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Katherine Aaslestad, Ph.D.


Teaching Fields


Research Interests

Dr. Aaslestad specializes in modern Germany, in particular the long nineteenth century. Her most recent book, Revisiting Napoleon’s Continental System: Local, Regional, and European Experiences, presents essays by international scholars and analyzes the short and long-term consequences of the Continental System. Her first book, Place and Politics: Local Identity, Civic Culture, and German Nationalism in North Germany during the Revolutionary Era, explores the political culture of the Hanseatic city of Hamburg and examines the consequences of Napoleonic and international warfare on regional and civic identity in northern Germany. 

She has also published articles in English, Spanish and German on republicanism, consumer culture, economic warfare, the commemoration of war, and war and gender. Her research has been supported by grants from the DAAD, German Academic Exchange Service, American Scandinavian Foundation, and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Her current research project is “After the Wars: German Central Europe after Napoleonic Conquest, 1815-1840,” and she collaborated with Military History Department of the German Armed Forces in Potsdam to produce her first article related to this new research. The larger book project explores the transition from war to peace in 1815 within the rich comparative framework of the German Confederation. A quarter century of unremitting war between 1792 and 1815 exerted a ‘war shock’ which could be felt for decades after combat ceased. In these decades, wartime experiences of military occupation, conscription, and mobilization for war against Napoleon generated a complex inheritance for civil-military relations in Europe as a whole. Her project breaks new ground, re-visioning the twenty-five years after the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars as a post-war period and illustrating the manifold ways in which the legacy of the “French wars” transformed German Central Europe. This project is supported by a Fulbright Flex Research Grant for extensive archival work in Germany.

She was recently profiled by the American Historical Association. To learn more, visit the AHA’s Member Spotlight page.

Courses Offered

Selected Publications

Co-edited with Johan Joor, Revisiting Napoleon’s Continental System: Local, Regional, and European Experiences (London: Palgrave, 2014)

Historica’s Women, 1000 Years of Women in History, chief consultant (Australia: Millennium House, 2007).

Place and Politics: Local Identity, Civic Culture, and German Nationalism in North Germany during the Revolutionary Era (Leiden and Boston: Brill Press, 2005).

Articles and Book Chapters

“Postwar Cities: The Cost of the Wars of 1813-1815 on Society in Hamburg and Leipzig," in War, Demobilization and Memory: The Legacy of War in the Era of Atlantic Revolutions, edited by Karen Hagemann and Michael Rowe (London: Palgrave, 2016), 220-237.

“Serious Work for a New Europe:The Congress of Vienna after Two Hundred Years,” Central European History, 48 (2015), 224-237.

“Citizenship in Action: Hanseatic Women’s Wartime Associations” for Gender in Urban Europe: Sites of Political Activity and Citizenship, 1750-1900, (Routledge, 2014)124-140.

“Revisiting Napoleon’s Continental System: Consequences of Economic Warfare,” in Revisiting Napoleon’s Continental System: Local Regional and European Experiences, edited by Katherine Aaslestad and Johan Joor (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 1-22.

“Napoleonic Rule in German Central Europe: Militarisation, Compliance, and Resistance” in The Napoleonic Empire and the New European Political Culture, edited by Michael Broers and Peter Hicks, (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 160-172.

“Krieg, Demobilisierung und Errinerungskultur in den republikanischen Stadtstaaten Hamburg, Bremen und Lübeck, 1813-1830,” in Kriegsenden, Nachkriegsordnungen, Folgekonflikte, Wege aus dem Krieg im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, edited by Jörg Echternkamp, (Freiburg im Breisgau: Rombach Verlag, 2012), 53-74.

“El dominio napoleonico en la Europa Central alemana: militarizacion, colaboracion y resistencia”, en El imperio napoleonico y la nueva cultura europea, edited by Michael Broers, Agustin Guimera, and Peter Hicks, (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Politicos e Institucionales, 2011), 245-258.

“Patriotism in Practice: War and Gender Roles in Republican Hamburg 1750–1815,” in Gender, War and Politics, edited by Jane Rendall, Karen Hagemann, and Gisela Mettle (London: Palgrave, 2010), 227-246.

“Lost Neutrality and Economic Warfare: Napoleonic Warfare in Northern Europe, 1795-1815,” in War in the Age of Revolution, 1775-1815, edited by Roger Chickering and Stig Förster, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 373-394.

“War without Battles: Civilian Experiences of French Economic Warfare in the Hanseatic Cities,” in Soldiers, Citizens, and Civilians: Experiences and Perceptions of the French Wars 1790-1820, edited by Alan Forrest, Karen Hageman, and Jane Rendall (Palgrave, 2008), 118-136.

“Patriotism and Gender in Republican Hamburg 1750-1814,” in European History Quarterly, 37 (4), 2007, 582-602.

“The Continental System and Imperial Exploitation,” in Napoleon and the Empire, edited by Philip Dwyer and Alan Forrest (London: Palgrave, 2007), 114-132.

“Krieg und Identität in Hamburg:1806, Wirtschaftskrieg und moderner hanseatischer Regionalismus,” Hamburger Wirtschafts-Chronik, Neue Folge 6 (2006), 45-75.

“Paying for War: Experiences of Napoleonic Rule in the Hanseatic Cities,” Central European History, December 2006, 39/4, 641-675.

“1806 and its Aftermath: Revisiting the Period of the Napoleonic Wars in German Central European Historiography,” (co-authored with Karen Hagemann) Central European History, December 2006, 39/4, 547-579.

Sitten und Mode, Fashion, Gender, and Public Identities in Hamburg,” in Gender in Transition: Discourse and Practice in German-Speaking Europe, 1750-1830, edited by Marion Gray and Ulrike Gleixner (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006), 282-318.

“Remembering and Forgetting: The Local and the Nation in Hamburg’s Commemorations of the Wars of Liberation,” Central European History, vol. 38. No. 3, September 2005, 384-416.

“Old Visions and New Vices: Republicanism and Civic Virtue in Hamburg’s Print Culture, 1790-1810,” in Patriotism, Cosmopolitanism, and National Culture: Public Culture in Hamburg, 1700-1933, edited by Peter Owe Hohenwald (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2003), 143-165.

“Material Identities: Tradition, Gender, and Consumption in Early Nineteenth Century Hamburg” in The Selected Papers of the Consortium on Revolutionary Europe, Florida State University, 1998, 599-607.

Encyclopedia Articles

“Napoleonic Empire and Migration,” in Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration, edited by Immanuel Ness, (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming 2013).

“Holy Roman Empire” and “Schleswig-Holstein” in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, 1750 to the Present, edited by Peter Stearns, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).