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Prof. Dr. Johannes Paulmann

Room: 02 306
Phone: +49 6131 39 39362


Personal Details:

Born in 1960; undergraduate studies in History in Munich and Leicester (England); PhD in 1991 and Habilitation in 1999 (Munich), 2000–2002: Professor of Modern History in Munich; 2002–2006: Professor of History at the International University Bremen and first incumbent of the Helmut Schmidt Chair for International History; 2006–2011: Professor of Modern and Contemporary History in Mannheim, visiting professorship among others at London School of Economics, St Antony's College Oxford, Université de Montréal and the Sorbonne Université et Panthéon Sorbonne.

Since 2011 Johannes Paulmann has been Director at the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) in Mainz. He is spokesperson for the NFDI4Memory consortium for historically working sciences as part of the development of a National Research Data Infrastructure. As PI he is involved in CRC 1482 "Studies in Human Categorisation" at the JGU and the IEG.

Memberships (Selection):

Spokesperson of the DFG Review Board Historical Sciences
Chairman of the Advisory Board of the DHI Moscow
Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin
Advisory Board of the Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture — Simon Dubnow

Research Interests:

European history
Transnational and international history
German history in a transnational perspective

Editorships (Selection):

Editor (together with Markus Friedrich and Nick Stargardt) of the Jahrbuch für Europäische Geschichte / European History Yearbook (De Gruyter Oldenbourg).
Joint editor of the Studien zur Internationalen Geschichte (De Gruyter Oldenbourg).
Chief editor (with Nicole Reinhardt) of the Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Europäische Geschichte (VIEG),(Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht)
Chief editor (with Nicole Reinhardt) of the website European History Online (EGO) of the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz.

Selected Publications:

Paulmann, J. / Dizdar, D. / Hirschauer, S. / Schabacher, G. 2021 (Hg.): Humandifferenzierung. Disziplinäre Perspektiven und empirische Sondierungen. Weilerswist: Velbrück Wissenschaft.
Paulmann, J./ Möller, E./ Stornig, K. 2020 (Hg.): Gendering Global Humanitarianism in the Twentieth Century. Practice, Politics and the Power or Representation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Paulmann, J. 2019: Globale Vorherrschaft und Fortschrittsglaube. Europa 1850 – 1914. München: Beck (arab. Übers. 2022 im Kalima Verlag, Abu Dhabi).
Paulmann, J. 2019 (Hg.): Humanitarianism & Media. 1900 to the Present, New York: Berghahn Books.
Paulmann, J./ Feindt, G. /Gißibl, B. 2017 (Hg.): Kulturelle Souveränität. Politische Deutungs- und Handlungsmacht jenseits des Staates im 20. Jahrhundert. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
Paulmann, J./ Schnettger, M. /Weller, T. 2016 (Hg.): Unversöhnte Verschiedenheit: Verfahren zur Bewältigung religiös-konfessioneller Differenz in der europäischen Neuzeit. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
Paulmann, J. 2016 (Hg.): Dilemmas of Humanitarian Aid in the Twentieth Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Paulmann, J. 2013: Conjunctures in the history of international humanitarian aid during the twentieth century, Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 4/2, S. 215-238.
Paulmann, J. 2013: Regionen und Welten: Arenen und Akteure regionaler Weltbeziehungen seit dem19. Jahrhundert. In: Historische Zeitschrift 296: 660-699.

Research projects:

"Digitale Kartenwerkstatt Altes Reich" (DigiKAR) - digital map workshop Old Empire

In cooperation with IfL Leipzig, IOS Regensburg, JGU Mainz and EHESS Paris - The project develops and tests concepts for the collection, modeling and visualization of site-specific historical information from the Holy Roman Empire (of the German nation). It thus makes a contribution to historical research on the Old Empire as a space of overlapping rulership, as well as to the further development of digital analysis and visualization of historical data with temporal-spatial properties.

Conception of the data competence centre HERMES - Humanities Education in Research, Data, and Methods

In the conception phase for the establishment of the HERMES data competence centre, the IEG is working with the partners to develop learning opportunities, research activities and networking formats to meet the need for training, further education and training, practice-oriented advice and interdisciplinary networking in the field of humanities and cultural studies research and in related application-oriented fields of activity (especially in GLAM institutions).

Documenting Russia’s war against Ukraine: The challenges of living archives for historical knowledge production (LivArch)

Duration: 2024-2027 
The war in Ukraine has led to three significant changes in historical research: the emergence of new types of community-driven archives, the generation of archival material in real time, and the increased reliance on digital sources due to the inaccessibility of physical archives. LivArch aims to address these challenges, explore digital preservation practices and establish forms of shared authorship between scholars and activists as archive creators.

EGO | European History Online

EGO | European History Online is an transcultural history of Europe published by the IEG in Open Access in German and English. The now more than 470 contributions (incl. translations), which cover 500 years of modern European history across national, subject and methodological boundaries in ten thematic strands, are constantly being added to. 

Engaging Europe in the Arab World – European missionaries and humanitarianism in the Middle East (1850–1970)

From 2015 to 2018, the IEG was involved in the transnational European network "Engaging Europe in the Arab World - European Missionaries and Humanitarianism in the Middle East, 1850-1970", funded by the Dutch Research Foundation NWO and coordinated at Leiden University (Netherlands). 

Global Humanitarianism Research Academy

The international Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy (GHRA) offers research training to advanced PhD candidates and early postdocs. It combines academic sessions at the Imperial and Global History Centre at the University of Exeter and the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz with archival sessions at the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. 

HERMES: Humanities Education in Research, Data, and Methods

HERMES, short for Humanities Education in Research Data and Methods, is a BMBF-funded joint project focussing on establishing spaces for learning, researching, and networking in the humanities and cultural sciences. The aim of HERMES is to teach, develop and critically reflect on data literacy. In pursuit of this objective, HERMES designs and develops various innovative formats.

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.


NFDI4Memory is one of several consortia within Germany that will jointly manage the creation of a long-term and sustainable research data infrastructure (Nationale Forschungsdateninfrastruktur, or “NFDI”) for the digital age. It brings together partners united by a common set of interests, needs, and aims related to the distinct challenges faced by those disciplines that use historical methods or that rely on data requiring historical contextualization.

Processing the archives of the Städelschule (1920-1950)

The Städelschule (Frankfurt am Main), together with the IEG and the Hochschule Darmstadt, conducted an exploratory survey of the Städelschule's archival holdings in 2021. The Hessian Ministry of Science and the Arts (HMWK) funded this feasibility study, which was also supported by the Frankfurt University Library. In the project, the technological and information science foundations for formal and subject indexing were created and the requirements for digitising the holdings were ascertained.

Research Training Group: "The Christian Churches and the Challenge of 'Europe'"

The research training group examined reactions in the process of European unification, as well as the repercussions and activities that the process gave rise to in the area of the churches. The project also focused on the efforts of the churches to insert religious concepts of values into the political processes.

The History of Humanitarian Assistance in the 19th and 20th Centuries

The aim is to provide an overall account of the history of humanitarian aid. The focus is on historical conjunctures: central moments were colonialism and the civilising mission in the late 19th century, the establishment of international organisations after the First World War, the post-colonial upheaval in the 1970s and finally humanitarian intervention since the 1990s.