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Prof. Dr. Ulrike Schaper



Global History

Junior Professor (Juniorprofessorin)

History of Colonialism, Gender History, Tourism

Koserstr. 20
Room A 247
14195 Berlin
+49 30 838 451993

Office hours

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Ulrike Schaper is an Associate Professor (Juniorprofessorin) of Modern History at the Freie Universität Berlin. Before joining the faculty in 2013, she has done research and taught at the Collaborative Research Centre Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood, the Department of Law and the Department of Theater Studies (all Freie Universität Berlin). In 2014, she was a Visiting Scholar, at Cambridge University. Following the positive evaluation of her performance as Associate Professor, she has been reappointed in October 2016.

Her research has an emphasis in the global history of late nineteenth and twentieth century Germany. Currently, she works on West German sex tourism between ca. 1965 and 1995 in order to examine intersections of globalization, sexual liberalization and commodification in West-Germany’s relation to the “Third World”. This project connects her general interest in gender history and the history of sexuality with her work on colonial othering and processes of exotization while tracing them in post-World War II history.

She has worked extensively on German colonial history, colonial knowledge and colonial law and received her Ph.D. in 2010 with a study on the colonial legal order in the German colony of Cameroon. Published under the title Koloniale Verhandlungen - Gerichtsbarkeit, Verwaltung und Herrschaft in Kamerun 1884-1916 by Campus Verlag in 2012, this study approaches the colonial legal order from a cultural history perspective and analyzes how law and jurisdiction became sites in which colonial rule was demonstrated, implemented and negotiated.

Classes – Supervision


Paarbeziehungen als Gegenstand politischer und sozialer Auseinandersetzung (BA History)

Der Massentourismus und seine Kritik (MA History)

Archive of previous classes
Research and Projects

Grenzenloser Sex? Bundesdeutscher Sextourismus und das Verhältnis zur (Dritten) Welt von den 1970er bis Mitte der 1990er Jahre (Buchprojekt)

Am Beispiel der öffentlichen Diskussion um Maßnahmen gegen Sextourismus aus der Bundesrepublik in Länder des globalen Südens sowie der Heiratsvermittlung von Frauen aus dem globalen Süden in die Bundesrepublik frage ich danach, wie dabei das Verhältnis der Bundesrepublik zur sogenannten „Dritten Welt“ diskutiert und hergestellt wurde. Dabei geht es erstens um die Frage, wie mit Bezug auf den Sextourismus globale Ordnung anhand von Kriterien wie Liberalität, Rückständigkeit, Emanzipiertheit und Unterentwicklung entworfen und die Bundesrepublik innerhalb dieser Ordnung positioniert wurde. Zweitens dient mir die Diskussion als Ansatzpunkt, um die Reaktion auf verschiedene räumliche und soziale Entgrenzungsprozesse zu untersuchen, insbesondere Veränderungen in den Geschlechterbeziehungen sowie zunehmende globale Vernetzung v.a. im Bereich des Tourismus. Auf einer übergeordneten Ebene dienen die Analysen dazu herauszuarbeiten, inwiefern die Diskussion um den Sextourismus und Heiratsvermittlung ein wachsendes Bewusstsein für Globalität und eine sich pluralisierende Gesellschaft reflektiert.

The Laws of Social Cohesion (LSC) – On the importance of law for the democratic design of social cohesion

Berlin University Alliance

Involvement in the cooperative project "The Laws of Social Cohesion" (LSC), funded by the Berlin University Alliance. The Project examines how exactly the law promotes social cohesion, where the limits of its integrative capacity lie and to what extent it might even endanger social cohesion. In this context, law is not only understood as a framework for or as a result of political and economic negotiation, but rather as a social practice that actively shapes social coexistence.

Toppling Statues: Public Spaces, Colonial Heritage, and Identities in Europe

UNA Europa Seed Funding

What place do colonial statues occupy within conceptions of Europe’s cultural heritage? Can Europe’s colonial cultural heritage be re-invented to build more open and inclusive communities? This project seeks to bring colonial heritage to the forefront in the discussions of European identity by critically engaging with the current discourses on the contested meanings underlying European statues that occupy its public spaces, commemorating a history of economic and cultural exploitation across the globe. Using the “toppling” of statues as a starting point, the project examines transnational and transimperial temporal and spatial connections and seeks to uncover colonial heritage as a joint European phenomenon, shared by bigger and smaller states alike. What do colonial statues speak about the past, how do visitors and residents (European and from erstwhile colonies) respond to them, and to what extent will these statues continue to play a part in Europe’s future? This project brings together researchers from seven Una Europe universities.

