– Director International Research Center ‚Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History
– Professor of African History, Department of Asian and African Studies
Main areas of focus
– African history in the 19th and 20th century (with a focus on the history of the state, urbanisation and historiography).
– History of colonialism.
– History of work.
– Global history.
Selected ongoing research and current larger publication projects
– Representations of changing social orders – Collaborative Research Centre 640, German Research Foundation (DFG) (PI)
– Actors of cultural globalisation, 1860—1930 (DFG Research Group 955, spokesperson).
– Work and human lifecycle in global history (Federal Ministry of Education and Research – BMBF). International College of the Humanities, 2009—2015, director.
– Sport, Body and Subject: sport history as a cultural and social history of modernity (DFG cooperative project with Universities of Hamburg and Erfurt; PI).
– African history since 1850 (Manuscript for the new Fischer Weltgeschichte).
– A Short History of Colonialism (Manuscript for Princeton University Press).
– Journal of African History (Cambridge University Press)
– Journal of Modern European History (Beck Verlag)
– Globalgeschichte (book series, Campus Verlag)
– Industrielle Welt (book series, Böhlau Verlag)
– Periplus Studien (book series, LIT Verlag)
Research and professional experience
– 1985—1990 Studied history, romance studies and journalism in Hamburg, Yaoundé and Aix-en-Provence.
– 1990 M.A. University of Hamburg
– 1995 PhD (Promotion), University of Hamburg (medieval and modern history).
– 1995—1998 Member of the research staff at the Seminar für Afrikawissenschaften (African history), Humboldt University Berlin (HUB). Lecturer at the University of Bremen (History) and Leipzig (Institute for African studies).
– 1998—2000 Member of the research staff at the Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin. Lecturer at the Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften HU Berlin and at Mainz University (Department of Anthropology and African Studies).
– 2000 Post-doctoral research grant from the German Historical Institute London; Visiting Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London; Grant from the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.
– 2000—2002 Assistant professor at the Seminar für Afrikawissenschaften (African history), HUB.
– 2002 Post-doctoral teaching qualification (Habilitation) and teaching accreditation for modern and contemporary history, Philosophische Fakultät I (HUB).
– 2002 Visiting professor at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris.
– 2002—2007 Professor of modern history at the University of Hamburg. Focus – African history.
– 2003—2004 Head of the Department of History, University of Hamburg.
– 2004—2006 Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and History, University of Hamburg.
– 2005 Visiting professor at the African Studies Center, Indiana University, Bloomington.
– 2006 Visiting professor at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris.
– 2007 Visting professor at the Department of History, Harvard University.
– Since April 1, 2007 Chair of African history at the Humboldt University, Berlin.
– 2008—2009 Director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies.
– Since October 1, 2009 Director of the International Research Center “Work and human lifecycle in global history » (financed by the German ministry of education and research BMBF).
Academic memberships/activities (selection)
– Chairperson of the working group on modern social history (Arbeitskreis für Moderne Sozialgeschichte)
– Chairperson Forum Transregional Studies, Berlin
– Member Advisory Board International African Institute, London
– Member Advisory Board of the Program Point Sud (DFG/German Research Council)
– Liaison Lecturer (Vertrauensdozent) Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation
– Member Steering Committee German Historical Association
– Fellow Royal Historical Society
– Member of the Administrative Council of the EHESS
– Regular referee for: German Research Council (DFG); Fritz-Thyssen-Foundation; Volkswagen Foundation; Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation; Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes; Swiss National Science Foundation; Austrian Academy of Sciences; European Research Council; Institute of Advanced Study Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg); Netherlands Research Counil (NWO)