PD Dr. Udo Grashoff

PD Dr. Udo Grashoff

Research Fellow

Geschichte des 19. bis 21. Jahrhunderts
Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum
Beethovenstraße 15, Room H3 2.01
04107 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-37111
Fax: +49 341 97-37059

Abstract

My work mostly covers 20th-century Germany. I specialise in the history of the two German dictatorships. Due to my experience of the German Democratic Republic – with an atmosphere characterised by anxiety, forbiddances, rumours, mindfulness and reading between the lines – I'm particularly interested in taboo subjects.


Publications in English:

- Comparative Approaches To Informal Housing Around The Globe, UCL Press London 2020 (ed.)

- Driven into Suicide by the East German Regime? Reflections on the Persistence of a Misleading Perception Reflections on the Persistence of a Misleading Perception, Central European History 52 (2019) 2, 310-332.

- Cautious occupiers and restrained bureaucrats: Schwarzwohnen in the German Democratic Republic. Somewhat different from squatting, Urban Studies, November 8, 2017.

- Legitimation, repression and co-optation in the German Democratic Republic, Ideocracies in Comparison, Uwe Backes, Steffen Kailitz (eds.), Routledge New York 2016, pp. 173-197.

Professional career

  • 05/2008 - 08/2014
    Lecturer, University Leipzig
  • 09/2014 - 08/2020
    Lecturer in Modern German History, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London
  • since 09/2020
    Lecturer, University Leipzig

My work mostly covers 20th-century Germany. I specialise in the history of the two German dictatorships. Due to my experience of the German Democratic Republic – with an atmosphere characterised by anxiety, forbiddances, rumours, mindfulness and reading between the lines – I'm particularly interested in taboo subjects.

Often I carry out pioneering research. I deal with suicide in the GDR, informal housing (Schwarzwohnen), and 'betrayal' within the Communist Party of Germany.

I examine resistance, opposition, political violence and individual agency in borderline situations. Instead of a simplifying contrasting juxtaposition of rulers and subjects, I’m interested in grey areas, negotiations, interactions and hybrid forms.

After receiving my Ph.D., I taught Contemporary History at the University Leipzig from 2008 to 2014.

From 2014 to 2020, I held the position of the DAAD Francis L. Carsten Lectureship at the History Department of SSEES at University College London, where I taught modern German and Central European History.

In 2019, I received the title Privatdozent at the University Leipzig. The Venia Legendi includes history of the 19th and 20th century.


  • Seminar: Social History and History of the Everyday in the GDR under Honecker

    „Wenn man von der festen Position des Sozialismus ausgeht, kann es meines Erachtens auf dem Gebiet von Kunst und Literatur keine Tabus geben”, erklärte Erich Honecker 1971. Das Zitat kann, über seine unmittelbare kulturpolitische Bedeutung hinaus, als Chiffre für die paradoxe Realität der DDR zwischen emanzipatorischem Anspruch, bornierter Weltsicht und repressiver Politik gelesen werden. Das Seminar behandelt die Themen Gender, Religion, Kultur, Sozialpolitik und politische Repression.

  • Seminar: German Chemistry in the 19th Century

    Um 1800 wird chemisches Wissen an theologischen Fakultäten gelehrt. Chemikalien werden in Apotheken hergestellt. Hundert Jahre später ist die Chemie eine eigenständige Disziplin an Universitäten. Die deutsche Farbstoffindustrie beherrscht 80 Prozent des Weltmarktes. Das Seminar behandelt die atemberaubende Entwicklung der akademischen und der industriellen Chemie im Kontext von Bildungspolitik und industrieller Revolution und fragt danach, wie sich beide Prozesse gegenseitig beeinflussten.