I am a historian of modern Africa interested in how societies remember mass violence, the relationship between memory and history, and the lasting afterlives of colonialism. My dissertation, entitled "Spheres of Memory: Legacies of German Colonialism in Namibia and Tanzania, 1914-1969, compares the ways in which ordinary men and women, indigenous leaders and nationalist politicians have remembered German rule between its end in the First World War and the era of decolonization. The dissertation shows that such memories were transmitted between generations on three levels: through the narration of genealogy in families; through public debates in meetings with colonial officials, in vernacular newspapers, and petitions to the United Nations; and through cultural practices that range from the rituals of mutual help organizations to popular beliefs surrounding buried remnants of German rule. These memories not only influenced the path of both territories towards self-determination, but their social and cultural life throughout the twentieth century. They also constitute the origins of contemporary demands for restorative justice. Beyond the workings of historical memory, I am also interested in African vernacular newspapers, the colonial state, European colonial movements, and Swahili poetry.
Before coming to Princeton, I received a B.A. in Modern History and Anthropology from Freiburg University, Germany, and spent an academic exchange year at Durham University, England. I also hold an M.A. in Global History from Free University and Humboldt University Berlin.
Fabian Krautwald, "The Bearers of News: Print and Power in German East Africa," The Journal of African History, 62:1 (2021), 1-24.
Fabian Krautwald, Sakiko Nakao, Thomas Lindner, "Fighting Marginality: The Global Moment of 1917-1919 and the Re-Imagination of Belonging," L'Atelier du Centre de recherches historiques 18 (2018), http://journals.openedition.org/acrh/8086.
Alexander de Juan, Fabian Krautwald, Jan Pierskalla, "Constructing the State: Macro Strategies, Micro Incentives, and the Creation of Police Forces in Colonial Namibia," Politics & Society, Vol. 45, No. 2 (2017), 269-299.
Fabian Krautwald, Review of Postcolonial Germany. Memories of Empire in a Decolonized Nation, Oxford 2014 by Britta Schilling, in H-Soz-Kult, September 3, .2014, <www.hsozkult.de/publicationreview/id/rezbuecher-23166>.