The Archaeology of German Colonial heritages in Ghana. Repackaging Shared Relics for Strategic Ghana-German Partnership in Development (finished)

Conferences, Workshops, Panels

 Intimacy on the move, Workshop, 4 – 5 April 2022, EUI (together with Benno Gammerl (EUI), Nikolaos Papadogiannis (University of St. Andrews), Christiane Reinecke (University of Flensburg)

Geschichtliche Grundfragen, discussion series, (organized with Rüdiger Graf (ZZF) und Matthias Pohlig (HU)

German and Italian colonialism – comparative and transnational perspectives, Villa Vigoni Italy, 6.-8. June 2016 (with Massimo Zaccaria and Nicola Camilleri), Workshop funded by the DFG, Program Deutsch-Italienische Zusammenarbeit in den Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften 2016.

Koloniales Wissen, Workshop for young researchers, Freie Universität Berlin, 22. April 2016 (organized with Nadin Heé)

Politische Anatomien, Intersektionale Perspektiven auf Körper und politische Ordnungen im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Workshop Universität Zürich, 8./9. October 2015 (organized with Marc Ruben Hackler (Universität Zürich) und Gundula Ludwig (Universität Wien).

“Sexotic”. Moral Economies, body techniques and the interplay between Sexuality and Exotization since the 19th Century in Western Europe, Workshop February 2015, Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung Berlin (orgainzed with Magdalena Beljan, Pascal Eitler and Benno Gammerl).

“Visualizations of global encounters: Film and global history”, Panel at the Fourth European Congress on World and Global History, 4.-7. September 2014 École normale supérieur, Paris (conveyor of the panel).

Gender Global - Perspektiven der Genderforschung auf Globalisierungsprozesse, Lecture series,Winter semester 2013/2014, Freie Universität Berlin (orgainzed with Nadin Heé)

Deutsche Regime. Kulturen des Herrschens und Verwaltens in kolonialen und postkolonialen Kontexten, Workshop 1.-3.11.2012 in the Seminarzentrum Gut Siggen (organized with Nicola Borchardt, Birthe Kundrus, Susann Lewerenz, Ulrike Lindner, Marie Muschalek, Jana Otto)

Publications and Presentations

Full List of Publications


2012: Koloniale Verhandlungen - Gerichtsbarkeit, Verwaltung und Herrschaft in Kamerun 1884-1916, Frankfurt/ Main.

Journal and peer reviewed articles

2023: Becoming a Subject in Court: Law, Subjection, and Resistance in the German Colony Cameroon. Comparativ, 33: 2, 225–241

2022: „Deutsche Männer haben doch die Schnauze voll von Frauen wie Ihnen“ Internationale Heiratsagenturen, Frauenemanzipation und die Krise der heterosexuellen Paarbeziehung, in: GG 48: 3 (Paarbeziehungen in Deutschland nach 1945), 428-460.

2021: "Die Polygamie bedeutet einen Krebsschaden für die deutschen Kolonien." Mehrehen als Problem kolonialer Politik und christlicher Mission in den afrikanischen Kolonien, in: WerkstattGeschichte Nr. 84, 31-48.

2020: Sexotic: The interplay between sexualization and exoticization, in: Sexualities 23: 1-2 (with M. Beljan, P. Eitler, C. Ewing, B. Gammerl)

2019: Deutsche Kolonialgeschichte postkolonial schreiben - was heißt das?, in: APuZ 69: 40-42, 11-16.

2018: German and Italian Colonialism. Comparative and Transnational Perspectives (Forum Discussion), in: Contemporanea, 21: 1, 99-124 (ed. with Massimo Zaccaria and Nicola Camilleri).

2018: Reisen in eine vorfeministische Vergangenheit. Bundesdeutscher Sextourismus und das Verhältnis zur „Dritten Welt“, in: Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht, 69: 3/4, 170-184.

2017: Pictures, Postcards, Points of Contacts: Different Approaches to a Cultural History of German Colonialism, in: German History , 35:4, 603–623, https://doi.org/10.1093/gerhis/ghx106 (with Minu Haschemi Yekani).

2017: Chieftaincy as a Political Resource in the German Colony of Cameroon, 1884-1916, in: Bührer, Tanja et.al. (eds.): Cooperation and Empire. Local Realities of Global Processes, New York u.a., 194-222.

2016: David Meetom: Interpreting, Power and the Risks of Intermediation in the Initial Phase of German Colonial Rule in Cameroon, in: The Journal of Imperial & Commonwealth History: 44:5, 755-780.

2015: Tropenkoller. States of agitation and mood swings in colonial jurisdiction in the German colonies, in: InterDisciplines. Journal of History and Sociology 6: 2: Between Passion and Senses? Perspectives on Emotions and Law, p. 75-100.

