Imperialists. Imperial Failure, Fear, and Radicalizatio (2013), and Stille Revolutionen. Die Neuformierung der Welt seit 1989, ed. with Maurus Reinkowski (2013); and Stille Revolutionen. Die Neuformierung der Welt seit 1989, ed. with Katharina Kucher and Sören Urbansky (2013); He is currently completing the monograph Mastering the East. The German Frontier from 1800 to the Present.


Helmut Walser Smith (born 1962 in Freiburg) came as a four-year old with his family to the United States and and grew up in Ipswich, Mass. He studied in the US and defended his PhD at Yale University in 1992. He studied history at Cornell University, where he was especially influenced by the writings and thinking of I.V. Hull, Michael Kammen, and Dominic LaCapra. After jobbing in Germany and trying unsuccessfully to learn Russian at the University of Konstanz, he pursued graduate studies at Yale University, and worked with Henry A. Turner, Peter Gay, Paula Hyman, and Paul Kennedy, receiving a Ph.D in 1992. He has worked at Vanderbilt ever since, where he has served as the Director of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, The Max Kade Center for German and European Studies, and the Center for Digital Humanities. Currently he is the Martha Rivers Ingram Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. He von several grants and fellowships. His teaching and writing focus on modern German history, especially the long nineteenth century. He has served on the editorial boards of Central European History and the Journal of Modern History and in 2011-12 was past President of the Conference Group on Central European History of the American Historical Association. From 2005-2008, he was Director of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt. His recent book publications include: Germany. A Nation in its Time. Before, During, and After Nationalism (2020); The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History, editor (2011); and The Continuities of German History: Nation, Religion, and Race across the Long Nineteenth Century (2008).



Scholars born in the 1970s and 1980s  in East or West Germany


Astrid M. Eckert (born in the 1970s in Uelzen) grew up in the Lüneburger Heide region not far from the inter-German border. From 1991 to 1998 she studied history and communications at the Friedrich Meinecke Institute and North American studies at the John F. Kennedy Institute at the Free University of Berlin. In 1994/95, she visited the United States for the first time on a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Michigan, where she got her in MA in American Studies. Her MA in history she got in 1998 at the FU Berlin. She returned to the US for another year in 1998/99, this time on a Fox Fellowship at Yale University. From 1998 to 2003 she worked on her dissertation at the FU Berlin, where she got her PhD in 2003. From 2002 to 2005, she was a postdoctoral Research Fellow at German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. Since 2006, she has taught modern German and European history at Emory University in Atlanta. She has recently published West Germany and the Iron Curtain: Environment, Economy, and Culture in the Borderlands (2019); and Struggle for the Files: The Western Allies and the Return of German Archives after the Second World War (2012).


Anna von der Goltz (born 1978 in Freiburg) and grew up in Bremen. After her Abitur in 1997, she moved to Britain to study history and Modern European Studies, first at the University of Sussex and then at Oxford University, where she obtained an M. Phil (2003) and D. Phil (2007) in Modern European History. In 1999-2000, she studied with the Erasmus Program at the Free University of Berlin. From January 2008 to June 2009, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher/Contributor of a research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). 2011 she became a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow and Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of History, Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge. Since 2012, she has taught German and European History at Georgetown University, first at the rank of Assistant Professor and, since 2014, as Associate Professor. Her research focuses on twentieth-century Germany, political activism in the 1960s and 1970s and postwar German history. Book publications include: Hindenburg: Power, Myth, and the Rise of the Nazis (2009); Inventing the Silent Majority in Western Europe and the United States: Conservatism in the 1960s and 1970s, ed. with Britta Waldschmidt-Nelson (2017); and The Other ‘68ers: Student Protest and Christian Democracy in West Germany (2021).


Thomas Pegelow Kaplan (born 1971 in Wolfsburg) studied English and history at the University of Tübingen and graduated in 1995. He obtained his MA in American Studies at the Free University of Berlin in 1997, and an MA in Modern European History at the Technical University of Berlin in the same year. In 1998 he started his graduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he defended his PhD in 2004. From 2005 to 2007 he was Assistant Professor at Grinnell College, from 2007 he taught as an Assistant, and since2011 as an Associate Professor at Davidson College, and since 2015 has been the Leon Levine Distinguished Professor of Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies and the Director of the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies at Appalachian State University. He has received various fellowships and grant. His research interests include linguistic and cultural history of Nazi Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe, Holocaust and genocide studies, and global transatlantic protest movements in the twentieth century. His most recent books are: Resisting Persecution: Jews and Their Petitions during the Holocaust, ed. with Wolf Gruner (2020); Beyond ‘Ordinary Men’: Christopher R. Browning and Holocaust Historiography, ed. with Jürgen Matthäus (2019); and The Language of Nazi Genocide: Linguistic Violence and the Struggle of Germans of Jewish Ancestry (2011).


Andrea Sinn (born 1981 in Emmendingen) obtained her Master’s degree in Modern History, Medieval History and Religious Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich (LMU) in 2006, and defended her dissertation there in 2012. Afterward, she was Lecturer (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) at the LMU and a DAAD Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. She joined Elon University as an Assistant Professor in 2016; currently she is the O’Briant Developing Professor and Associate Professor of History at Elon. Since 2017, she has served as Director of the Jewish Studies Program at Elon University. Her research interests revolve around Modern German and Jewish History, with an emphasis on the Third Reich and the immediate post-Holocaust period. Recently, her research has focused on German women and religion in the home front during World War I. Her two books are: Jüdische Politik und Presse in der frühen Bundesrepublik (2014); and “Und ich lebe wieder an der Isar:” Exil und Rückkehr des Münchner Juden Hans Lamm (2008).


Philipp Stelzel (born 1977 in Munich), grew up in Munich and studied history at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich from 1998 to 2002. Soon thereafter, he moved to the United States to study at Columbia University, where he earned his MA in 2003. In 2010, he received his PhD in modern European, transnational and global history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has taught at UNC, Duke University and Boston College, and, from 2014, as an assistant professor of history at Duquesne University, where he is now associate professor. His first book is: History after Hitler: A Transatlantic Enterprise (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).