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Dr. Bernhard Gißibl

Member of the academic staff, CRC subproject Zoological Human Differentiation
Room: 02 301
Phone: +49 6131 39 39361


Personal Details:

Born in 1976, Bernhard Gissibl studied History and German Studies in Munich and Swansea (Great Britain), 2003-2006 doctoral studies at Jacobs University Bremen with a scholarship from the Bischöfl. Studienförderung Cusanuswerk, doctorate 2009 at the University of Mannheim.
2002/2003 Research assistant at the Historical Institute of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, 2006-2010 Research assistant, 2010-2012 Akademischer Rat a.Z. at the Historical Institute of the University of Mannheim. Since May 2012 Research Associate at the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) in Mainz, since July 2021 in the DFG-funded SFB 1482 "Human Differentiation". From April to May 2015 Bernhard Gißibl was Visiting Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich.

Research Interests:

Bernhard’s research interests focus on German and European history in global contexts. They include the history of transnational communication and media during the Cold War, the history of nature conservation and European imperialism in general, particularly in its environmental dimensions. Currently, he is also co-editing a volume that investigates the utility of cosmopolitanism as an analytical concept for global historical studies.

Selected Publications:

(Hg., mit Andrea Hofmann) Multiple Sacralities. Rethinking Sacralizations in European History. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2023
Wilderness, Deep Evolution, Circle of Life: Sacralizing the Serengeti, in: Gissibl/Hofmann (Hg.): Multiple Sacralities, Rethinking Sacralizations in European History. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2023.
(Hg., mit Katharina Niederau) Imperiale Weltläufigkeit und ihre Inszenierungen. Theodor Bumiller, Mannheim und der deutsche Kolonialismus um 1900. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2021, Open Access
Gutachten zu den Namensgebern der Gustav-Nachtigal-Straße, Leutweinstraße, Lüderitzstraße und des Sven-Hedin-Weg in Mannheim-Rheinau (zusammen mit Johannes Paulmann im Auftrag des MARCHIVUM Mannheim, März 2020) PDF
The Nature of German Imperialism. Conservation and the Politics of Wildlife in colonial East Africa. New York/Oxford: Berghahn 2016 (Paperback 2019).


Animal Remains. Die ausgestorbenen Quagga-Zebras und ihr Nachleben im Mainzer Naturkundemuseum (JGU Mainz, Übung HWS 2023/24) PDF
Geschichtswissenschaft im Anthropozän (JGU Mainz, Übung SoSe 2022)

Current scientific events

Dark Green Religion in Europe: History and Impacts, Dangers and Prospects (Konferenz in Kooperation mit Bron Taylor und Kate Rigby, 25.-27. April 2024 am IEG Mainz) Link
Gegenwärtige Vergangenheit im Zeitalter globaler Krisen: Koloniales Erbe vor Ort (Sektion auf dem 54. Deutschen Historikertag, 21. September 2023 in Leipzig, zusammen mit Sebastian Dorsch und Heike Liebau) Link
Zusammen-Leben im Anthropozän. Postkapitalistische Zukünfte des Naturschutzes“ (zusammen mit Helmuth Trischler, 20./21. Oktober 2022, Deutsches Museum München) PDF

Research projects:

Leibniz Research Alliance "Value of the Past"

The Leibniz Research Alliance "The Value of the Past" investigates the significance of the past for societies in the past and present. The first phase runs from 1 September 2021 until 31 August 2025.

Man and Animal at the Serengeti Research Institute: Management and Sciences of Sacralized Nature in the Second Half of the 20th Century

Funded by the SFB 1482 - Human Categorisation. The project understands comparative behavioural research as a central instance of dealing with the guiding difference between humans and animals in the 20th century. Using the example of the Serengeti Research Institute in Tanzania, East Africa, founded in 1965, it examines knowledge production, practice and politics of behavioural research on free-living large mammals. 

World squared: Mannheim and German colonialism

As the largest inland port in southern Germany and the industrial heart of Baden, the city of Mannheim became a hub of transcontinental connections with the colonial world of the southern hemisphere in the 19th century. Mannheim's economy processed colonial raw materials, and in the stacks of the Reiß-Engelhorn Museums thousands of objects of colonial provenance bear witness to the long-cherished dream of establishing the Colonial Museum of the German Southwest here.

Zoological Human Categorisation: Behavioural research in the context of decolonisation and scientific discipline formation

The project focuses on one of the most productive field sites of wildlife research during the 1960s and 1970s, the Serengeti Research Institute in post-colonial Tanzania. It analyses how the scientific study of the national park’s animal species through ethologists and ecologists was interrelated with the postcolonial renegotiation of social relationships within the Institute as well as around the Serengeti National Park and in Tanzania.