Department ofGermanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures

Jens Guettel

Jens Guettel

Associate Professor of History and German
Director of Undergraduate Studies
modern European history; German expansionism; labor history


Ph.D., Yale University, 2007
1. Staatsexamen in History and English, Freie Universität Berlin, 2000
Jens Guettel Headshot


I am a historian of modern German history. My research interests cover the domestic ramifications of empire and colonial expansion for nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Germany, Nazi expansionism between 1939 and 1945, and protest movements in Germany from the late 19th to the early 20th century. I am currently working on a history of radical democratic dissent in Germany before 1918.

Recent Publications:

“Reform, Revolution, and the ‘Original Catastrophe:’ Political Change in Prussia and Germany on the Eve of the First World War,” Journal of Modern History, Vol. 91 (2), 2019.

“Revolutionary Respectability: The SPD and Political Affairs in the German Empire,” German  Studies Review, Vol. 42 (2), 2019.

“Workers under the Swastika” in Shelley Baranowski, Armin Nolzen & Claus-Christian Szejnmann (eds.), A Companion to Nazi Germany (Hoboken: Wiley & Blackwell, 2018).

“The SPD Should Return to Its Anticolonial Roots,” Jacobin Magazine, Issue 30, 2018.

“Frontier im Westen – Frontier im Osten? Der Amerikanische Westen und die nationalsozialistische Vision vom Lebensraum im Osten” in Ulrike Jureit (ed.), Umkämpfte Räume: Raumbilder, Ordnungswille und Gewaltmobilisierung (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2016).

German Expansionism, Imperial Liberalism, and the United States, 1776-1945 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012)

“The Myth of the Pro-Colonialist SPD: German Social Democracy and Imperialism before the First World War,” Central European History, Volume 45, Number 34 (September 1, 2012).

“From the American Frontier to German South-West Africa: German Colonialism, Indians, and American Westward Expansion,” Modern Intellectual History, Volume 7, No. 3 (2010), pp. 523–552.