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Daniel Brückenhaus

Daniel Brückenhaus

Daniel Brückenhaus joined the Beloit faculty in the fall of 2012, after receiving his Ph.D. from Yale University, and spending a year as a post-doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany. His research is focused on the history of global anti-imperialism in the modern period, and his teaching explores the history of western Europe and the European colonial empires in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

His first book, entitled Policing Transnational Protest: Liberal Imperialism and the Surveillance of Anti-Colonialists in Europe, 1905-1945, came out with Oxford University Press in 2017. It argues that the growing level of government surveillance and policing in western Europe between 1905 and 1945 was of crucial importance to the emergence of inherently transnational and trans-imperial anti-colonialist movements in this period. The book demonstrates how during those years a feed-back cycle developed. As the pro-colonial authorities tried to track and suppress the political work of anti-imperialists from French and British colonies who were based in Europe, and as these activists attempted to escape such persecution by moving repeatedly from one European country to the next, both parties expanded the scope of their networks further and further across national borders. This had far-reaching effects, leading both the imperial authorities and the anti-colonialists to conceive of their conflict in more global and trans-imperial terms, and instigating the European public’s engagement with important questions about the relative value of imperial security on the one hand, and civil liberties and national sovereignty on the other.

Daniel's current book project, focusing on the British, French and German colonial empires between 1880 and 1970, demonstrates the power of laughter, ridicule and satire in challenging modern imperialism. The project analyzes the use of humor by prominent anti-colonial leaders such as Frantz Fanon, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Ho Chi Minh, as well as by grassroots members of anti-colonial movements in Africa, Asia and the European metropoles. It argues that anti-colonial laughter was of great importance in resisting imperialism, both in day-to-day interactions between colonizers and colonized, and among activists working towards the process of global decolonization after World War II.

At Beloit, Daniel teaches a wide range of courses on the history of Europe and the European colonial empires from the late eighteenth century to the present. His courses include “Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Colonialism,” “Europe and the Modern World, 1789-1945,” “Modern African History,” “Big Brother is Watching You: Europe in the Age of Government Surveillance,” “Worlds of Stone: Modern Urban History,” “Magic Mountains and Faustian Bargains: German History Seen Through The Eyes of Thomas Mann and his Family,” “History of Fascism,” “Thinking Through Europe’s History: History and Theory, 1789-Present,” and “History of Emotions in Modern Europe.”


Daniel Brückenhaus, Policing Transnational Protest: Liberal Imperialism and the Surveillance of Anticolonialists in Europe, 1905-1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017)

Daniel Brückenhaus, “Imperial Fears and Transnational Policing in Europe: The ‘German Problem’ and the British and French Surveillance of Anti-Colonialists in Exile,” in: Harald Fischer-Tiné (ed.), Anxieties, Fear and Panic in Colonial Settings: Empires on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies) (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), pp. 225-257

Daniel Brückenhaus, “Identifying Colonial Subjects: Fingerprinting in British Kenya, 1900-1960,” Geschichte und Gesellschaft 42 (2016), pp. 60-85

Daniel Brückenhaus, The Origins of Trans-Imperial Policing: British-French Government Cooperation in the Surveillance of Anti-Colonialists in Europe, 1905-1925,” in: Volker Barth and Roland Cvetkovski (eds.), Imperial Co-operation and Transfer, 1870-1930 (London: Bloomsbury, 2015), pp. 171-193

Daniel Brückenhaus, “Radicalism,” in: Gita Dharampal-Frick et al. (eds.), Key Concepts in Modern Indian Studies (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 226-228

Ute Frevert, Daniel Brückenhaus et al., Learning How to Feel: Children’s Literature and Emotional Socialization, 1870-1970 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), including Daniel Brückenhaus, “Ralph’s Compassion,” on empire and childhood emotions in modern Western Europe, pp. 74-93

Daniel Brückenhaus, “‘Every stranger must be suspected:’ Trust Relationships and the Surveillance of Anti-Colonialists in Early Twentieth-Century Western Europe,” Geschichte und Gesellschaft 36 (2010), pp. 523-566

Daniel Brückenhaus, “L’état de la question: La mémoire commune européenne” [“The State of the Question: A Common European Memory”], in: Bronislaw Geremek and Robert Picht (eds.), Visions d’Europe (Paris: Odile Jacob, 2007), pp. 407-417