Professor Johannes Dillinger

Professor of Early Modern History

School of History, Philosophy and Culture

Role

Professor Dillinger received his doctorate from Trier University. He taught at Trier University, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Georgetown University, Stanford University, and Nehru University (New Delhi). In 2000 and 2001 Dillinger worked as a Visiting Resarch Fellow at the German Historical Institute, Washington DC. Dillinger received both elite scholarships of the German Research Foundation (Noether and Heisenberg). Mainz University granted him an honorary professorship.

Dillinger is mainly interested in early modern history. He is currently working on the history of early modern terrorism, ghosts and magic.

Teaching and supervision

Modules taught

Undergraduate

  • Europe and the World 1450-1750
    • Examines the interaction of Europe with the wider world and the religious, imperial and political struggles that underpinned the rise of European empires.
  • The Faiths of the West 
    • Provides a history of God and the gods and over 3,000 years of religious dialogues that shaped the Western world.
  • Historical Writing 
    • Allows students to evaluate and write any kind of academic text, providing concrete help with dissertation-writing and enabling students to create their own project with expert support.
  • Early Modern State 
    • Warlords, princes, policemen: The rise of the modern state, from the Middle Ages to Napoleon.
  • History and Documents 
    • Find and interpret historical documents. Concrete help for writing your dissertation. Create your own project with expert support.
  • A History of Modern Ideas
    • Introduces the ideas and key thinkers that have shaped our modern world, covering 2,500 years of philosophy, from Plato to Popper.
  • Religion and Magic in Everyday Life
    • Angels, saints, witches and vampires: Beliefs that have shaped our world view from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. 

Postgraduate

  • Terrorism in History 
    • Terrorism and the fight against it, from the earliest beginnings to the present.
  • Monsters and Magical Beings: Medieval Lore to Pop Culture  
    • Imaginations of vampires and fairies, witches and zombies, ghosts and demons help us to understand fundamental changes in Western society and culture.
  • History That Was Not: Counterfactuals and Alternate History   
    • The uses and abuses of the ‘What if…?’ question in history, art and pop culture.

Research

Main research interests include:

  • Peasantry
  • Representative Institutions
  • Witchcraft and Magic
  • Folk Religion
  • Political Crime
  • Uchronia (Alternate / Virtual History)
  • Regional History
  • Historical Comparisons
  • Didactics of History

Groups

Professional information

Conferences

Convenerships

Interrelation between Science, Theology and Magic

  • ‚Magic meets Enlightenment? New Types of Discourse in     America and Germany, 18th and 19th Centuries, international conference of the German Historical Institute Washington, Washington D.C. 2000

Political Representation

  • ‚Grassroots Democracy? A Comparative History of Communities and State Building in New England and Germany, 16th to 19th Centuries’, international conference of the German Historical Institute Washington, Washington D.C. 2001

Witchcraft

  • ‚Hexensabbat: Fantasien der Nacht und die Erkundung des Imaginären‘ [The Witches‘ Sabbath. Fantasies of the Night and Investigations of the Imaginary], international conference of the Arbeitskreis Interdisziplinäre Hexenforschung, of the Akademie der Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart and of the Universität Saarbrücken, Weingarten 2013 (with coconveners Prof. Dr. Iris Gareis und Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Behringer)
  • ‚Teuflische Beziehungen – Teuflische Gestalten. Der dämonische Kontrapunkt des Hexenglaubens [Demonic Relationships – Demonic Characters. Demonism as the ‚Other‘ of Witch Belief]’, international conference of the Arbeitskreis Interdisziplinäre Hexenforschung, of the Akademie der Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart and of the Universität Bielefeld, Stuttgart 2008 (with coconvener Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schild)
  • ‚Hexenprozess und Staatsbildung’ [Witch Trials and State Building], international conference of the Arbeitskreis Interdisziplinäre Hexenforschung, of the Akademie der Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart and of the Universität Tübingen, Weingarten 2002 (with coconvener Dr. Jürgen Schmidt)

Keynotes

History of Border Regions

  • The Cultural Identity of a Borderland Region: History and Historiography of the Meuse – Moselle – Rhine Area (Opening of the Exhibition ‚Tracing a Common Past’ der DFG and of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2009)
  • History and Cultural Identity in the Meuse – Moselle – Rhine Region (Opening of the Exhibition ‚Tracing a Common Past’ der DFG and of the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 2008)

Political Representation

  • Communalism and Localism. (‚Grassroots Democracy? A Comparative History of Communities and State Building in New England and Germany, 16th to the 19th Centuries’, international conference of the German Historical Institute Washington, Washington D.C. 2001)

Witchcraft

  • ‚Hexensabbat: Ursprünge und Konsequenzen von Fantasien', [The Witches‘ Sabbath: Orignins and Consequneces of Fantasies] (Hexensabbat. Fantasien der Nacht und die Erkundung des Imaginären‘, international conference of the Arbeitskreis Interdisziplinäre Hexenforschung, of the Akademie der Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart and of the Universität Saarbrücken, Weingarten 2013)
  • Hexenforschung – Ein wissenschaftshistorischer Überblick [Witchcraft Research –
  • An Overview of the History of Historiography] (Opening lecture of the symposion ‚Hexerei und Hexenverfolgung. Interdisziplinäre Annäherungen‘, Universität Augsburg, Augsburg 2011)
  • Hexerei und entstehende Staatlichkeit. [Witchcraft and the Rise of the State] (‚Hexenprozess und Staatsbildung’, international conference of the Arbeitskreis Interdisziplinäre Hexenforschung, of the Akademie der Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart and of the Universität Tübingen, Weingarten 2002)

