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Prof. Dr. Michael Goebel

Michael Goebel


Einstein Professor of Global History

Global History, Social History, Urban History, Nationalism

Koserstraße 20
Raum A351
14195 Berlin


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Michael Goebel holds the Einstein Professorship in Global History. Prior to his arrival at Freie Universität Berlin in 2021, he was the Pierre du Bois Chair “Europe and the World” at the Graduate Institute Geneva. Since the completion of his Ph.D. at University College London in 2006, he also held positions at the Institute of Historical Research, London, the European University Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, and Harvard University.

Michael Goebel is the Principal Investigator of the SNSF-funded research project Patchwork Cities, which investigates the history of ethnic segregation in port cities. A podcast about this project can be found here. He is a member of the board of directors of the Global Urban History Project and of the advisory board of the ZEIT Foundation's program Beyond Borders. Together with Tracy Neumann and Joseph Prestel, he is an editor of the Cambridge Elements in Global Urban History.



Outreach and Public Lectures

The French translation of Anti-Imperial Metropolis has formed the basis of a French TV documentary, aired by France 5 in 2020, which can be watched here.

A short video interview about the book can be viewed here, and a longer podcast interview is available here.

In August 2021, the Pierre du Bois Conference took place at the Graduate Institute Geneva, concerning the global history of nationalism. Most of the roundtables are viewable on the Graduate Institute's Youtube channel, for example here.

A podcast about the SNSF-project Patchwork Cities is available here. Finally the launch event of the Cambridge Elements in Global Urban History can be seen here.


Michael Goebel supervises B.A. and M.A. theses, as well as Ph.D. dissertations.

For office hourse, please make an appointment here.

Courses Taught

Winter Semester 2020/21:

Theorie, Methode und Geschichte der Geschichtswissenschaft (B.A.)

Approaches to Global History B (M.A.)

Approaches to Global History C (M.A.)

Master Colloquium Global History

Berlin Global History Colloquium (co-taught)

Originally trained in the intellectual history of Latin America, Michael Goebel's main research interests lie in the histories of nationalism, of migration, and of cities. His first book (2011), based on his Ph.D. at University College London (2006), concerned the relationship between historiography and nationalism in twentieth-century Argentina. His second book (2015), which at the same time was his Habilitation at Freie Universität Berlin (2014), but was written mainly during stays at the European University Institute (2008–10) and Harvard University (2012–13), explored the question of why and how interwar Paris became such an important site for the global spread of anticolonialism. The book won the Jerry Bentley Prize in World History in 2016. A French translation appeared in 2017.

More recently, though piqued by an older article (2009) about the history of European immigration to Uruguay, he has grown interested in the global history of the relationship between ethnicity and urban space. He is the Principal Investigator of Patchwork Cities, a four-year project about the history of segregation in port cities like Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, and Singapore, which is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. More broadly he has been invested for several years in establishing the field of global urban history, first through the Global Urban History Blog, then through the Global Urban History Project, and more recently as a co-editor of the Cambridge Elements in Global Urban History.

A selection of his publications can be found here.


Selected Publications


Anti-Imperial Metropolis: Interwar Paris and the Seeds of Third World Nationalism (New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Winner of the Jerry Bentley Prize in World History, 2016.

Reviews: American Historical Review, Essays in History, Genèses, Global Histories, Global Intellectual History, HSozKult, Journal of Modern History, Journal of the History of Ideas, International Newsletter of Communist Studies, New Left ReviewRelações Internacionais, Sehepunkte.

Podcast Interview on New Books in History

Paris, capitale du tiers monde (Paris: La Découverte, 2017).

(Translation of Anti-Imperial Metropolis by Pauline Stockman)

Reviews: Agone, En attendant Nadeau, Histoire engagée, Indomémoires, Le matin d'Algérie, Le Monde, Le monde diplomatique, Le mouvement social, Quartiers libres, Revue d'histoire urbaine.

A French TV documentary was made on the basis of this book, aired in 2020 by France 5.

Overlapping Geographies of Belonging: Migrations, Regions, and Nations in the Western South Atlantic (Washington DC: American Historical Association, 2013).

Argentina's Partisan Past: Nationalism and the Politics of History (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2011).

