Karen Hagemann


is James G. Kenan Distin-guished Professor of His-tory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has published widely in Modern German,  European and Transatlantic history, women and gender history and military history. Her past research includes studies in the fields of welfare state, social and population policy, labor history, family history and the history of everyday lives, as well as the history of the women’s movement. Newer studies are focusing on the history of the military, war and gender, the history of nations and nationalism, the history of masculinity and citizenship, gender and civil society as well as the gendered construction of collective memories. Currently she is working on a monograph titled Forgotten Soldiers: Women, the Military and War in European History, 1600-2000 and started the project “Broken Progress: Women, Men and the Transformation of the East and West  German History Profession. since 1949.

Together with  Professor Isabelle Deflers (University of the Bundeswehr Munich) she initiated  the Research Network on Military, War and Gender/Diversity (MKGD). So far 30 experts from universities and non-university research institutions in eight countries (Germany, France, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and the USA) have joined the interdisciplinary network, including the Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the German Armed Forces (Zentrum für Militärgeschichte und Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr, ZMSBw). More information you will find on the MKGD-Website  and this PDF

Her most recent publication is  The Oxford Handbook of Gender, War, and the Western World since 1600. co-edited with Stefan Dudink and Sonya O. Rose (Oxford University Press, 2020). The handbook with 32 essays written by leading international scholars, investigates how conceptions of gender have contributed to the shaping of war and the military and were transformed by them. Covering the major periods in warfare since the seventeenth century, the Handbook focuses on Europe and the long-term processes of colonization and empire-building in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia. The handbook was selected as  the winner of the Reference Work Prize for 2022 by the Distinguished Book Awards Committee of the Military History Society.

Related to the handbook is the digital humanities project GWonline, the Bibliography, Filmography and Webography on Gender and War since 1600, which is  open for the public since April 2017 and reached until now over 600,000 users. GWonline collects and organizes secondary literature, women’s autobiographies, films and  websites with primary documents on the subject of gender, military and war. Alongside full text searching, it allows users to explore the collection through multiple entry points: author/director, publication/release date, collection, major wars, countries/regions,  keywords and handbook chapters. The newest addition, GWonline Learning & Teaching, provides students, high school teachers and college instructors with suggestions of selected material for the studying and teaching of seven major conflicts in modern global history.

Her newest German monograph Umkämpftes Gedächtnis: Die Antinapoleonischen Kriege in der deutschen Erinnerung (Schöningh, 2019) came out as part of the  series: Die Revolutions- und Napoleonischen Kriege in Europäischer Erinnerung. It explores the contested German memories of the Wars of Liberation against Napoleon (1813-1815) in the long nineteenth century.  It is a rewrit-ten and extended  edition of her English book: Revisiting Prussia’s Wars Against Napoleon: History, Culture, and Memory (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015) that won the Hans Rosenberg Book Prize of the Central European History Society for the best book in Central European history in 2016.

The 2019 volume Gendering Post-1945 German History: Entanglements (Berghahn, 2019), co-edited with Donna Harsch and Friederike Brühöfener, synthesizes the perspectives of entangled history and gender studies. It brings together established as well as upcoming scholars to investigate the ways in which East and West German gender relations and gender policies were culturally, socially, and politically intertwined. It was published in 2022 as a paperback.

The Palgrave Macmillan Series on “War, Culture and Society, 1750-1850,” edited by Rafe Blaufarb (University of Florida), Alan Forrest (University of York), and Karen Hagemann (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), which was  started in the fall of 2008,  celebrates the publication of fifty volumes in 2024.  The series aims to develop a multi disciplinary approach to the analysis of the military and war by combining political, social, cultural, art and gender history with  military history. It wants to extend the scope of traditional histories of the period by discussing war and revolution across the Atlantic as well as within Europe, thereby contributing to a new global history of conflict in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Recently it was named by David Bell (Princeton University)  the “best series on the history of the French Revolutionary and  Napoleonic Wars.”

Photo courtesy of American Academy in Berlin © Annette Hornischer