Dr. Christina Schröer
Christina Schröer studied History, German Studies and Cultural Studies at the University of Münster and the University of Strasbourg. She has worked at the University of Münster as a Junior Research Fellow in the Collaborative Research Center 496 “Symbolische Kommunikation und gesellschaftliche Wertesysteme” (2003–2007), as a Lecturer at the Department of Modern and Contemporary History (2007–2008) and as a Junior Research Fellow in the Cluster of Excellence 212 “Religion und Politik” (2009–2011). After completing her doctorate on the Symbolic Politics of the French Revolution in 2010 (supervised by Prof. Hans-Ulrich Thamer) she came to the University of Freiburg, where she has been working as Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern (West)European History since 2011 (chair: Prof. Jörn Leonhard). Following a year of parental leave, she is currently preparing a comparative study on the relationship between politics and religion in Germany and France from the 1870s to the 1920s.
This FRIAS research project is intended to result in a second book (habilitation). It allows for the combination of several research interests, particularly a new history of religion and politics, together with aspects of Visual and Transnational History. Other fields of interest include Memory Studies and the politics of history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Schröer also has professional experience in the popularization of history in media and museums.
- Republik im Experiment. Symbolische Politik im revolutionären Frankreich 1792–1799, Cologne/Weimar/Vienna 2014.
- Herrschaftsverlust und Machtverfall, Munich 2013 (with Peter Hoeres and Armin Owzar).
Articles and book chapters
- Sinnstiftung im Ausnahmezustand. Symbolik und Gewalt im Zeitalter der Französischen Revolution, in: Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger / Tim Neu / Christina Brauner (eds.): Alles nur symbolisch? Bilanz und Perspektiven der Erforschung symbolischer Kommunikation, Cologne 2013, 219–242.
- Le retour de l’Ancien Régime ou l’apogée de l’idéologie républicaine? Stratégies de la représentation du pouvoir politique dans l’espace parisien à l’époque du Directoire, in: Thierry Belleguic / Laurent Turcot (eds.): Les histoires de Paris, XVIe–XVIIIe siècle, t. II, Paris 2013, 547–560.
- Symbolic Politics and the Visualisation of the Constitutional Order during the First French Republic, 1792–1799, in: Silke Hensel / Ulricke Bock / Katrin Dircksen / Hans-Ulrich Thamer (eds.): Constitutional Cultures. On the Concept and Representation of Constitutions in the Atlantic World, Newcastle upon Tyne 2012, 163–188.
Religion and Politics at the Beginning of the Age of Masses – A Comparison of France and Germany (1870s – 1920s)
A deep transformation of the religious took place in the late nineteenth century. In this context, traditional religion did not become obsolete as a resource for social relationships. It was adopted by new cults, reduced to certain topoi and images, and transferred to newly emerging areas of mass society. In this way, it inevitably influenced societal structures and political processes.
This project aims to develop a new perspective on the transformation of religious and political cultures in Europe from the 1870s to the 1920s by describing and interpreting religious ‘events’, ‘cults and cult objects’, as well as ‘textual and visual religious semantics’. The emphasis is placed on the German and French examples, which were far more closely related and intertwined in much more significant ways than historiography has thus far assumed. Historical studies themselves have contributed largely to the solidification of particular narratives such as the opposition of a ‘laicist’ France and a ‘national-protestant’ German Empire. Consequently, it is also necessary to consider both the historical importance of such frames of interpretation and the reasons as to why they have lost their validity.
The project assumes that the omnipresence of religious symbolism resulted in a trivialisation of its meanings, and thus enhanced possibilities to connect the religious to political messages. The effects of this deep-reaching transformational process continue to affect our society until today.