Reviews: The Americas, Hispanic American Historical Review, HSozKult, Journal of Latin American Studies, Nations and Nationalism.

La Argentina partida: nacionalismos y políticas de la historia (Buenos Aires: Prometeo, 2013).

(Translation of Argentina's Partisan Past)

Edited Volume

(with Nicola Foote), Immigration and National Identities in Latin America (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2014).

Journal Articles (Selection)

"Rethinking Nationalism." The American Historical Review 127, no. 1 (2022): 311–313.

“Ghostly Helpmate: Digitization and Global History.” Geschichte und Gesellschaft 47, no. 1 (2021): 35–57.

“Spokesmen, Spies, and Spouses: Anticolonialism, Surveillance, and Intimacy in Interwar France.” Journal of Modern History 91, no. 2 (2019): 380–414.

“‘The Capital of the Men Without a Country’: Migrants and Anticolonialism in Interwar Paris.” The American Historical Review 121, no. 5 (2016): 1444–1467.

“Geopolitics, Transnational Solidarity, or Diaspora Nationalism? The Global Career of M.N. Roy, 1915–1930.” European Review of History 21, no. 4 (2015): 485–499.

“Una biografía entre espacios: M.N. Roy, del nacionalismo indio al comunismo mexicano.” Historia Mexicana 62, no. 4 (2013): 1457–1493.

“Von der hispanidad zum Pan-Arabismus: Globale Verflechtungen in Argentiniens Nationalismen.” Geschichte und Gesellschaft 37, no. 4 (2011): 523–558.

Gauchos, Gringos and Gallegos: The Assimilation of Italian and Spanish Immigrants in the Making of Modern Uruguay.” Past and Present, no. 208 (2010): 191–229.

“Globalization and Nationalism in Latin America, c.17501950.” New Global Studies 3 (2009).

“Decentring the German Spirit: The Weimar Republic’s Cultural Relations with Latin America.” Journal of Contemporary History 44, no. 2 (2009): 221–245.


Articles in Edited Books (Selection)

" Anticolonialism and Anti-Imperialism," in: The Routledge History of the Interwar World, ed. Heidi Tworek und Andrew Denning (London, Routledge, 2022) (in press).

“Immigrant Cities Since the Late Nineteenth Century,” in: The Cambridge History of Global Migrations, vol. 2, ed. Marcelo Borges and Madeline Hsu (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2022) (in press).

“Anticolonialism and Nationalism in the French Empire,” in: The Cambridge History of Nationhood and Nationalism, vol. 1, ed. Matthew D’Auria, Cathie Carmichael, and Aviel Roshwald (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2022): 376–398.

"Migration and Nation in Latin America,", in: The Routledge Handbook of Latin American Migration, ed. Xóchitl Bada, Jorge Durand, Andreas E. Feldmann, and Stephanie Schütze (London: Routledge), 81–92.

“Forging a Proto-Third World? Latin America and the League against Imperialism,” in: The League against Imperialism: Lives and Afterlives, ed. Michele Louro, Carolien Stolte, and Heather Streets-Salter (Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2020), 53–78.

“Una sucursal francesa de la Reforma Universitaria: jóvenes latinoamericanos y antiimperialismo en el París de entreguerras,” in: Los viajes latinoamericanos de la Reforma Universitaria, ed. Martín Bergel (Rosario: Hya Ediciones, 2018), 177–200.

“Settler Colonialism in Postcolonial Latin America,” in: The Routledge Handbook of the Global History of Settler Colonialism, ed. Edward Cavanagh and Lorenzo Veracini (London: Routledge, 2017), 139– 151.

“Fighting and Working in the Metropole: The Nationalizing Effects of WWI Throughout the French Empire, 1916–1930,” in: The World During the First World War, ed. Helmut Bley (Essen: Klartext, 2014), 99–109.

“Reconceptualizing Diasporas and National Identities in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1850– 1950,” in: Immigration and National Identities in Latin America, ed. Nicola Foote and Michael Goebel (Gainesville: University Press of Florida: 2014), 1–27.

“Italian Fascism and Diasporic Nationalisms in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay,” in: Immigration and National Identities in Latin America, ed. Nicola Foote and Michael Goebel (Gainesville: University Press of Florida: 2014), 235–255.

Reaching the People