Black Memory and White Memory

Public Keynote Lecture

Thursday, 30th September 2021 (18:00-19:30 CEST) | Hybrid Event: In-person & online via Zoom – Access will be provided after registration for the event.

Based on his extensive work on colonialism and European expansionism renowned historian and historical anthropologist Prof. em. Dr. Wolfgang Reinhard will discuss cultural memory as seen from different perspectives.

Dr Wolfgang Reinhard, born in 1937, studied History, English and Geography in Freiburg and Heidelberg. Reinhard received his doctorate in modern history in 1963 in Freiburg, where he also habilitated in 1973. In 1977 he became full professor of Early Modern History in Augsburg and in 1990 full professor of Modern History in Freiburg. Today he is Professor Emeritus and co-opted Fellow of the Max Weber Centre in Erfurt.

His research focuses on the religious history of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, the history of state power, historical anthropology, and the history of European expansion 1415-2015.

In Germany, Wolfgang Reinhard pioneered research on the German and European colonial history - and with the book "The Subjugation of the World" he has written a seminal work of more than 1600 pages that describes the European expansion from its beginnings in antiquity and the Middle Ages to the protracted processes of decolonisation of the 20th century.

According to an interview with Deutschlandfunkradio in 2018, he was an outsider with these research topics in the 1980s, even risking his career:

I was an outsider in these things and also had few chances professionally, and even [...] around the turn of the millennium when I tried to promote younger scholars colleagues  told me : for God's sake, nothing non-German. It had to be German history, nothing else.

Since then, Reinhard, as a historian and committed intellectual, has tried to strengthen non-European research in Germany and supported numerous young researchers.

Key works of his include:

  • Geschichte der europäischen Expansion. 4 Bände [History of European Expansion. 4 vols.]. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1983–1990.
  • Kleine Geschichte des Kolonialismus [Little History of Colonialism]. Kröner, Stuttgart 1996, completely revised and expanded edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2008.
  • Die Unterwerfung der Welt. Globalgeschichte der europäischen Expansion 1415–2015 [The Subjugation of the World. Global History of European Expansion 1415–2015]. Beck, München 2016.




17:45 - 18:00

Arrival/ Sign in to online video platform

18:00 - 18:05

Welcome and Introductory Remarks

Dr Christoph Marx, Professor of non-European History at the Historical Institute of the University of Duisburg-Essen

18:05 - 19:00

Keynote Lecture

Black Memory and White Memory

Dr Wolfgang Reinhard, Professor emeritus of Modern History at the University of Freiburg and Associate Fellow at the Max-Weber-Kolleg for Cultural and Social Science Studies at the University of Erfurt

19:00 - 19:30

Q&A with the audience


End of the Keynote Lecture

We are very happy to be hosting in-person events again! Please note that the number of spots for in-person participation is limited due to Covid-restrictions. In-person participation is only possible in line with the "3G Rule". Please have a certificate of vaccination or recovery or a certified negative rapid test result with you. 
If you are unsure whether you will actually be able to participate in person, kindly consider registering for online participation.

Event Registration Form

Public Keynote Lecture 'Black Memory and White Memory'

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Cooperating Partners


Nina Schneider

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research

Christoph Marx

University of Duisburg-Essen

Stephanie Zehnle

Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel

Programme (pdf)