Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

Swen Steinberg

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Phone: 613-533-6000, on campus: 74362
Office: Watson Hall, Room 224


Ph.D., University of Dresden (Germany), 2013


Swen Steinberg’s research interests include the history of knowledge and history of science, exile and migration studies, corporate culture concepts, and economic transformations. In 2016, he completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California in Los Angeles, financed by the German Research Foundation. His current book project, “A History of Knowledge on Mountains and Woods: Forestry and Mining between Europe and America, 1860–1960” reflects his interest in a new history of knowledge and in working at the intersection of migration and knowledge. He is author of three monographs (in German), including his PhD thesis on religious corporate culture concepts in rural regions and in the pulp and paper industry (Unternehmenskultur im Industriedorf: Die Papierfabriken Kübler & Niethammer in Sachsen [1856–1956], Leipzig UP, 2015) and numerous articles (in German and English). He has edited eight volumes and two special issues, with additional two special issues appearing in Summer and Fall 2019.

Courses taught by Swen Steinberg at University of Dresden have always reflected current research interests (e.g. history of knowledge, history of migration, business and economic history). In addition, he put emphasis on practical aspects: in the winter term 2017/18, for example, his students created a traveling exhibition on the migration history of the region of Saxony in Germany, in 2013/14 they developed a website about the colonial and post-colonial traces in Dresden.

Publications (recent/selection)

Young Migrants in the History of Knowledge, special issue KNOW: A Journal on the Formation of Knowledge, edited by S. Lässig/S. Steinberg (Chicago: Chicago of University Press, volume 2/2019, forthcoming).

Refugees from Nazi-Occupied Europe to British Overseas Territories after 1933, special issue Yearbook of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies, edited by T. Grenville/S. Steinberg/J. Buresova (Amsterdam: Brill, volume 20/2019, forthcoming).

“Should I Stay or Should I Go? Regional Functionaries, Political Networks, and the German-Czechoslovakian Borderlands in 1933” in Somewhere Between Home and Arrival: Preliminary Stage of Exile, edited by R. Andress (Amsterdam: Brill, 2019), forthcoming.

“Knowledge on the Move. New Approaches toward a History of Migrant Knowledge”, with S. Lässig, in Geschichte und Gesellschaft 43/3 (2017): special issue Knowledge and Migration, edited by S. Lässig/S. Steinberg, 313-346.

“Wooden Wars: American Foresters, Knowledge, and French Forestry (1917-1919)”, in War and Geography. The Spatiality of Organized Mass Violence, edited by F. Jacob/S. Danielsson (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2017), 215-241.

“How to Become Isolated in Isolation? Networks in the German Political and Trade Union Exile after 1933” in Networks in Exile: Continuities, Reorientations and Collaborations, edited by H. Schreckenberger (Amsterdam: Brill, 2016), 89-108.

Organized Conferences / Panel Series (recent/selection)

Forthcoming: In Global Transit: Forced Migration of Jews and other Refugees (1940s-1960s), conference of the German Historical Institute in Washington/DC at University of California in Berkeley, May 19-22, 2019 (together with Simone Lässig, Wolf Gruner and Francesco Spagnolo, in cooperation with India Branch Office of the Max Weber Foundation in New Delhi and China Branch Office in Beijing), Call for Paper:

Kinship, Knowledge, and Migration, three panel session at the Annual Conference of the German Studies Association in Atlanta, October 5-8, 2017 (with Simone Lässig organized for the German Historical Institute in Washington/DC, panel: Mission, Families, and the Production of Knowledge in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries / Knowledge Across Borders: Children as Learners, Producers, and Translators of Knowledge in Central Europe in the 20th Century / Kinship, Famine, and Rumor: The Migration of Germans from the Soviet Union before World War II), report:

Emigration from Nazi-Occupied Europe to British Overseas Territories after 1933, Triennial International Conference of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies at the University of London, September 13-15 September, 2017 (organized with Tony Grenville and Jana Buresova), programme:

Knowledge in Transfer and Transformation: The Earth and Natural Sciences between Localism and Globalization, three panel session at the 25th International Congress of History of Science and Technology in Rio de Janeiro, July 23-29, 2017 (organized with Nele-Hendrikje Lehmann, panel: The Making of Science in an Entangled Perspective between Europe and Brazil (19th century) / Circulation of Knowledge / Translating and Adopting Knowledge).

The Global Forest: Knowledge, Economy, and Perceptions in the 20th Century, panel at the Biannual European Society for Environmental History Conference, 28. Juni bis 2. Juli 2017 in Zagreb (organized with Martin Bemmann).

Migration and Knowledge, three panel session at the Annual Conference of the German Studies Association in German Studies Association in San Diego, September 29 to October 2, 2016 (with Simone Lässig organized for the German Historical Institute in Washington/DC, panel: Knowledge and Trans-Migrants in late Holy Roman and Habsburg Empire / Transfers and Disconnects: Complicated Translations of Knowledge and Émigré Experiences in the Transatlantic World / Migrant Knowledge as Profession, Network and Experience).

Rev: November 2018