Professor Benjamin Ziemann
+44 (0)114 22 22585
Jessop West 3.14
Benjamin Ziemann has gained his PhD from the University of Bielefeld, and joined the department in 2005. He has authored, edited and co-edited 15 books. In addition, he has published about 90 journal articles and book-chapters. Many of his articles appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals, including Contemporary European History, Geschichte und Gesellschaft, German History, Central European History, Historische Zeitschrift and Archiv für Sozialgeschichte.
Benjamin's research covers a broad range of topics in German social, cultural political history during the nineteenth and twentieth century, and also in post-1945 Western European history. He is a renowned expert in the comparative military, social and cultural history of the First World War, and continues to conduct research on the First World War and on mass-violence in the twentieth century more generally. In his second monograph, praised by one reviewer as ‘one of the most important studies in contemporary history published in recent years’, he has analysed the process of the ‘scientisation of the social’, taking the Catholic Church in the Federal Republic as an example. Benjamin has a strong interest in the theory of history and in sociological systems theory, and a particular interest in the application of insights derived from the 'linguistic turn' in social and cultural history. One of Benjamin's long standing research interests is peace history. Benjamin is one of the co-directors of the Centre for Peace History at the Department of History, founded in 2009.
Benjamin has received numerous grants and fellowships, among others from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the Gerda Henkel Stiftung, the Historial de la Grande Guerre in Péronne (France), the Volkswagen Foundation and the Ministry for Schools, Science and Research in North Rhine-Westphalia. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Tübingen and a Visiting Scholar at Humboldt-University Berlin, at the University of York, the University of Bielefeld and at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo.
Membership of Professional Bodies
Benjamin is currently embarking on a new project, a biographical study of Martin Niemöller (1892-1984), a former U-boat captain and Protestant minister who was one of the figureheads of the ‘Confessing Church’ under the Nazi Regime. In this book, Benjamin will explore changes and continuities of nationalist Protestantism in Germany across the twentieth century.
Teaching and Research Interests
Benjamin is teaching late nineteenth and twentieth century German history and post-war Western European history. He is currently offering modules on Imperial Germany (at level two) and a third-year Special Subject on the history of the Weimar Republic. He is also teaching an MA module entitled ‘Voices of the Great War: Violence and Experiences in Great Britain and Germany, 1914-1919’, and is teaching on the core module for the MA in Twentieth-Century History. He welcomes graduate and research students working on any aspect of German social, political and cultural history since the late nineteenth century, on the history of the First World War, and students interested in the history of protest movements in Western Europe since 1945, and peace movements in particular.
Benjamin has supervised Meryn McLaren, who completed her PhD on 'Refugee Camps in the Federal Republic, 1945-1960. Community Building and Integration' in 2009. Meryn has won the essay prize of the German History Society for her article 'Out of the Huts Emerged a Settled People': Community-Building in West German Refugee Camps', published in German History 28 (2010), and her monograph on refugees in the early Federal Republic is forthcoming with Palgrave. Benjamin has also acted as external supervisor for Daniel Gerster, who gained his PhD from the European University Institute in Florence in 2011 with a book on changing Catholic discourses on war and peace in the Federal Republic.
He is currently supervising Brendan Murphy, who is working on a study entitled ‘Killing in the German Army: Combat and Survival in the Great War’.
Administrative Roles and Responsibilities
Within the department, Benjamin has served in various administrative roles. He is currently director of MA Studies and a member of the University Senate. From 2002 to 2012, he has served as a review editor for peace history and military history for the mailing list H-Soz-u-Kult, a part of H-Net. He is serving on the editorial boards of the journals Peace & Change, First World War Studies and of the Swiss Journal for Religious and Cultural History (Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Religions- und Kulturgeschichte). In 2011, Benjamin has joined the editors of the Archiv für Sozialgeschichte, one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed history journals in Europe.
Books / Special Issues
- Contested Commemorations. Republican War Veterans and Weimar Political Culture (Cambridge: CUP, 2013)
- (with Bernd Ulrich, eds.) The German Soldiers of the Great War. Letters and Eyewitness Accounts, (Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2010)
- Sozialgeschichte der Religion. Von der Reformation bis zur Gegenwart [Social History of Religion. From the Reformation to the Present], (Frankfurt/M. New York: Campus 2009)
- Katholische Kirche und Sozialwissenschaften 1945-1975 [The Catholic Church and the Social Sciences 1945-1975], Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2007 (english translation forthcoming with Berghahn Books)
- War Experiences in Rural Germany, 1914-1923, (Oxford. New York: Berg, 2007)
- (co-editor, with Miriam Dobson), Reading Primary Sources, London: Routledge (London: Routledge, 2008)
- (editor) Peace Movements in Western Europe, Japan and the USA during the Cold War, (Essen: Klartext, 2007)