Welcome to the Chair in Contemporary History, Department of History, University of Mannheim

What is contemporary history concerned with? This discipline has been described as the “history that is still smoldering” (a loose translation of a quotation by Barbara Tuchman), as “the epoch of those who are living through it” (Hans Rothfels), and as the “prehistory of current complex challenges” (Hans-Günter Hockerts). These are the coordinates, in which our research takes place. Predominantly, we focus on the history of the 20th century in Germany, Europe, and North America, but we embed these stories in global contexts and lines of development that were set in motion beginning with the with the beginning of the European expansion from the 16th century onwards. Therefore, we are interested in historical experiences beyond the Western-transatlantic modernity as well. In terms of methodology, our research includes traditional political and social history, cultural history approaches, and the history of transnational interactions and international relations. Associated with the chair in contemporary history is the research center “Resistance Against National Socialism in the German Southwest”.

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