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Florian Neiske

Research Fellow, Doctoral Candidate


  • Doctoral Project

    Divided Society: Nature, Insecurity and Colonial Rule in Calcutta and Bengal, ca 1860-1900.

    Current discussions on the topic of climate change not only highlight anthropogenic influences on the environment, but also point to the threats and dangers that nature and the environment pose to human societies. Due not only to environmental factors and political decisions, but also socio-economic processes and structures, risks and vulnerabilities vary greatly across different regions, societies and social groups. This dissertation seizes such themes and explores them in an historical perspective, using colonial Calcutta and the surrounding region of Bengal in the second half of the nineteenth century as a field of study. Here, phenomena like storms, the monsoon rains, droughts, the intense sun, or diseases, especially, were regarded as potentially problematic and dangerous. The project analyzes the perceptions of such threats and ramifications of various dangerous events. It also looks at the reactions, at possible measures of relief, protection or prevention, and how these were intertwined with and shaped by the colonial enterprise. At the same time, the study explores, how these perceptions of threat and danger, and the measures that were implemented, influenced colonial structures. In short, the study aims to examine the nexus of colonial rule, practices of (in-)security and environmental dangers.

  • Curriculum Vitae

    2017 - Doctoral Candidate at the Department of Modern History, University of Marburg
    2018 - 2022 Research Fellow at the SFB/TRR 138 "Dynamics of Security. Types of Securitization from a Historical Perspective, Subproject C08 "Security and Empire"
    2015 - 2017 Student Assistant at the Department of Modern History, University of Marburg
    2017 Master of Arts in History of International Politics, University of Marburg
    2013 Bachelor of Arts in Geography and History, University of Münster
  • Courses taught

    SoSe 2023 PS "Vulkanausbrüche, Dürren, Wirbelstürme - Naturkatastrophen im 19. Jahrhundert"

    SoSe 2022 UE "Environment and Empire. Imperialgeschichte als Umweltgeschichte" (with Dr. Andrea Wiegeshoff)

    SoSe 2018 UE "Playing for Empire? The role of sport in imperial contexts of the 19th and 20th Centuries" (with Stephen Foose)

    SoSe 2017 HS "Welten des Deutschen Kolonialismus in Marburg und Hessen" (with Prof. Benedikt Stuchtey and Johannes Häfner)

  • Publications

    Gefahren unter der Sonne. Zum Verhältnis von Differenz und (Un-)Sicherheit am Beispiel europäischer Seeleute im kolonialen Kalkutta, in: Sigrid Ruby u. Anja Krause (Hrsg.): Sicherheit und Differenz in historischer Perspektive. Security and Difference in historical Perspective, Baden-Baden 2022, S.57-73.

    Stephen Foose/Florian Neiske, Tagungsbericht. „Security and Empire. Mechanics of Securitization in Imperial Spaces”, 16. 3. 2016–18. 3. 2016, Marburg, in: H-Soz-Kult, 16. 6. 2016; [URL:]

  • Extras

    06/2023 "Concepts of Vulnerability and Security in the study of Empires"
    Workshop: "Writing the History of Empires. A joint workshop of mpilhlt and Philipps-Universität Marburg"

    06/2022  "Divided society: nature, insecurity and colonial rule in Calcutta and Bengal, ca. 1860-1900"
    Workshop: "Writing the History of Empires. A Joint Workshop", Philipps-Universität Marburg / Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory, Frankfurt a.M.

    05/2022   "Postkoloniale Initiativen in Hessen" (with Philipp Horstmeier)
    Lecture and Discussion, Hochschule Fulda

    02/2021  "Gefahren unter der Sonne. Zum Verhältnis von Differenz und (Un-)Sicherheit am Beispiel europäischer Seeleute im kolonialen Kalkutta"
    Workshop: „Sicherheit und Differenz in historischer Perspektive“, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen (online)

    5/2019  "Insecurities in Colonial Bengal, 1860-1900"
    Workshop "Cultures of Archival Research in Germany and India", Philipps-Universität Marburg

    10/2017  "Was ist Kolonialismus? Einführung in zentrale Fragen der Imperial- und Kolonialgeschichte" (with Johannes Häfner)
    Workshop, Weltladen Marburg

    Postcolonial City-Tour Marburg (Look here for further information.)