Dr Stefan Hanß

Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History

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I am an early modern historian working on material culture and cultural encounters in the early modern period. My current research examines, among others, the history of early modern hair and feather-working. I explore new methodological trajectories and heuristic tools in material culture studies such as the use of digital microscopes and scientific analysis, remaking experiments, as well as historians' collaboration with artisans and artists. In 2019, I was awarded a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award which allowed me to organise the event Microscopic Records: The New Interdisciplinarity of Early Modern Studies, c. 1400–1800. In 2020, I was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in recognition of my research achievements in early modern material culture studies and early modern global history.

I am Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Manchester since September 2018. Beforehand, I held a postdoctoral position as a Swiss National Science Foundation/ Arts and Humanities Research Council Research Associate in Early Modern European Object History at the University of Cambridge (2016–18). In Cambridge, I have also been a Research Associate at St John's College. I received the PhD from the Freie Universität Berlin (summa cum laude) after having been enrolled at the Dahlem Research School’s doctoral degree programme 'History and Cultural Studies'. After finishing my PhD, which won the Friedrich Meinecke Prize, I was a Herzog Ernst Postdoctoral Fellow at the Research Centre Gotha, University of Erfurt, in 2015.

Born and raised in Erfurt, I have studied History and various minor subjects at the Freie Universität Berlin, the Università Ca'Fosari Venice, and the Warburg Institute London. During these years, I was also an intern, undergraduate research assistant, and freelancer at the Freie Universität Berlin's Faculty of History, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library Weimar, and the German Historical Institutes in Rome and London.


Seminar Series


(Affective Artefacts events in 2019 and 2020)

Charting the relationship between material cultures and cultures of emotions, Affective Artefacts discusses the agentive and affective qualities of matter. Bringing together researchers of different disciplinary backgrounds such as anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians, curators, historians and sociologists, the seminar provides a cross-disciplinary platform to exchange views on methods and technologies, to discuss case studies, and to develop and test a shared vocabulary of material culture studies. I co-organise this seminar series with Prof Sasha Handley (2019–). Affective Artefacts is funded by The John Rylands Research Institute Manchester.

The Manchester Material Culture Lab, a new reading group of Manchester archaeologists and historians interested in material culture studies, is another result of this seminar series. These meetings shall engender a dialogue between the disciplines studying material culture in Manchester.

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