Dr. Jutta Wimmler

Research Area A Vice-Representative and
Research Group Leader "The Concept of Slavery in African History”

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Room: 3.014
Niebuhrstraße 5
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 / (0)228 / 73 62563

Jutta Wimmler
© Jutta Wimmler

Academic Profile

The Imagination of African Slavery: European Concepts and Discourses 1450 – 1900

In my research project, I investigate the writings of individuals from various European speaker-communities who travelled to Sub-Saharan Africa between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries as records of European knowledge production. I postulate that they reflect concerns and discourses dominant in the writer’s community and that these impacted the way the authors wrote about “slavery” in African societies both in style and in content. Working from both a synchronic and a diachronic angle, crossing time and space, I look for trends, fissures, and contradictions; I investigate how Europeans commented on themselves and their societies through their encounter with African peoples; I explore how writers struggled to give meaning to their experiences and “discoveries” by (not always successfully) integrating them into existing frameworks; and I assess the impact of these deliberations on the development of European ways of generating knowledge and classifying information. I hypothesize that this was a two-way street: existing discursive, conceptual, and ideological frameworks managed the travelers’ expectations and interpretations – but the societies and people they encountered and the experiences they made also altered those frameworks and inspired new ones.

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.
  • 2015. Religious Science Fiction in Battlestar Galactica and Caprica: Women as Mediators of the Sacred and Profane. Jefferson: McFarland.
  • 2012. Centralized African States in the Transatlantic Slave Trade: The Example of 18th Century Asante and Dahomey. Graz: Leykam.


  • with Anne Sophie Overkamp, 2021. Article Series in the Journal of Modern European History: Ordnungen im Wandel: Institutionen und Vergesellschaftsprozesse um 1800. See Overkamp/Wimmler: „Einleitende Bemerkungen,“ https://doi.org/10.1177/16118944219947093333
  • with Klaus Weber, 2020. Globalized Peripheries. Central Europe and the Atlantic World, 1680–1860. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer.

Journal Articles

  • 2020. Incidental Things in Historiography, In Cambridge Archaeological Journal 30/1, 153– 156.
  • with Roland Bernhard, 2019. „Dreieckshandel“, Glasperlen und Gender: Mythische Narrative zum transatlantischen Sklavenhandel in aktuellen deutschen und österreichischen Schulbüchern, In Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 70 3-4, 149–164.
  • 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.
  • 2014. Masters of Cyber-Religion: The Female Body as God’s “Interface” in the TV-Series CAPRICA, In Journal of Religion, Media, and Digital Culture 3/1, 120–154.

Book Chapters

  • Troublemakers in a State-Run Enterprise: Conflict Management and the Limits of Social Disciplining in the Königliches Lagerhaus Berlin, c. 1720–1760, in: Werner Stangl & Veronika Hyden-Hanscho (Eds.): Formative Modernities in the Early Modern Atlantic and Beyond. Identities, Polities and Glocal Economies. Basingstoke: Palgrave (2023): 173–196.
  • Invisible Products of Slavery: American Medicinals and Dyestuffs in the Holy Roman Empire, In Beyond Exceptionalism. Traces of Slavery and the Slave Trade in Early Modern Germany, 1560 – 1850, edited by Rebekka von Mallinckrodt, Josef Köstlbauer and Sarah Lentz, 215–239. Oldenbourg: De Gruyter 2021.
  • with Klaus Weber. 2020. Constructing Atlantic Peripheries: A Critical View of the Historiography, In Globalized Peripheries. Central Europe and the Atlantic World, c. 1680–1860, edited by Jutta Wimmler and Klaus Weber, 1–18, Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer.
  • 2020. Prussia’s New Gate to the World: Stettin’s Overseas Imports 1720–1770 and Prussia’s Rise to Power, In Globalized Peripheries. Central Europe and the Atlantic World, c. 1680–1860, edited by Jutta Wimmler and Klaus Weber, 57–79. 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.
  • with Roland Bernhard. 2019. Invisible Africans? The triangular trade myth in German and Austrian history textbooks. In Myths in German Speaking History Textbooks. Their Influence on Historical Accounts from the Battle of Marathon to the Élysée Treaty, edited by Roland Bernhard, Susanne Grindel, Felix Hinz and Christoph Kühberger, 139–164. Eckert. Dossiers 4. urn:nbn:de:0220-2019-0040.
  • Material Exchange as Cultural Exchange: The Example of West African Products in Late 17th and early 18th Century France. In Cultural Exchange and Consumption Patterns in the Age of Enlightenment. Europe and the Atlantic World, edited by Veronika Hyden-Hanscho, Renate Pieper and Werner Stangl, 131–151. Bochum: Winkler.
  • 2011. Kein Martyrium in Afrika: Über die fehlende Rezeption von krankheitsbedingtem Tod in Schriftzeugnissen französischer Westafrika-Missionare aus dem 17. Jahrhundert. In Vergänglichkeit. Religionswissenschaftliche Perspektiven und Thesen zu einer anthropologischen Konstante, edited by Theresia Heimerl and Karl Prenner, 135–151. Graz: Leykam.
  • with Lisa Kienzl. 2011. “I am an Angel of the Lord” – An Investigation into the Christian Nature of SUPERNATURAL’S Heavenly Delegates. In SUPERNATURAL: TV Goes to Hell, edited by David Lavery and Stacey Abbott, 176–186. Toronto: ECW Press.
  • 2011. Bilder des Maskulinen. Der Vampir im Angesicht von Post- und Third-Wave-Feminismus. In Dunkle Helden. Vampire als Spiegel religiöser Diskurse in Film und TV, edited by Theresia Heimerl and Christian Feichtinger, 82–99. Marburg: Schüren.
  • 2011. „Fangbangers“ und „God hates fangs“. Der Vampir als Projektionsfläche moralischer Diskurse in TRUE BLOOD. In Dunkle Helden. Vampire als Spiegel religiöser Diskurse in Film und TV, edited by Theresia Heimerl & Christian Feichtinger, 160–174. Marburg: Schüre. 



  • Von Hexern und Dämonen. Europäische Konzepte und westafrikanische Realitäten. In IFKnow 02, 2013: 4-5 (also available as a guest comment on http://science.orf.at/stories/1719933/1111 (24.06.2013).
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