Christoph Conrad, born in Bonn, Germany, in 1956. Ph.D. from the Freie Universität Berlin. Director of the Center for Comparative History of Europe at the Freie Universität Berlin. From March, 2002, Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Geneva.
Fellow (1 September 2001 – 31 January 2002)
Two distinct research areas occupied me during my five-month stay at NIAS. The first was a meta-historical approach to historiography that focuses on the construction of a national past as well as the representation of spaces and territories over the last two centuries. The methodologies and questions applied to these two large areas of scholarship are international comparison, the analysis of cultural transfers and the history of discourse.
The second area of research that I pursued while at NIAS was the history of opinion polling and market research in Germany from the 1930s to the 1960s. Again, the subject was placed in a network of international influences and exchanges. I was able to make decisive inroads into the preparation of a book manuscript on “opinion research and democracy” and this resulted in an article on ‘gendered consumers’.
Both projects, as distinct as they are, witness the growing interest by historians in the ways societies imagine and observe themselves. The collective self-reflections through historiography or the social sciences constitute a fascinating object both of intellectual history and international comparison.