Consultation hours are held by appointment via Zoom. Please send an e-mail to karolin.wetjen[at]uni-kassel[dot]de.

Dr. Karolin Wetjen (born 1986) studied History and Latin at the University of Göttingen (graduated in 2012 with distinction, Master of Arts and Master of Education). In 2019, she also completed her dissertation in Göttingen (summa cum laude). In her thesis, she investigates negotiation processes of the religious in an entanglement-historical perspective using the example of the Leipzig Mission on Kilimanjaro between 1890 and 1920. In 2017, she was a research assistant at the Chair of Modern History (Prof. Dr. Rebekka Habermas). Since April 2019, she is a Research Associate at the University of Kassel in the Department of Modern and Contemporary History. Her habilitation project takes a look at future conceptions of the global in environmental debates between 1870 and 1970. In doing so, she combines questions from the history of knowledge and science with approaches from the history of media to create a global history of the future. Karolin Wetjen has been awarded scholarships from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the German National Academic Foundation, the DAAD, and the Göttingen Graduate School for the Humanities for her studies and work.

Research Interests

  • History of colonialism
  • Global environmental history
  • History of interconnections and transfers in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • History of religion and missions
  • History of the future
  • Gender history


Current research project (habilitation project)

Scalings of Space and Time. The Production of Global Climate Knowledge in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Knowledge about climate, about anthropogenic climate change and its effects on the environment shapes contemporary debates. However, what exactly was understood by climate, when and by whom, has changed considerably over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. Climate was not only an important topic of scientific debate, but also part of political, economic, colonial, and medical discourses as well as of bourgeois conversation. Climate was used to organize notions of time, past as well as future, and space. The habilitation project, which is situated at the intersection of knowledge and media history, starts here and examines the changes, shifts, and narrowing of knowledge about climate (change) in the period between ca. 1800 and ca. 1970. Using selected case studies as examples, the study therefore aims to investigate questions about the emergence, mediation, and dissemination of the various interwoven aspects of climate knowledge. Three perspectives are guiding the study: First, the medial production and distribution practices, logics and conditions of climate knowledge will be investigated; second, the different dimensions of climate knowledge with and beyond the purely scientific dimension will be explored. Third, climate knowledge will be understood as an approach to ordering processes of space and time; first, how orders of time are challenged by the preoccupation with climate will be examined; second, the conditions of construction under which climate knowledge enabled scalings between the local, regional, and global will be explored.

Monographs and Editorships

  • The Global in the Local. The Support of Outer Mission in Rural Lutheran Protestantism around 1900, Göttingen 2013.
  • Together with Linda Ratschiller (ed.), Interwoven Mission. New Perspectives on the History of Missions, Cologne/Weimar/Vienna 2018.
  • Mission as Theological Laboratory. Aushandeln des Religiösen um 1900, Stuttgart 2020.

Review by Kirsten Rüther

Review by Stephen Morgan, in Church History, vol. 91, h. 2, June 2022, pp. 428-430.

Review by Jeremy Best


Essays in anthologies and journals

  • "The Road to Perdition. Schwarzmarkt und Göttinger Nachkriegskriminalität, in Maren Büttner/Sabine Horn (eds.), Alltagsleben nach 1945. Die Nachkriegszeit am Beispiel der Stadt Göttingen, Göttingen 2010, pp. 31-58.
  • "... I heartily request him to please us quite often with his excellent essays." Christian Authors in the Journal Sulamith, in Medaon - Magazine for Jewish Life in Research and Education 5 (2011), no. 8, pp. 1-7, online.
  • Mission in, Despite, and as Colonialism. Notes on the Leipzig Mission, in: Habari 16 (2014), h. 3, pp. 36-43.
  • The Body of the Baptized. Constructions of Bodies and the Circumcision Debate of the Leipzig Missionary Society, c. 1890-1914, in Siegfried Weichlein/Linda Ratschiller (eds.), European Missionaries and African Bodies, Cologne/Weimar/Vienna 2016, pp. 73-94.
  • Imprinting, Altering, Omitting. Das Stationstagebuch der Station Mamba im Missionsblatt der Leipziger Missionsgesellschaft um 1900, in Silke Strickrodt/Katja Werthmann/Geert Castrick (eds.), Sources And Methods For African History And Culture. Essays in Honour of Adam Jones, Leipzig 2016, pp. 201-220.
  • Religious Education Resonances and Mission. "Christianity-Making" in Missionary Educational Space at the End of the 19th Century, in David Käbisch/Michael Wermke (eds.), Transnational Border Crossings and Cultural Contacts: Historical Case Studies in Religious Education Perspectives / Working Group for Historical Religious Education, Annual Conference, Leipzig 2017, pp. 23-38.
  • "Aller Welt die Bibel, allermeist aber der evangelischen Welt". Bible, Book, and Global Protestantism in the 19th Century, in Historical Anthropology 25 (2017), ed. 3, pp. 367-390.
  • Together with Linda Ratschiller, Interwoven Mission. Approaches, Methods, and Issues in a New History of Mission, in: this. (ed.), Interwoven Mission. New Perspectives on the History of Missions, Cologne/Weimar/Vienna 2018, pp. 9-24.
  • Community in the Laboratory. Negotiation Processes of Christianity and Church Discipline in Mission at the Beginning of the 20th Century, in Linda Ratschiller/Karolin Wetjen (eds.), Verflochtene Mission. New Perspectives on the History of Missions, Cologne/Weimar/Vienna 2018, 89-116.
  • Together with Richard Hölzl, Negotiating the Fundamentals? German Missions and the Experience of the Contact Zone, 1850-1918, in Rebekka Habermas (ed.), Negotiating the Secular and the Religious in the German Empire. Transnational Approaches, Oxford/New York 2019, 196-234, forthcoming.
  • Entangled Mission: Bruno Gutmann, Chagga Rituals, and Christianity,1890-1930, in Jenna Gibbs (ed.), Global Protestant Missions. Politics, Reform, and Communication, 1730s-1930s, London/New York 2020, 209-230.
  • Mission and Colonialism. The Leipzig Mission Society and Colonial Negotiations of the Religious and the Secular, in: Moritz Fischer / Michael Thiel (eds), Investigations on the "Entangled History" of Colonialism and Mission in a New Perspective. 20th Ludwig Harms Symposium, Berlin 2022, in press.
  • Together with Hubertus Büschel: Sensual Contact Zones. A Plea for the Senses in Colonial History, in: ÖZG 33 (2022), H. 2, accepted for publication.




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