Early Modern History Position: wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter / Doctoral student E-Mail: jas_hag(at)uni-bremen.de Tel.: 0049 (0)421–218 67222 Room: GW2, B 1440
Since September 2019: researcher as part of the project “The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and its Slaves” (ERC Consolidator Grant)
Since April 2019: Doctoral candidate, University of Bremen
2019: Project staff, Focke-Museum, Bremen, preparing the exhibition “Hans Saebens. Pictures for Bremen (1930–1969)”
2017: Studied at California State University Los Angeles (semester abroad)
2016–2018: Master’s in History, with a focus on Public History, University of Bremen, final dissertation: European Trading Companies and The Local Population on the African Gold Coast
2015–2019: Research assistant as part of the project “The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and its Slaves” (ERC Consolidator Grant)
2013–2016: Bachelor’s in History, University of Bremen, final dissertation: Moors and Baptising Turks around 1700. Representations of the Other in Comparison
Bremen as Part of the Atlantic Slave Economy. Overseas Exports and the Urban Slavery Discourse 1780 – 1860
The project focuses on the personal and economic ties between Bremen’s merchants and plantation regions in the Americas, the thematisation of slavery in the urban debate and its handling by the state authorities.
Between the Peace of Paris in 1783 and the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, but for a few brief interruptions Bremen witnessed a constant boom in overseas trade, the city’s merchants importing plantation produce such as coffee, tobacco, sugar or cocoa. Linen was the most common export product, and the most famous today. A more precise examination of the export shipments, however, reveals the diversity of the produce and Bremen merchants’ close involvement in the Atlantic slave economy. The research project seeks to provide a qualitative and quantitative analysis of Bremen’s exports, using certificates of neutrality and cargo documents that have been preserved in Bremen State Archive. Some of the questions that will be considered are: how often did Bremen export equipment clearly produced for slavery, such as “cane knives” or “Negro hatchets”? What share of total exports did they constitute? Which trading houses played a particularly active role in these exports?
These trade links take on new significant in the light of the contemporary Bremen slavery debate. Although the nineteenth-century Bremen debate on the transatlantic slave trade was dominated by a critical stance on the slave trade, Bremen’s merchants themselves owned slaves in overseas regions. In order to illuminate the Bremen elite’s ambivalent relationship with Atlantic slavery, the project examines Bremen plantation owners overseas and Bremen’s sometimes reluctant cooperation with international efforts to suppress the slave trade. The aim is to establish biographical patterns of those Bremen merchants who profited from the slave trade overseas and to examine the practices and discourses in their home city’s dealings with the transatlantic slave trade.