PD Dr. Ulrike Schmieder

Affiliated Researcher

Leibniz University Hannover
Historisches Seminar
Im Moore 21
30167 Hannover
E-Mail: ulrike.schmieder@hist.uni-hannover.de

Academic Profile

Memories of Atlantic Slavery. France and Spain, the French Caribbean and Cuba Compared in the Context of Global Debates about the Commemoration of Slave Trade and Slavery

In the context of the global Cultural Heritage Boom, where local, national, and global identity constructions are involved and intertwined with interests in cultural tourism, sites of memory of colonialism and slavery related with guilt are a field of social conflicts. The tensions between descendants of enslavers and enslaved, colonizers and colonized became visible in the global Black Lives Matter Movement in 2020 and found their expression in the toppling statues and monuments.

In the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) there is a debate in Europe and the former colonies in Africa and America, if, where and how slavery should be remembered, who should apologize to whom and who should indemnify whom. Societies discuss how to handle remnants of slavery, which statues (of slave traders as benefactors of port towns, for instance) should be demolished or commented, which museums and memorials have to be established or reformed. If the coming to terms with recent dictatorships does not interfere with the remembrance of colonial times (Spain, Portugal), the controversies on the colonial past play a more important role in countries with a longer colonial history and many immigrants from their former colonies (England, France, Netherlands) than in Germany. Here, the disputes had concentrated on the handling of the Nazi past and connected sites of memory until very recent times.

On the basis of the knowledge on slavery and post-emancipation, particularly on the French Caribbean island Martinique and former Spanish Cuba, the research is dedicated e the handling of historical remnants (plantations, manor houses, slave huts) and the establishment of sites of commemoration (memorials and museums) in France and Spain, the French Caribbean with focus on Martinique and Cuba in the context of global debates on this topic. The historiography focused until now mostly on the Anglophone space. The central question will be which protagonists promoted the establishment of sites of commemoration, which protagonists tried to impede them, who uses the sites how and to which purpose, or ignore them and why. This research will make visible current power relations, (social and racist) inclusions and exclusions in the society which remembers or forgets. On selected places of remembrance in Martinique and Cuba the counter-memories of descendants of the enslaved and their relation to the sites of memory shall be studied through Oral History methods. Interviews with experts and activists in the capitals and port towns of the former colonial powers France and Spain and in the Caribbean as well as documents from local archives and libraries provide further sources.

Habilitation in Modern History with focus on Ibero-American History, Universität zu Köln (Dr. habil.)

Ph.D. in Modern History, Universität Leipzig (Dr. phil.)

Study of Latin American Sciences at the University of Rostock (diploma as "Latin American scientist/ historian")

