"A Place in the Sun: Rethinking German Globalization and Imperialism Before the Great War" with Erik Grimmer-Solem, Wesleyan University


Location: 1050 Jenkins Nanovic Halls

Erik Grimmer-Solem will present the lecture entitled, "A Place in the Sun: Rethinking German Globalization and Imperialism Before the Great War" on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. The lecture will be introduced by Dr. Mark Kettler, adjunct assistant teaching professor, Nanovic Institute for European Studies, University of Notre Dame and visiting assistant professor of history, Holy Cross College.  

Sponsored by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies and the Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame, and the Department of Humanities, Holy Cross College, with the support of the Notre Dame International Security Center and the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literature in the College of Arts and Letters.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It is an in-person event.

About the Speaker

Erik Grimmer-Solem is the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Professor in the College of Social Studies and Professor of History. His field of expertise is modern German history with specializations in economic history, economic thought, social reform, and imperialism. He is the author of The Rise of Historical Economics and Social Reform in Germany, 1864-1894 (Oxford University Press, 2003) and Learning Empire: Globalization and the German Quest for World Status, 1875-1919 (Cambridge University Press, 2019), along with more than thirty other publications. He has held fellowships and research awards from the University of Chicago, Leverhulme Trust, Thyssen Foundation, and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). At Wesleyan he has won both the Carol A. Baker and Binswanger teaching prizes. 

Caricature of Deployment of a German expedition to crush the Boxer Uprising in China 1900/01.
“In Germany’s nursery. Children do not knock the house of cards down with your new Chinese game!". (Caricature). Colour print. From: Der Wahre Jacob, No. 268, Stuttgart (J.H.W.Dietz) 28 August 1900. Berlin, Sammlung Archiv für Kunst und Geschichte. Provided by Erik Grimmer-Solem.


"A Place in the Sun: Rethinking German Globalization and Imperialism Before the Great War"

The First World War marked the end point of a process of German globalization that began in the 1870s, well before Germany acquired a colonial empire or extensive overseas commercial interests. This talk will explore how the overseas experiences of a number of influential but today largely forgotten German economists shaped public perceptions of the world and Germany's place in it. These men helped define a German liberal imperialism that came to influence the “world policy” (Weltpolitik) of Kaiser Wilhelm, Chancellor Bülow, and Admiral Tirpitz. They devised naval propaganda, reshaped Reichstag politics, were involved in colonial reforms, and helped define the debate over war aims in the First World War. Looking closely at German worldwide entanglements from their perspective allows us to rethink how we interpret German imperialism, the origins of the First World War, and the rise of Nazism, inviting reflection on the challenges of globalization in the current century.

Originally published at nanovic.nd.edu.