Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
Website URL
North America, Europe, Germany, nineteenth century, twentieth century, modern history, music, emotions, diplomacy, diplomatic history, international relations, culture, cultural relations, international history, humanity, human rights, humanitarianism, nation branding, public diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, U.S. foreign relations, media history, transatlantic relations, U.S. history
Additional Contact Information
no restrictions

Personal Info

About Me

How did and does political legitimacy relate to cultural projection? How did and do empires such as the United States and middle-power states such as Canada seek to achieve geopolitical influence by non-violent means?  How did and does power affect the definition of humanity?

My field of expertise is the interplay between cultural projection and interaction on the one hand, and the desire for geopolitical legitimacy and influence on the other from the early modern period to the present. I teach and research international and global history with a particular eye on North America, and its relation to Greater Asia and the European continent. On the methodological level, I seek to understand the relationship between culture and politics in international history by borrowing from other fields ranging from musicology to economics. Thematically, I am engaged in a number of research projects, publication projects and collaborations addressing “nation branding,” emotions and humanitarianism. For a complete list of publications and media appearances, please check the corresponding weblink above.

In general, I am interested in working with scholars from different fields and very open to approaches that attempt to cross the borders to other disciplines such as political science, art history, drama studies, psychology, economics and international law.

Recent Publications


Nation Branding in Modern History. Ed. with Carolin Viktorin, Annika Estner and Marcel Will (New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2018).

Music and International History in the Twentieth Century (New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2015). The book and text of the introduction is available here.

(Reviews of Music and International History: Midwest Book Review, H-Soz-Kult, H-Net, the Pakistan Journal of Historical Studies, Anthropology News.)

Editor of the series Explorations in Culture and International History. Oxford, New York. Berghahn Books, since 2003.

Sound Diplomacy. Music, Emotions, and Politics in Transatlantic Relations since 1850 Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009; kindle edition 2009; paperback 2012. (Chinese version forthcoming, Beijing: Beijing Yanziyue Culture & Art Studio). Read a review from H-Soz-Kult here.

Emotions in American History. Ed. Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books, 2010. (Reviews: H-Netand H-Soz-Kult.)

Searching for a Cultural Diplomacy. Ed. w/Mark Donfried. Berghahn Books, 2010.

Decentering America. Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books, 2007.

Culture and International History. Ed. with Frank Schumacher. Oxford, New York. Berghahn Books, 2003. (Reviews: H-Net and H-Soz-Kult.)

Transmission Impossible. American Journalism As Cultural Diplomacy in Postwar Germany, 1945-1955. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1999. (H-Soz-Kult review)




Media Coverage
Los Angeles Times, Germany Seemed Immune to the #MeToo Movement. Then a Prominent Director was Accused. 31/1/2018.
Country Focus
United States, Canada, Germany
Expertise by Geography
Atlantic, Germany, North America, United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, Modern, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Diplomacy, Gender, Human Rights, Politics, Women, World War I, World War II