  • 2018- planned 2022 Senior researcher (project "Memories of Atlantic Slavery") at the Leibniz University Hanover with a grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • since 2004 Senior researcher and lecturer at the Department of History, Leibniz University Hanover
  • since 2015 also Manager of the Centre for Atlantic and Global Studies, in 2022 return to this position
  • summer semester 2019 Substitution of the Chair of Modern and Contemperory History with focus on Latin American History at the University of Bremen
  • winter semester 2013/14 Substitution of the Chair of Modern and Contemperory History, Ruprechts-Karl-Universität Heidelberg
  • 4/2012/-9/2013 Senior researcher (project about the strategies and agendas of the once-enslaved in Cuba and Martinique after emancipation) at the Leibniz University Hanover with a grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • before 2004: lecturer and researcher at the Universities of Leipzig, Cologne, and Zacatecas (Mexico)
  • Schmieder, Ulrike/ Michael Zeuske, Introduction. Falling Statues around the Atlantic: Colonizers, Enslavers and White Abolitionists as Targets of Anti-Racist Activism and the Historical Background of Not-decolonized Memorial Cityscapes, in: Schmieder, Ulrike/ Zeuske, Michael (eds.), Falling Statues Around the Atlantic, Comparativ, Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung, 3/4 (2021), pp. 297-313.
  • Schmieder, Ulrike, Monuments and Street Names: Conflicts about the Traces of Enslavers and Defenders of Slavery in French Cities, in: ibid., pp. 335-355.
  • Schmieder, Ulrike, Controversial Monuments for Enslavers, Enslaved Rebels and Abolitionists in Martinique and Cuba, in: ibid., pp. 374–393.
  • Schmieder, Ulrike, Lugares de memoria, lugares de silencio: la esclavitud atlántica en museos españoles y cubanos desde una perspectiva comparada internacional, in: Jangwa Pana, Journal of the Universidad de Magdalena, Colombia, 20/ 1 (2021), pp. 52–80.
  • Memories of Slavery in France and its French Afro-Antillean Diaspora: Overview of Sites of Memory and their Entanglements with British and US-American Images of Slavery and Debates on Reparations. In: Kaltmeier, Olaf/ Petersen, Mirko/ Raussert, Wilfried/ Roth, Julia (eds.), Cherishing the Past, Envisioning the Future: Entangled Practices of Heritage and Utopia in the Americas, Trier/ New Orleans 2021, S. 31–57.
  • Masculine and Feminine Identities of Slaves, /Patrocinados/ and Freedmen in Cuba in the 1880s. In: EnterText, An interactive interdisciplinary e-journal for cultural and historical studies and creative work, Brunel University London), 12 (Winter 2018), Borst, Julia/ Fuchs,
  • Rebecca/ Urioste-Buschmann, Martina (eds.), Crossing Thresholds: Gender and Decoloniality in Caribbean Knowledge.
  • Les sévices commis par la famille Desgrottes, histoires de maltraitance d’esclaves et de leur résistance à la Martinique. In Sanz Rozalén, Vicent/ Zeuske, Michael (eds.), Microhistoria de Esclavas y Esclavos, Millars. Espai i història, XLII/1 (2017), S. 193–217.
  • Periódicos afrocubanos: La Independencia y el distanciamiento de la élite afrocubana de Haití, África y la esclavitud. In: Bandau, Anja/ Brüske, Anne/ Ueckmann, Natascha (eds.), Reshaping Glocal Dynamics of the Caribbean: Relaciones y Deconexiones – Relations et Déconnexions – Relations and Disconnections, Heidelberg 2018, S. 423–442.
  • Sites of Memory of Atlantic Slavery in European Towns with an Excursus on the Caribbean. In: Cuadernos Inter.c.a.mbio sobre Centroamérica y el Caribe, San José, Costa Rica, 15/1 (2018), S. 29–75. revistas.ucr.ac.cr/index.php/intercambio/issue/view/2632
  • Un documento del Archivo Histórico Municipal de Colón y la globalidad de la región azucarera de Cuba. In: Chaves, Mauricio/ Mackenbach, Werner/ Pérez Brignoli, Héctor (eds.). Convergencias transculturales en el Caribe y Centroamérica San José, Costa Rica, 2018, S. 161–170.
  • ¿Cómo recordar la esclavitud hoy en día? Cuba y el Caribe francesa, España y Francia comparada. In: Opatnrý, Josef (ed.), Proyectos políticos y culturales en la realidades caribeñas de los siglos XIX y XX, Prag 2016, S. 195–217.
