About

History is forever written with a pencil. Revision lurks behind its vision by necessity.”

Thus, History! is me, Torsten Kathke, with editing help from Carrie Andrews. It’s a research blog, a space to put thoughts and ask questions that come out of and are informed by my research. It’s also a platform for short and medium-length pices of writing that have been touched off by current affairs in relation to history. Most of Thus, History! is licensed as Creative Commons CC-BY SA 2.0. That is, all the parts that I can lay claim to. There will be images and quotes on here every now and then that have a different license.

I’m a historian with a doctorate in American History from Ludwig Maxmilians Universität in Munich, Germany, mainly focused on the cultural history of the US and Germany during the 19th and 20th centuries. You can find my CV here (in English) and here (in German). After sojourns at the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, I am now a lecturer at the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz.

My dissertation dealt with the Gadsden Purchase region in the US Southwest, in the southern parts of today’s Arizona and New Mexico during the roughly half-century from its purchase by the United States until the onset of World War I. The resulting book is Wires That Bind: Nation, Region, and Technology in the Southwestern United States, 1854–1920.  Also check out “Power Lines: Arizona Elites, the Telegraph, and the Construction of a Regional Identity, 1870–1910”, a chapter in Global Communication Electric, which comes out of my dissertation research.

My current research (an overview, in German, can be found here) focuses on the market for books about the state of society in the United States and Germany during the 1970s and 1980s, a time during which non fiction books were an important but heretofore neglected part of popular culture and academic, political, and – more broadly – public discourse.

You can find me all over the internet. My academic Twitter account is @torstenkathke, my page at the Obama Institute is here, and my academia.edu page with a list of some of my publications is here. I have an about.me here. You can also read my photo blog ictusoculi.com, which has an associated Twitter account as well, find my Instagram feed, or connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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