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Prof. Dr. Anne Friedrichs

Member of the academic staff, CRC Principal Investigator of the project: From "Displaced Persons" to "Refugee"
Room: 05 312
Phone: +49 6131-39 39415


Personal Details:

Anne Friedrichs joined the Leibniz Institute of European History in 2018; since 2020 she has been an associated researcher at the Centre Marc Bloch. In 2021 she joined the Collaborative Research Center (SFB 1482) on "Human Categorization" as Principal Investigator of a project on "Legal-Bureaucratic Categorization in the Postwar Period. From 'Displaced Persons' to 'Refugee'". In the academic year 2023–24 she will be Visiting Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

Anne Friedrichs studied cultural studies (Kulturwissenschaften) and history at Leipzig University as well as political science and urban and regional planning at the Université Lumière Lyon 2 and the Institut d’études politiques Lyon. After fellowships at the University of Cambridge and the Institut d’histoire moderne et contemporaine in Paris, she completed her PhD in 2010 with a dissertation on academic historiography in Great Britain and France and its relationship to changes of these two imperial nation-states between 1919 and 1968. This book was awarded the Johannes Zilkens-Promotionspreis by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation in 2012. After working in the Presidential Committee at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg (2010–2015) and completing research fellowships at the German Historical Institute in Warsaw and Paris, she was a research associate at Bielefeld University (2015–2018) and an assistant professor at Justus Liebig-University Giessen (2017/18). In July/August 2019 she worked at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and from October until December 2019 as a fellow at the Centre Marc Bloch. In 2023 she habilitated with a study on “Belonging in Transition. A European Social History of the Ruhr Poles, 1860-1950”.

Research Interests:

History of Europe in global, imperial and postcolonial contexts (19th -21st century)
History of migration, mobility and sedentariness
History of historiographies, of the humanities and of knowledge

Selected Memberships:

Commission on "migration" of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts

Selected Publications:

Tracer les limites des sociétés dans une perspective transeuropéenne : Les 'Polonais de la Ruhr' à la fin du XIXe et au début du XXe siècle, Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales 76, 3 (2021): 489–529.
Ed. special issue "Migrations and Border Processes: Politics and Practices of Belonging and Exclusion from the 19th to the 21st Century," Journal of Borderlands Studies 43, 4 (2019) (with Margit Fauser and Levke Harders). Unchanged reprint, London: Routledge 2021. Paperback 2023.
Ed. special issue "Migration, Mobilität und Sesshaftigkeit." Geschichte und Gesellschaft 44, 2 (2018).
Imperial History. In: Matthias Middell and Lluis Roura y Aulinas (ed.), Transnational Challenges to National History Writing, London: Palgrave-Macmillan 2013, pp. 164–201 (with Mathias Mesenhöller). Paperback 2015.
Das Empire als Aufgabe des Historikers. Historiographie in imperialen Nationalstaaten. Großbritannien und Frankreich 1919–1968. Frankfurt a. M.: Campus 2011.

Research projects:

Belonging in Transition. A European History of the "Ruhr Poles", 1860–1950

This project considers the Polish-German workers, mainly from the eastern parts of Prussia, Austria-Hungary, and the Russian Empire, who moved to the Ruhr Valley in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Extrapolating from this case study, it elaborates on a history of European societies through the lens of mobility and conflicts over multiple belonging. The history of mobile people is so closely linked to that of society in the Ruhr and the transformation of European empires that they can only be understood in their multifaceted relationships and interactions. From a methodological point of view, the project aims to contribute to the reconceptualisation of societies, starting from mobility and difference.

Legal-Bureaucratic Categorization in the Postwar Period. From "Displaced Persons" to "Refugee"

This project reconstructs the significance that legal-bureaucratic practices of categorization had for the production and establishment of global categories of persons, using the history of the "refugee" as an example. Our hypothesis is that between 1944 and 1951, in conjunction with the flexible self-representations of people in transit, international organizations expanded upon, replaced, and ultimately left behind the situational category of "Displaced Person" (DP). The project combines a multi-perspective approach with an analysis of local, international, and state practices of distinguishing between humans beyond the nation state, and thus further develops a socio-cultural approach for researching the historical interplay of mobility and belonging.
Team: Anne Friedrichs (Principal Investigator), Christina Wirth (Research Associate); Jonathan Beil (Student assistant)