  • (Antiguos/as) esclavizados/as como padres y madres: Martinica y Cuba comparadas. In: Revista Cuadernos del Caribe (Zeitschrift der Universidad Nacional de Colombia,18/2 (2014), pp. 21–35. http://www.revistas.unal.edu.co/index.php/ccaribe/article/view/50386.
  • Martinique and Cuba Grande: Commonalities and Differences during the Periods of Slavery, Abolition and Post-Emancipation. In: Review, A Journal of the Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems, and Civilizations, XXXVI/ 1 (2013), S. 83–112 (peer-reviewed).
  • Die Sklav/inn/en und /nouveaux libres/ in der französischen Karibik und die Tätigkeit der Bildungsorden /Frères de l´Instruction Chrétienne/ bzw. /Frères de Ploërmel/ und /Sœurs de St. Joseph de Cluny/. In: Fuchs, Martin/ Linkenbach, Antje/ Reinhard, Wolfgang (eds.), Individualisierung durch christliche Mission? Wiesbaden 2015, S. 342–356.
  • Nach der Sklaverei – Martinique und Kuba im Vergleich (Sklaverei und Postemanzipation, vol. 7), Berlin 2014. (Rezensionen: Delia González de Reufels, Historische Zeitschrift, 302 (2016), S. 217–218: Javier Laviña, EL TALLER DE LA HISTORIA, 6/6 (2014), S. 511 – 514).
  • Sexual relations between the Enslaved and between Slaves and Non-slaves in Nineteenth Century Cuba. In: Campbell, Gwyn/ Elbourne, Elizabeth (eds.), Sex, Power and Slavery, Athens 2014, S. 227–252.
  • Eine Archäologie "subalternen" Sprechens: Afrokaribische Frauen und Männer reden über ihre persönlichen und gesellschaftlichen Ziele: in: Zeitschrift für Weltgeschichte (ZWG), Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven, 15/ 1 (2014), S. 9–36.
  • The Teaching Religious Orders and Slave Emancipation in Martinique, Journal of Caribbean History, 47/ 2 (2013), S. 153–183.
  • Katholische Mission, Sklaverei und Emanzipation in der frankophonen Karibik, in: Habermas, Rebekka/ Hölzl, Richard (eds.), Mission /Global/. Eine Verflechtungsgeschichte seit dem 19. Jahrhundert", Köln 2014, S. 59–90.
  • Interdependencies of class, ethnicity and gender in the postemancipation societies of Martinique and Cuba. In: Célleri, Daniela/ Schwarz, Tobias/ Wittger, Bea (eds.): Interdependencies of Social Categorisations. Frankfurt a.M./Madrid 2013 (Ethnicity, Citizenship and Belonging in Latin America, 2), S. 65–89.
  • Conflictos sociales en plantaciones martiniquesas antes y después de la abolición de la esclavitud. In: Revue de la Société haïtienne d´Histoire, de Géographie et de Géologie, Nr. 245-248 (2012), S.142–181.
  • With Zeuske, Michael (eds.), Erinnerungen an Sklaverei, Comparativ, Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung, 22/2 (2012).
  • With Füllberg-Stolberg, Katja und Zeuske, Michael (eds.), The End of Slavery in Africa and the Americas, A Comparative Approach. Berlin: Lit 2011, (Reihe “Slavery and Postemancipation”, Band 4). Rezension von Sue Peabody: http://www.hsozkult.de/publicationreview/id/rezbuecher-16090
  • With Nolte, Hans-Heinrich (eds.), Atlantik. Sozial- und Kulturgeschichte in der Neuzeit, Wien: Promedia (Edition Weltregionen) 2010.
  • Staatliche und katholische "Zivilisierungsmissionen" in der französischen Karibik vor und nach Aufhebung der Sklaverei in Martinique. In: Hatzky, Christine/ Schmieder, Ulrike (eds.), Sklaverei- und Postemanzipationsgesellschaften in Afrika und der Karibik, in: Periplus, Jahrbuch für außereuropäische Geschichte, 2010, S. 140–177.
  • Sklaverei und Sexualität im Kuba der Massensklaverei des 19. Jahrhunderts. In: Fischer, Josef/ Ulz, Melanie (eds.), Unfreiheit und Sexualität von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, Hildesheim/ Zürich, New York 2010, S. 162–187.
  • Widerstand von Sklaven und Sklavinnen in Kuba im 19. Jahrhundert. In: Hermann-Otto, Elisabeth (ed.), unter Mitarbeit von Marcel Simonis und Alexander Trefz, Sklaverei und Zwangsarbeit zwischen Akzeptanz und Widerstand, Hildesheim u.a. 2011, S. 403–426.
  • Schmieder, Ulrike, Histories Under Construction: Slavery, Emancipation and Post-Emancipation in the French Caribbean, in: REVIEW, Zeitschrift des FERNAND BRAUDEL CENTER, herausgegeben von Michael Zeuske und Dale Tomich, "The Second Slavery: Mass Slavery, World Economy and Comparative Microhistories", (XXXI), 2/ 2008, S. 217–242.
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