Dr. Jutta Wimmler

Research Group Leader of "The Concept of Slavery in African History”

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Room: 3.014
Niebuhrstraße 5
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 73 62563

Jutta Wimmler
© Jutta Wimmler
Journal Article: Feudalism on the Loango Coast?

In this contribution to the Journal of Global Slavery's special issue Beyond Slavery and Freedom?, Jutta Wimmler examines the context behind Louis de Grandpré’s Voyage à la Côte Occidentale d’Afrique (1801). 

Guest Lecture: Angola, Hamburg und Napoleon. Das (gegen)revolutionäre Leben des Louis de Grandpré

Dr. Jutta Wimmler will join the Early Modern History Research Colloquium at the University of Tübingen for a lecture on May 27th, 2024. 

Guest Lecture: Exploitation or Welfare? Working for the Königliches Lagerhaus Berlin in the mid-18th century

Dr. Jutta Wimmler will be travelling to the University of Geneva on April 25th, 2024, to give a guest lecture in Prof. Dr. Mary O’Sullivan’s "Séminaire avancé de recherche". 

Academic Profile

Colonial Designs: The Concept of “Slavery” and Europe’s Mental Conquest of Africa

My project investigates how European travelers constructed the idea of “African
slavery” between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. Since both “slave” and
“slavery” are European concepts that had no clear equivalent in African languages, the
question arises when and why the speakers of English, German, French, Portuguese
or Dutch came to refer to a person as “slave” or identified certain practices or social
relations as “slavery.” I argue that such an investigation reveals major trends and
concerns as well as shifts in European thought-styles between the fifteenth and
nineteenth centuries that are deeply connected to the emergence of the “modern”
world. I am especially interested in the connection between colonial ideology and the
semantics of slavery as they developed towards the end of the eighteenth century. I
argue that during this time, European travelers developed many of the arguments that
would in the later nineteenth century be used to justify imperialism – arguments that are
intimately connected to notions of “African slavery.” My project is also an exercise in
combining the historiographies of Africa and Europe. I argue that the expertise of
historians of Europe is vital in contextualizing the published travel accounts that are
among the most important sources for historians of Africa. At the same time, historians
of Europe should pay more attention to these texts that allow fascinating insights into
European history, but are often overlooked.

Ph.D. Studies, Department of History, University of Graz, Austria

M.A. Studies, Comparative Religion (Religionswissenschaft), University of Graz, Austria

M.A. Studies (Diplomstudium), Department of History, University of Graz, Austria

since 2020
Research Group Leader "The Concept of Slavery in African History,” Research Area A, Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies, University of Bonn, Germany

Postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Chair of Comparative European Economic and Social History, European University Viadrina, Germany

Co-director of the DFG-funded project The Globalized Periphery: Atlantic Commerce, Socioeconomic and Cultural Change in Central Europe (c.1680–1850), European University Viadrina, Germany (with Klaus Weber)

Doctoral researcher in the FWF-funded project Cultural Exchange from the Southern Atlantic to Central Europe in Times of War and Crisis (1640–1740): France and Spain as Mediators for the Habsburg Empire, University of Graz, Austria (directed by Renate Pieper)

Research Stipend at the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, Germany

Karl-Ferdinand-Werner Fellow at the German Historical Institute in Paris, France

Research Fellow at the International Research Centre for Cultural Studies at the University of Art and Design Linz in Vienna, Austria

2017. The Sun King’s Atlantic. Drugs, Demons and Dyestuffs in the Atlantic World, 1640–1730. Leiden/Boston: Brill.

  • 2024. With Pia Wiegmink. Beyond Slavery and Freedom? Special Issue in the Journal of Global Slavery. See Wimmler/Wiegmink: "Beyond Slavery and Freedom? An Introduction." In Journal of Global Slavery 9(1–2): 1–16.
  • 2024. "Feudalism on the Loango Coast? Louis de Grandpré’s 1801 Account of 'Slavery' in Africa." In Journal of Global Slavery 9(1–2): 104–128.
  • 2023. "Troublemakers in a State-Run Enterprise: Conflict Management and the Limits of Social Disciplining in the Königliches Lagerhaus Berlin, c. 1720–1760." In Formative Modernities in the Early Modern Atlantic and Beyond. Identities, Polities and Glocal Economies, edited by Werner Stangl and Veronika Hyden-Hanscho, 173–196. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • 2020. With Klaus Weber. Globalized Peripheries. Central Europe and the Atlantic World, 1680–1860. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer.
  • 2019. "Dyeing Woollens in Eighteenth-Century Berlin. The Königliches Lagerhaus and the globalization of Prussia through colouring materials." In Cotton in Context: Manufacturing, Marketing and Consuming Textiles in the German-speaking World (1500–1900), edited by Kim Siebenhüner, John Jordan, and Gabi Schopf, 195–221. Wien/Köln/Weimar: Winkler.
  • 2019. "From Senegal to Augsburg: Gum Arabic and the Central European Textile Industry in the Eighteenth Century." In Textile History 50(1): 4–22.
  • 2015. "The Devil’s Beatings: African Dimensions of Early Modern Demonology in the Atlantic World." In Journal of Religion in Africa 45: 249–278.

For a complete list of publications, see here.

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