Panels (Chairperson)

Interrelation between Science, Theology and Magic

  • Panel ‚The Naturalness of the Supernatural’ (Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, international conference of the Sixteenth Century Society and of the University of South Carolina, Genf 2009)

Political Representation

  • Panel 'Beginn der Revolutionsepoche' [The Beginning of the Revolutionary Period] (‚Parlamentarismus in der Französischen Republik und dem Empire. 2. Symposium zur Parlamentsgeschichte im Gebiet des heutigen Rheinland-Pfalz’, conference of the Landtag Rheinland-Pfalz, Mainz 2008)

Guest Lectures at Universities

Didactics of History

  • Geheime Netzwerke. Konstruktion, Rekonstruktion und Dekonstruktion von Verschwörungen [Secret Networks. Construction, Re-construction and Deconstruction of Conspirarcies] (Lecture in the lecture series ‚Soziale Netzwerkanalyse‘ at Universität Trier, Trier 2010)
  • Die Geschichte fiktiver Geschichte. Alternate History und Geschichtswissenschaft [The History of Virtual History. Alternate History and Historiography] (Lecture at the Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken 2007)

Interrelation between Science, Theology and Magic

  • Zwischen Bauern und Papst. Die Authentifizierung von Reliquien am Beispiel schwäbischer Blutkulte, 10.-18. Jahrhundert [Between the Peasants and the Pope. Authentifications of Relics in the Context of Swabian Cults of the Holy Blood, 10th-18th Centuries] (Lecture at the Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken 2012)
  • Magic as a Topic of Regional History in Germany (Lecture at the Faculty of History, Cambridge University, Cambridge 2011)
  • The Cult of the Holy Blood in Southwestern Germany from the Middle Ages to the 19th Century (Public lecture as  Kratter Visiting Professor an der Stanford University, California, 2010)

Migration and Cultural Transfers

  • The Great Migration and Puritan New England. (Lecture at the an der Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität, Institut für England- und Amerikastudien, Frankfurt a. M. 2002)

Political Crime

  • Treason, Arson, Poison. Traitors and Terrorists in the Early Modern Period (Lecture at the History Department der University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2009)

Political Representation

  • Peasant Politicians. The Delegates of Rural Communities in Early Modern Representative Bodies (Lecture at the History Department, Stanford University, California, 2010)
  • Revolution and Tradition. Peasants and the French Revolution (‚French Revolution’. Workshop at Jawaharlal Jehru University, New Delhi 2008)
  • Die politische Repräsentation von Landbevölkerung und Landgemeinden in der Frühen Neuzeit. Neuengland und Europa im Vergleich [The Political Representation of the Peasantry and Peasant Communities in the Early Modern Period. A Comparison of New England and Europe] (Lecture at the Universität Bielefeld 2005)
  • The Political Representation of the Peasantry in the Early Modern Period. (Lecture at the Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 2001)

Treasure Hunting

  • Profit, Dämonen und Nachbarn. Die soziale Bedeutung der Schatzgräberei [Profit, Demons and Neighbours. The Social Meaning of Treasure Hunting] (Lecture at the Universität Münster, 2009)
  • Der Wandel der Schatzsuche. Württemberg, USA, Australien, 16. bis 20. Jahrhundert [Chances in Treasure Hunting. Württemberg, the US and Australia, 16th – 20th Centuries] (Lecture at the Universität Tübingen, 2009)

Witchcraft

  • Dämonologie in der Region: Binsfeld, Rémy, Delrio und Spee [Demonology in the Region] (Lecture in a lecture series of the Friedrich-Spee-Gesellschaft and of the Universität Trier, Trier 2011)
  • Witchcraft as a Topic of Local and Regional History (Lecture and Field Trip for the Seminar ‘The European Witch Hunts:  Gender, Panic, Religion, and the Decline and Restoration of Justice, 1400-1700’ Miami University, Oxford Ohio 2010)  
  • Witchcraft and Witch Hunts in Central Europe, 16-17 Centuries (Lecture at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 2008)
  • Hexenglauben und Hexenverfolgungen in Südwestdeutschland: Didaktik und Forschung [Witch Beliefs and Witchcraft Research in South-West Germany. Didactics and Research] (Lecture at the Seminar für Lehrerbildung Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe 2007)
  • Die Hexe der Gelehrten. Magie und Hexerei in der Dämonologie. [The Witch of the Scholars. Magic and Witchcraft in Demonology] (‚Die große abendländische Hexenverfolgung’, Lecture at the Studium Generale of the Universität Tübingen, Tübingen 2004)
  • The Witches of Salem: Village Life, Law, and Imaginations of Magic in Colonial Massachusetts. (Lecture at the Universität Kassel, Kassel 2001)
  • Witches in German Cultural History, (Lecture at St. Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Ireland 1998)

Numerous conference papers

Dillinger's PhD thesis, a comparative study of 1300 witch-trials in two German principalities, won the Friedrich Spee Award for outstanding contributions to the historiography of witchcraft and the prize for the best PhD thesis of Trier University. An English translation has been published under the title '"Evil People"A Comparative Study of Witch-Hunts in Swabian Austria and the Electorate of Trier.' Dillinger received the most prestigious scholarships of the German Research Foundation (Noether and Heisenberg) as well as the Andrew Mellow Grant of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

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