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Dr. Cornelia Aust

Member of the academic staff, Department of History. Spokesperson for Research Area 2 "Sacralisation and Desacralisation"
Room: 04-09, Diether-von-Isenburg-Str. 9-11, 55116 Mainz (Besucheranschrift)
Phone: +49 6131 39 39483
Fax: +49 6131 39 35326


Personal Details:

Cornelia Aust has studied History, Eastern European History, and Religious Studies in Leipzig, Jerusalem and Berlin (1996-2003). She received her MA from the Free University in Berlin and spent the following academic year (2003-2004) at the University of Warsaw. She then studied at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadephia, where she received her PhD in 2010. Among many fellowships, she received an International Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council (2006-2007) and held the Louis Apfelbaum and Hortense Braunstein Apfelbaum Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies in Philadelphia in 2008-2009. Before coming to Mainz as a member of the academic staff in April 2013, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Martin Buber Society of Fellows at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (2010-2013). She also teaches at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in the History Department and in Judaic Studies at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main.

Research interests:

Early Modern and Modern Jewish History in Central and East Central Europe
Jewish Economic History
Transcultural/ transnational history
History of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Cultural history of dress in the early modern period

Publications (Selection):

The Jewish Economic EliteThe Jewish Economic Elite. Making Modern Europe. Indiana University Press 2018.

Daily Business or an Affair of Consequence? Credit, Reputation, and Bankruptcy among Jewish Merchants in Eighteenth-Century Central Europe. In: Rebecca Kobrin, Adam Teller (eds.). Purchasing Power: The Economics of Jewish History. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015, 71-90.

Merchants, Army Suppliers, Bankers: Transnational Connections and the Rise of Warsaw’s Jewish Mercantile Elite (1770-1820). In: Glenn Dynner, François Guesnet (eds.). Warsaw. The Jewish Metropolis: Essays in Honor of the 75th Birthday of Professor Antony Polonsky. Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2015, 42-69.

Between Amsterdam and Warsaw. Commercial Networks of the Ashkenazic Mercantile Elite in Central Europe. Jewish History 27,1 (2013), 41-71; DOI: 10.1007/s10835-012-9167-1.

Narrative jüdischer Wirtschaftsgeschichte in Osteuropa. François Guesnet (Hg.). Zwischen Graetz und Dubnow. Jüdische Historiographie in Ostmitteleuropa im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. Leipzig: Leipziger Akademische Verlagsanstalt 2009, 177-201.


Association of Jewish Studies (AJS)
European Association of Jewish Studies (EAJS)
Gesellschaft zur Erforschung der Geschichte der Juden (GEGJ)
Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands (VHD)
Verband der Osteuropahistorikerinnen und -historiker (VOH)
Arbeitskreis "Materielle Kultur und Konsum in der Vormoderne"


Dress Regulations and Religious Plurality

This project is concerned with the integration of the Jewish population into early modern political and social regimes.

Jewish Self-Government in 18th/19th–Century Poland

The research on Jewish self-government in Poland is conducted within the framework of a source reader (François Guesnet, Artur Markowski (eds.), Critical and Annotated Source Reader on the History of Jewish Self-Government in Poland, Leiden: Brill). 

The Jewish Economic Elite: Making Modern Europe

This book project is concerned with the economic and familial connections of Jewish merchants in central and east central Europe.