Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften


Current Positions

2009-present Director Käte Hamburger Kolleg “Work and Human Life Course in Global History” (re:work”), funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
2007-present Professor (Chair) of African History at Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany

Previous Positions

2002 – 2007 Full Professor of Modern History with a focus on African History, University of Hamburg
2000 – 2002 Assistant Professor of African History at Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
1998 – 2000 Researcher, Center for Modern Oriental Studies, Berlin
1995 – 1998 Assistant Professor, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
1991 – 1994 Research Assistant at History Department, University of Hamburg


2002 Postdoctoral Lecturer Qualification / Habilitation (Venia for Modern and Contemporary History), Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, Faculty of Philosophy I
1995 Ph.D. (Modern History), University of Hamburg, Germany
1990 M.A. (History), University of Hamburg
  (1985-1990 Studies in History, French and Journalism in Hamburg, Yaoundé and Aix-Provence)
  [I spent 12 months as an undergraduate at the University of Yaoundé (1986/87), 14 months in Cameroon for Ph.D research (1992/93), 12 months in total for postdoctoral research in Tanzania (1996-2000), plus various shorter research and conference trips to numerous African countries, e,g. Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa]


Englisch, Französisch, Spanisch (moderat), Portugiesisch (Basisc), Swahili (Basic)

Fellowships and Awards (Selection)

2018-19 Member Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, School of Social Science
2017 Guest of the Principle, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala
2016 Kratter Professorship, Stanford University
2016 Fellow Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Nantes
2015 Directeur d’Etudes invité, EHESS, Paris
2014 Visiting Fellow Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS)
2013 Fellow Maison de l’Histoire, Université de Genève
2013 Fellow Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, University of Michigan Ann Arbor
2012 Fellow Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies (FRIAS)
2007 Visiting Professor, Harvard University, Department of History
2006 Directeur d’Etudes invité, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris
2005 Visiting Professor, University of Indiana, Bloomington
2002 Directeur d’Etudes invité, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris
2000 Habilitation Grant German Historical Institute London
2000 Visiting Fellow, Center for African Studies, SOAS, University of London

Competitive Research Grants (current; Selection)

German Research Council (DFG)/AHRC: Funding c. 800.000 €: “Where have all the workers gone. Labour and Work in Postcolonial Ghana” (together with Gareth Austin, University of Cambridge), 2022-2024

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Funding: Euro 18 Mio. Käte Hamburger Kolleg “Work and Human Life Course in Global History”, 2009-2023

Senate of Berlin / Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF): Euro 3,8 Mio: Forum Transregional Studies, 2013-2020 (together with Wissenschaftskolleg, Max-Weber Foundation); from 2021 on annual funding of 500 000 € from the land Berlin

German Research Council (DFG): Graduate Program “Global Intellectual History”, Euro 5 Mio; 2017-2021; 2021-2025 (together with Sebastian Conrad, Free University Berlin)

Gerda Henkel Stiftung: 300 000 €, 2019-2022 (Provenance Research National Museum Dar es Salaam)

Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script” (PI: Leader of research unit re-allocation; Member of the Cluster’s Board): 2020-2026


Advisory Boards / Chairpersonships (Selection)

Since 2020 Merian Institute for Advanced Study in Africa (MIASA), Accra (Chair of Board)
2015 -present German Historical Institute Paris (Vice-Chair of Board; since 10/2021: Chair)
2012 -present Chair, Forum Transregional Studies
2009 -present Conseil scientifique, Point Sud, Bamako/Frankfurt
2009 -present Member, Council International African Institute, London
2007 - 2018 Chairman Arbeitskreis für Moderne Sozialgeschichte e.V. (Council for Modern Social History)
2014 - 2016 President German Association of African Studies
2013 - 2017 Conseil d’Administration, EHESS Paris
2010 - 2016 Council German Historical Association


Reviews for Scientific Organizations

Agence National de Recherche (ANR) / Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) / Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) / Volkswagenstiftung / Fritz Thyssen Stiftung / Wissenschaftsrat / Alexander von Humboldt Foundation / German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) / Gerda Henkel Stiftung / Max Weber Foundation / Max-Planck Gesellschaft / British Academy / Swiss National Fund / European Research Council / European Science Foundation / Guggenheim Foundation / Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research / Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa / FWF Wissenschaftsfond, Austria / German Israeli Foundation / Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften/Österreichischer Austauschdienst (OeAD)/ Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes


Reviews for Academic Institutions and Universities ( Fellowships / Tenure / Promotions)

Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin / Historisches Kolleg, Munich / Freiburg Institute of Advanced Study / Stanford Humanities Center / Institut d’Etudes Avancées Nantes / Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton / Institut von der Wissenschaft vom Menschen, Vienna / British Institute in Eastern Africa / Royal Dutch Academy / EHESS / European University Institute, Florence / School of Oriental and African Studies, London / University of Durham, UK / University of Edinburgh / Stanford University / University of California, San Diego / Rutgers University / Sciences Po / Yale University / Northwestern University / University of Chicago


Reviews for Academic Publishers

Amsterdam University Press / C.H. Beck Publishers / Cambridge University Press / Columbia University Press / Harvard University Press / Heidelberg University Press / Indiana University Press / James Currey Publishers / Ohio University Press / Princeton University Press / Routledge / Palgrave, MacMillan / University of Virginia Press


Reviews for Academic Journals

African Studies Review / Africa Spectrum / African Identities/ Afrika Zamani /Afrique Contemporaine / American Ethnologist / Annales / Cahiers d’Études Africaines / Cahiers des Mondes Russes/ Canadian Journal of African Studies / Canadian Journal of History /Cold War Review / European Journal of Sociology / History and Environment /History and Memory / Internationale Schulbuchforschung / International Journal of African Historical Studies / International Review of Social History/ Journal of African History / Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History /Journal of Contemporary History /Journal of Global History / Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History / Journal of Urban History / Labour History / Moving the Social / Nordic African Studies / Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft / Outre-Mers. Revue d’Histoire / Politique Africaine / Social Anthropology