Benjamin Ziemann University of Sheffield

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Benjamin Ziemann University of Sheffield

Benjamin Ziemann has gained his PhD from the University of Bielefeld and joined the department in 2005. He has authored, edited and co-edited 15 books. In addition, he has published more than 100 journal articles and book-chapters. His articles appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Contemporary History, Contemporary European History, Geschichte und Gesellschaft, German History, Central European History, Historische Zeitschrift and Archiv für Sozialgeschichte.

Benjamin’s research covers a broad range of topics in German history during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and in post-1945 Western European history. He is a renowned expert in the comparative military, social and cultural history of the First World War, and continues to conduct research on the First World War and on mass-violence in the twentieth century more generally. In his second monograph, praised by one reviewer as ‘one of the most important studies in contemporary history published in recent years’, he has analysed the process of the ‘scientisation of the social’, taking the Catholic Church in the Federal Republic as an example. One of Benjamin Ziemann’s long standing research interests is peace history. He is director of the Centre for Peace History at the Department of History, founded in 2009.

His current work is a biography of Martin Niemöller (1892-1984), a navy officer and submarine commander during the First World who became a Protestant pastor and figurehead of the Confessing Church during the Third Reich. In this book, under contract with Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Benjamin Ziemann will not only offer the first primary-souce based account of the turbulent life of Niemöller, including his eight years in Sachsenhausen and Dachau Concentration Camps from 1938 to 1945 and his tireless campaigning for peace and disarmament in the decades since 1945. Through the prism of Niemöller’s life, the book will also offer a reflection on continuities in Germany’s twentieth century history and contested issues such as nationalism, religion, guilt and morality.

Benjamin Ziemann has received numerous grants and fellowships, among others from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the Gerda Henkel Stiftung, the Volkswagen Foundation and the Ministry for Schools, Science and Research in North Rhine-Westphalia. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Tübingen and a Visiting Scholar at Humboldt-University Berlin, at the University of York, the University of Bielefeld and at the Forum for Contemporary History at the University of Oslo.

Professional Roles

From 2002 to 2012, he has served as a review editor for peace history and military history for the mailing list H-Soz-u-Kult, a part of H-Net. He is serving on the editorial boards of the journals Peace & Change, First World War Studies and of the Swiss Journal for Religious and Cultural History (Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Religions und Kulturgeschichte). In 2011, Benjamin has joined the editors of the Archiv für Sozialgeschichte, one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed history journals in Europe.