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Christina Reimann

About Christina Reimann

Christina studied History and Political Theory at Sciences Po Paris and graduated in 2008 with a Master thesis on the media representation of the French Third Republic’s “crisis” in the 1930s. In 2014, she received her PhD in History from Humboldt University Berlin with a thesis on the constitutional transformations in late 19th century Western Europe. In 2015/16 she held a fellowship at a research cluster (SFB) at the University of Marburg and at the Leibniz-Institute of European History in Mainz. She is now postdoc-researcher at the CERGU and the Department of Historical Studies. Since 2012, she is affiliated to the French-German research institute Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin.

Christina’s research covers the 19th and early 20th centuries with an emphasis on the “high-modernity”; it is characterized by several overarching topics and approaches:

She conceives her work as a cultural and social history of law, studying the cultural embeddedness of legal rules, their applications in various social contexts and the discursive construction of (constitutional) law. In her PhD dissertation, she studied the education reform debates in France, Belgium and England as constitutional debates and as a representation of the legitimation crisis of liberal constitutionalism (1865 to 1904). Her postdoc project is concerned with the transformations within the domain of social security when the assurance-principle became paramount and state run schemes were introduced (1880 to 1914). Inspired by the Law and Society approach, she looks at the legal practice and cultural appropriations of social security schemes in the particular context of the port cities of Rotterdam and Antwerp.

Both projects are in different ways concerned with the “expansion” of modern statehood – through the introduction of state-run primary education and the creation of statutory social security schemes. She shows that this process was always contested, fragmentary and paralleled by alternative techniques. Her work deals with the very tension marking the era of “high modernity”, that is between an intensified national integration process and an increasing transnationalism due to a new dimension of entanglement between societies.

Christina therefore considers her work as transnational history, studying actors and spaces which counteracted the dynamics and logics of the nation state. In her PhD she scrutinized the transnational connections of education reformers, the entanglement of their actions and discourses within a seemingly “national” debate. In her postdoc project she is concerned with the port cities of Antwerp and Rotterdam seen as “microcosms of transnationalism”, marked by various forms of (human) mobility and (ethnic) diversity. The port cities were particular cases of “borderlands” raising questions about their integration into the (national) security communities.

For a full project description, list of publications and CV, please go to: https://cmb.hu-berlin.de/team/profil/christina-reimann/