Research Division Global Mobility from the 18th to the 20th Century

Between the 18th and the 20th century, the different world regions became substantially more entangled with each other. The research division Global Mobility from the 18th to the 20th Century works on border-crossing mobilities – of people, things, and ideas – and connectivity, but also their interruption, diversion, and disruption. Our research mostly involves the – often conflict-ridden – interactions between Europe and other world regions. Regional foci include the Mediterranean and Atlantic worlds. Main research topics include the comparative history of colonial rule and its end, migration and refugee history, the history of public and private spheres, as well as past and present questions of public memory. The ERC Grant project “Atlantic Exiles: Revolution and Refugees in the Atlantic World, 1780s–1820s” is part of this research division; this project comparatively examines refugee movements during the Age of Revolutions. The research division is also involved in a variety of other major initiatives and research projects, including the Annual International Seminar in Historical Refugee Studies, the DFG-funded Research Unit “Ambiguity and Distinction,” and the research alliance “Cultures of Compromise.”

News and Information


Job Opportunity

The research project "Ambiguity and Disambiguation of Belonging: The Regulation of Alienness in the Caribbean during the Revolutionary Period (1780s-1820s)" invites applications for 1 postdoctoral researcher (f/m/d) to join the research team on May 1, 2022, or as soon as possible thereafter. The postdoctoral position is offered for the duration of three years. Deadline is February 27, 2022. For the full job posting, see here.


Job Opportunity

Research Assistant / Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft (w/m/d) mit BA-Abschluss in the research project “Ambiguity and Disambiguation of Belonging – The Regulation of Alienness in the Caribbean during the Revolutionary Era (1780s–1820s)”. For the full job posting, see here.


New Publication (November 2021)

Out in open access: Jan C. Jansen, “Aliens in a Revolutionary World: Refugees, Migration Control and Subjecthood in the British Atlantic, 1790s-1820s,” Past & Present 255 (2022): advanced open access


New Publication (November 2021)

Jürgen Osterhammel / Jan C. Jansen, Kolonialismus: Geschichte, Formen, Folgen.
9. vollständig überarbeitete und aktualisierte Auflage (München: C.H. Beck, 2021). read more


Workshop "Who is a Refugee?"


The ERC Project “Atlantic Exiles: Refugees and Revolution in the Atlantic World (1770s-1820s)” at the University of Duisburg‐Essen invites proposals for the workshop “Who is a Refugee? Concepts of Exile, Refuge, and Asylum, c. 1750–1850”, which will be held in Essen, June 30 – July 1, 2022 Read on


2nd International Refugee History Seminar

The University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), the German Historical Institute in Washington (GHI) and the National History Center of the American Historical Association (NHC), in cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Center for Integration and Migration Research (InZentIM), the Institute for the Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) and the Centre for Global Cooperation Research (KHK/GCR21), are pleased to announce the

Second International Seminar in Historical Refugee Studies, which will be held at the GHI in Washington, DC, July 13–16, 2022 read more


"Learning By Doing: Reflections on Refugee History", Peter Gatrell (University of Manchester)

Public Keynote (online), October 12, 2021, 18:30–20:00: Watch it on Youtube here

In this presentation Peter Gatrell shall talk about some of the conceptual and methodological issues that he has encountered in writing refugee history, and how he has attempted to deal with them. He shall connect these semi-autobiographical reflections to a discussion about what is at stake when refugees and institutional actors in the refugee regime „learned by doing“. These remarks are informed by his current research which makes use of the extensive individual case files created by UNHCR between 1951 and 1975. More information


Historicizing the Refugee Experience, 17th–21st Centuries: First Annual International Seminar in Historical Refugee Studies, KWI, Essen, October 12–15, 2021

The purpose of this seminar is to promote the historical study of refugees, who are too often regarded as a phenomenon of recent times. By viewing the problem of refugees from a historical perspective, the seminar seeks to complicate and contextualize our understanding of peoples who have fled political or religious conflicts, persecution, and violence. By bringing together 16 advanced PhD students and early postdocs from different parts of the world whose individual research projects examine refugees in different times and places, we intend to give a sense of purpose to this emerging field of study and demonstrate the value of viewing the plight of refugees from a historical perspective. More information


Photo Credits

"The Slave Ship" (Slavers Throwing overboard the Dead and Dying – Typhoon coming on) by J.M.W. Turner, 1840, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,

Chair of Department

Prof. Dr. Jan C. Jansen

Administrative Assistant: Anja Neuhaus


Academic Staff

Dr. Sabine Hanke

Jannik Keindorf, M.A.

Dr. Thomas Mareite

Dr. Megan Maruschke

Research Assistants

Lena Filzen

Jana Franz

Nils Schweppe

Team Atlantic Exiles


Twitter: @AtlanticExiles


Learn more

Office Hours

Prof. Dr. Jan C. Jansen

Non-Lecture period: Anmeldung über

4.3.2022, 15-16 Uhr

21.3.2022, 16-17 Uhr


Dr. Sabine Hanke

No office hours during summer term

please contact



Non-Lecture periode:
Di 8.30 - 11.30 am, due to the current situation please make an appointment by mail