Katrin Schreiter began her studies in History, Political Science, and North American Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, where she was awarded a post-graduate fellowship to study in the United States. During her tenure at the Ohio State University, Katrin completed an MA in Diplomatic History. She then went on to earn a PhD in Modern European History at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012. Before joining King’s College in 2013, she taught twentieth-century history at the University of Pennsylvania and in the Department of European Cultural History at the Universität Augsburg.
Research interests and PhD supervision
- 20th-century European history and Cold War Germany
- Economic and business history
- Nation branding, consumption and everyday life
- Theory and methodology of material culture
Katrin Schreiter’s main research lies in the field of 20th-century German history. One area of focus has been the interplay of economics and culture during the Cold War, and how these arenas are connected to the politics of German and European diplomacy through negotiations over the German-German relationship. She employs material culture methodology as an anchor for identity discourses on national, regional, and individual levels. Related publications have included analysis of the two German states’ nation branding efforts as well as an examination of East German firm identity under the institutional pressures of communism.
Currently, Katrin is working on a new project that expands her scope of inquiry from Germany to Britain, Italy, and France at the turn of the 19th century. It will address port cities as zones of encounter between European populations and colonial products in the context of national imperial discourses. The comparison between major colonial ports of early and late colonial empires aims to shed light on the role of transnational links for socio-cultural development and formation of class identity in these four countries.
Katrin welcomes applications for PhD topics related to any of her research interests.
Katrin Schreiter has taught modules ranging from international to European history, covering global topics such as the student protests of 1968 or the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent restructuring of Europe. In her teaching, she offers different theoretical approaches and historical methods, including class, gender, and visual culture, to allow students to gain a better understanding of the past and its influence on present political debates.
At King’s College, her teaching focuses on Germany’s nineteenth and twentieth-century history and contemporary politics, economics, society, and culture. Key issues that are explored in her modules include the impact of policy on Germany’s political and economic culture, and the continuing political debate about Germany’s role in Europe.
Current undergraduate modules:
- 4AAGA107 Milestones of German History
- 5AAOB203 Politics and Culture in Cold War Germany
- 6AAGB625 German Capitalism, Business and Society
Expertise and Public Engagement
In collaboration with the German Historical Institute London, Katrin Schreiter developed a prize-winning public engagement project on the topic of migrants’ material traces in 2015. “Things We Keep: Curators of Our Own History” used material culture and oral history methodologies to curate an exhibition and create an online archive: www.thingswekeep.org. Through the selection of their object and its exploration in oral history interviews, the migrants are involved in a conversation between personal experience, history, and academia. These interviews have been developed into e-learning materials that are used for undergraduate teaching at Durham University and King’s College London, and a range of secondary schools in London.
Katrin has given numerous media interviews including BBC World Service, RBB Kulturradio and the Deutsche Presse Agentur. She welcomes media requests about postwar German history and current political culture.
- Schreiter, Designing one nation: The politics of economic culture and trade in divided Germany. Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2020.
- Carter, J. Palmowski, and K. Schreiter, eds. German division as shared experience: Interdisciplinary perspectives on the postwar everyday. New York/London: Berghahn Books, 2019.
- Schreiter and D. Ravasi. “Institutional pressures and organizational identity: The case of Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau in the GDR and beyond, 1945-1996.” Business History Review 92, 3/2018, 453-481.
- Schreiter, "Revisiting Morale under the Bombs: The Gender of Affect in Darmstadt, 1942-1945", Central European History,
- Volume 50, Issue 3/2017, pp. 347- 374.
- Schreiter, “European aesthetic convergence and the Common Market: A case study of Cold War East and West Germany”, in Pour une lecture historique de l'européanisation au XXe siècle / Europeanisation in the 20th century: The historical lens, ed. by Matthieu Osmont, Emilia Robin-Hivert, and Katja Seidel (Brussels: P.I.E. Peter Lang, 2012), pp. 129-49.