Personen im Historischen Institut: Dr. Sabine Hanke

Universitätsstraße 12
45141 Essen
R12 R05 B22


  • Wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in, Geschichte

Die folgenden Publikationen sind in der Online-Universitätsbibliographie der Universität Duisburg-Essen verzeichnet. Weitere Informationen finden Sie gegebenenfalls auch auf den persönlichen Webseiten der Person.

    Artikel in Zeitschriften

  • Hanke, Sabine
    Between defiance and control: wild animal performance in the interwar circus
    In: Early Popular Visual Culture (2023) in press
    ISSN: 1746-0662; 1746-0654
  • Blogbeiträge

  • Hanke, Sabine
    Wildkatzen in der Manege : Das Mensch-Tier-Verhältnis im Zirkus
    In: KWI-Blog / Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut (KWI) (Hrsg.) (2021)

Research Focus and Interests

  • German and British History
  • Popular Culture Studies
  • Human-Animal Studies
  • Transnational History
  • (Post-)Colonial and Imperial History


Research Projects

Current Research Project: ‘Conservation of wilderness: wild animals and colonial rule, Germany and Great Britain, 1860-1940’

The study of human-animal relations has increasingly found its way into historical analysis. Yet, non-human perspectives have mainly influenced studies of the domestic animal world.  Within histories of colonialism, the role of animals occupies a comparatively minor position and especially the analysis of political-biological and cultural-scientific aspects represents an undervalued perspective. The project combines postcolonial approaches with Human Animal Studies to analyse the role of wild animals within the colonial power relations between Germany and Great Britain and their underlying histories of transfer and mobility.


​For a full CV, see: pdf

Dissertation: ‘National identity and cultural difference in the British and German circus, 1920-1945’

Supervised by Prof Mary Vincent, Dr Esme Cleall and Dr Julia Moses (formerly by Prof Bob Moore and Dr Dina Gusejnova)


This project examines the ways in which performers and directors involved in the British and German circus industry created international worlds for their audiences between 1920 and 1945. It investigates the paradox that while these worlds appeared global and imperial, their significance was often national and local. It argues that circus proprietors and performers utilised ‘Oriental’ representations to bolster national identities. Specifically, their displays, performances and images of different cultures held up a mirror to Germans and Britons that helped viewers negotiate their self-understanding in the world. By applying a transnational approach and comparing circus traditions in Britain and Germany, the thesis demonstrates how the same phenomenon appeared in two different but related contexts, and how the circus was embedded in the local and national frameworks in both societies.


Articles and Chapters

Sabine Hanke, ‘Performing National Identity in the Interwar Period: The Sarrasani Circus in Germany and Latin America’, New Theatre Quarterly 37.2 (2021), S. 190-201. DOI

---, ‘Salman Schocken’, in Sabine Wolfram (Hg.), Archäologie eines Kaufhauses. Konzern, Bauherr, Architekt. Das Buch zur Dauerausstellung (Berlin, 2016), together with Tomke Hinrichs.

---, ‘“Wir wollten sie echt und leibhaftig haben” American Indians im Zirkus Sarrasani 1906-1945’, Dresdner Hefte. Beiträge zur Kulturgeschichte 126.2 (2016), pp. 51-58.

---, ‘Salman Schocken – “My library is my autobiography”’, Sächsische Heimatblätter 4 (2014), pp. 396-403, together with Antje Borrmann and Tomke Hinrichs.


Sabine Hanke, ‘Animal worlds. Joint review of Diana Donald, Women against cruelty. Protection of animals in nineteenth-century Britain (Manchester, 2020) and Thomas Almeroth-Williams, City of beasts. How animals shaped Georgian London (Manchester, 2019)’, Reviews in History 2414 (September 2020). []

---, ‘Manegenkünste. Zirkus als ästhetisches Modell, Conference in Marburg, 17.11.2016 –19.11.2016’, H-Soz-Kult (February 2017). []

New publication (May 2021)

Sarrasani Sh

Sabine Hanke, ‘Performing National Identity in the Interwar Period: The Sarrasani Circus in Germany and Latin America’, New Theatre Quarterly 37.2 (2021), S. 190-201.