Sie sind hier: FRIAS School of History Fellows Prof. Dr. Christian Geulen

Prof. Dr. Christian Geulen

Universität Koblenz
Guest Fellow

Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)
School of History


Born 1969; 1993 Master in History at Johns-Hopkins-University, 1993-1996 Doctoral Scholarship (VW-Foundation); 1996 Research Scholarship, German Historical Institute, Washington; 1997 Research Scholarship, Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut, Essen; 1997-2001 Research Fellow, Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen; 2002 Dr. phil. at University of Bielefeld; 2003  Assistant Professor (substitute) University of Cologne; 2002-2003 PostDoc Scholarship University of Bielefeld; 2003-2009  Juniorprofessor University of Koblenz; since 2009 tenure at University of Koblenz; Oct. 2011-Dec. 2011 FRIAS fellowship


PUBLICATIONS (10 selected)

  • Grundbegriffe des 20. Jahrhunderts, München: Beck (in progress)
  • Geschichte des Rassismus, München: Beck 2007.
  • Wahlverwandte. Rassendiskurs und Nationalismus im späten 19. Jahrhundert, Hamburg: Hamburger Edition 2004.
  • (ed. mit A. von der Heiden u. B. Liebsch) Vom Sinn der Feindschaft, Berlin: Akademieverlag, 2002.
  • (ed. mit K. Tschuggnall) Aus einem deutschen Leben. Lesarten eines biographischen Interviews, Tübingen: diskord, 1999.
  • Ideology's Logic: The Evolution of Racial Thought from the Volkish Movement to the Third Reich, in: Mark Roseman et al. (eds)., Beyond the Racial State, Cambridge UP (forthcoming)
  • Culture's Shadow: 'Race' and Postnational Belonging in the 20th Century, in: Manfred Berg u. Simon Wendt (ed.), Racism in the Modern World. Historical Perspectives on Cultural Transfer and Adaptation, New York: berghahn, 2011, pp. 65-83.
  • Plädoyer für eine Geschichte der Grundbegriffe des 20. Jahrhunderts, in: Zeithistorische Forschungen 7 (2010/1), Heft 1, pp. 79-97.
  • Wahn und Wahrheit. Überlegungen zum 'Unbewussten' in der Mediengeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts, in: ZeitRäume. Potsdamer Almanach des Zentrums für Zeithistorische Forschungen 2009.
  • Franz Boas und der Kulturdeterminismus, in: Hans-Walter Schmuhl (ed.), Franz Boas: Wissenschaft, Politik, Mobilität, Bielefeld: transcript 2009, pp. 134-155.


"The Historical Semantics of Popular Science in Early West-Germany"

The popularization of scientific knowledge and technology in post-war West-Germany constituted an educational discourse through which West-Germans were supposed to be made familiar with and adapt themselves to a Western, non-ideological, rational and dispassionate way of thinking. At the same time, and for that very reason, science and technology became ideologically charged with the promise to direct and stabilize a newly emerging West-German democratic self-understanding. These ambivalent ideological dimensions of the post-war context had an observable effect on the very semantics of popular science's most basic concepts and most often used categories, such as 'nature', 'future', 'knowledge', 'progress', 'life', 'humanity', 'history' or 'modernity'. The project's aim is to interpret this seemingly very particular phenomenon as part of a larger semantic transformation that many of these concepts and ideas went through in the middle of the 20th century, focusing on the question of how their popular scientific framing also affected their political meaning.