Towards a Global Perspective on Contemporary History. A Critical Literature Review of Recent German Zeitgeschichte


  • Dennis Kölling Vanderbilt University, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin



Contemporary history, subsumed under the term Zeitgeschichte, holds a prominent position in Germany’s historical profession today. Practitioners in Zeitgeschichte often work in a network that transcends regional and disciplinary boundaries, engaging with work from social sciences and across historical sub-disciplines. The paper presents a meditation on recent literature in Zeitgeschichte and argues that its
flexible framework can serve as a starting point for a global narrative in contemporary history. The paper primarily examines the research project Nach dem Boom dealing with economic and social ruptures in Western Europe around the 1970s as an example for the methodological framework Zeitgeschichte offers for Global Historians.

Author Biography

Dennis Kölling, Vanderbilt University, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

Dennis Kölling holds an undergraduate degree in North American Studies from the John-F.-Kennedy-Institute at Freie Universität Berlin and is studying in the MA program in Global History at Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. He is currently spending a semester abroad at Vanderbilt University. His main research interests include the Global Cold War, modern cultural history with a focus on meanings of music, and the contemporary history of transatlantic relations.