I am writing a book on the relationship between Africans and Germans in the 17th and 18th centuries. It investigates the experience of Africans living in the German states, the way they were perceived and how this affected integration. My analysis places the German case in the context of the Atlantic world and the European intellectual debate on race and slavery. I argue against the notion that the German Enlightenment period can be seen as the cradle of racist thinking. I instead propose that this period was a transitional phase, clearly distinct from racist attitudes that developed in the 19th century.
- Selbstmord in der Frühen Neuzeit: Diskurs, Lebenswelt und kultureller Wandel am Beispiel der Herzogtuemer Schleswig und Holstein (Suicide in the Early Modern Period: Discourse, Experience and Cultural Change). Göttingen: Publications of the Max Planck Institute for History, Vandenhoeck&Ruprecht, 1999.
- Suicide in the Early Modern Period: Discourse, Experience and Cultural Change, translation of "Selbstmord in der Frühen Neuzeit," under contract with Berghahn Press, New York.
- "The Early Modern Suicidal Mind and Body: Examples from Northern Germany." In Jeffrey R. Watt (ed.), From Sin to Insanity: Suicide in Early Modern Europe. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004, 14-45.
- "Privileged Dependency on the Edge of the Atlantic World: Africans and Germans in the Eighteenth Century." In Byron Wells, Philip Stewart (eds.), Interpreting Colonialism. Oxford: Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, Oxford University Press, in press.
- "Africans in Early Modern German Society: Identity - Difference - Aesthetics - Anthropology," In: Bulletin of the German Historical Institute No. 28 (Spring 2001), 74-82.
- "Crossing the Atlantic Twice: Black Africans and Americans in Late Eighteenth-Century Germany - Encounters of Color, Race, Identity, and the Exotic," (International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World), Charles Warren Center, Harvard University: Working Paper No. 98-34, 1998.
- "Das Scheitern eines neuen Lebensentwurfs und einer neuen Konzeption von Liebe. Der Historienmaler Philip Peter Pfeifer (1775): Ein Leben in Bildern". In Martin Rheinheimer (ed.), Subjektive Welten. Wahrnehmung und Identität in der Frühen Neuzeit. Neumünster: Wachholtz Verlag, 1998, 137-154
My teaching interests include courses on early modern Europe and Western Civilization, as well as overviews on social, cultural, gender, intellectual and religious history with a transatlantic approach.
- HIST 111 Western Civilization 1500-1800
- HIST 112 Western Civilization from 1800
- HIST 406 Gender and Sexuality
- HIST 416 The Enlightenment
- HIST 495 Senior Research Seminar
- HIST 498 Death and Dying
- HIST 640 Graduate Reading Seminar
Ph.D., University of Kiel, Germany, 1997
Early Modern Europe