2015: Recht und Kolonialismus – Heuristische und methodische Überlegungen zu Quellenbeständen am Beispiel der deutschen Kolonie Kamerun, in: WerkstattGeschichte 68, p. 79-95.

2014: Sex drives, bride prices and divorces: Legal policy concerning gender relations in German Cameroon 1884-1916, in: Janz, Oliver; Schönpflug, Daniel (eds.): Gender History in a Transnational Perspective. Biographies, Networks, Gender Orders, New York u.a., p. 243-269.

2009: Law and Colonial Order: Legal Policy in German Cameroon between Civilising and Public Peace, in: Comparativ. Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung 19: 1: Ordering the Colonial World around the Turn of the 20th Century - Global and Comparative Perspectives, p. 17–33.

2009: Introduction: Approaching Different Colonial Settings, in: Comparativ. Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung 19: 1: Ordering the Colonial World around the Turn of the 20th Century - Global and Comparative Perspectives, p. 7–16 (with Nadin Hée).

2006: „Man sagt zu Recht: Boxsport – Männersport“. Männlichkeitsbilder im Boxdiskurs der Weimarer Republik, in: Berliner Debatte Initial 17: 3, p. 92-102.

Publications as editor

ongoing: Geschichtliche Grundfragen. Eine Diskussionsreihe, in: Zeitgeschichte-online,  URL: https://zeitgeschichte-online.de/themen/geschichtliche-grundfragen (ed. with R. Graf, M. Pohlig)

2020: Sexualities 23: 2, special issue: Sexotic - The interplay between sexualization and exotization, (ed. with M. Beljan, P. Eitler, C. Ewing, B. Gammerl).

2018: German and Italian Colonialism. Comparative and Transnational Perspectives (Forum Discussion), in: Contemporanea, 21: 1, 99-124 (ed. with Massimo Zaccaria, Nicola Camilleri).

2009: Ordering the Colonial World around the Turn of the 20th Century - Global and Comparative Perspectives, Comparativ. Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung 19: 1 (ed. with Sebastian Conrad, Nadin Heé).

Contributions to collected volumes, compendia, lexika and academic blogs

2022: In Defense of Vanilla. How to Decolonize a Historical Metaphor, JHI-Blog, https://jhiblog.org/2022/06/22/in-defense-of-vanilla-decolonizing-a-historical-metaphor.

2017: Gurōbaru hisutorī kara mita kankōshi kenkyū  [Tourism History seen from a Global History Perspective], in: Haneda, Masashi (ed.), Gurōbaru hisutorī no kanōsei [The Potential of Global History]. Tokyo, Yamakawa shuppansha, p. 161-181.

2016: Universalizing the Province Europe in Early German Legal Anthropology, in: Provincializing Epistemologies Series, TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research, 27.4.2016 https://trafo.hypotheses.org/3982.

2015: Rassengesetzgebung, in: Hiery, Hermann (ed.): Lexikon zur Überseegeschichte, Stuttgart, p. 675-6.

2012: Entanglements and Interactions within the Plural Legal Order: The Case of the German Colony Cameroon 1884-1916, in: Kirmse, Stefan (ed.): One Law for All. Western Models and Local Practices in (Post-)Imperial Contexts, Frankfurt/Main, p. 243-264.

Presentations (Selected)

Full list of presentations

• 09/2022 Toppling down what exactly? Exploring monuments in the context of coloniality, violence and memory in Germany, Conference: Monuments, Public Spaces, and Colonial Heritage, Helsinki (with M. Haschemi Yekani and D. Lerp)

• 06/2022 Feeling connected: Women’s political engagement against sex tourism and commercial international matchmaking in West-Germany following the Women’s World Day of Prayer 1980, Workshop on the History of Women, Religion, and Emotions in Modern Germany and Beyond, Berlin IU Gateway

• 03/2021 Sexual Frustrations and Dream Vacations: West German Discourses of Sex Tourism after the Sexual Revolution (with Christopher Ewing), ESSHC Leiden

03/2021 „Deutsche Männer haben doch die Schnauze voll von Frauen wie Ihnen.“ Vermittlung ausländischer Ehefrauen als Antwort auf den Feminismus, Konferenz: Revolution der Paarbeziehungen? Der Wandel des Beziehungslebens in Bundesrepublik und DDR, ZZF Potsdam

• 11/2020 Neue Frauen braucht das Land. Sextourismus, Heiratshandel und Feminismus in der Bundesrepublik, 1968-1993, Konferenz: Konfliktreiche Beziehungen oder produktive Reibungen? Verflechtungen in der Geschlechtergeschichte, FU Berlin und AKHFG