Global Humanities Junior Fellow at The Chinese University of Hong Kong
April – August 2016
A Conceptual History of Nostalgia in Itinerant Pop Songs of the 1930s to 1960s
Marius Oesterheld’s main area of specialization is conceptual history. Having applied this approach to texts and images, he is now looking to extend it to the realm of music. To this end, he will study the function of nostalgia as a transnational 'emotion concept' in the context of war and imperialism by looking at songs like 春之夢/支那の夜/China Nights/Moon Above Malaya (the title varies along with the language it is sung in), which travelled between East Asia, South East Asia and the USA. On the level of theory and methodology, he is interested in the interactions between the two layers of conceptualization - lyrics and music - as well as in the question how we can grapple with the presentist, sensual quality of music and how this encounter might challenge the genre conventions of historiography.
Having completed his BA in history and cultural anthropology at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and University College London, Marius Oesterheld is now studying Global History - with a special focus on the history of East Asia in the 19th and 20th century - at Freie Universität Berlin. Aside from conceptual history, his research interests include intellectual history, labour history, the history of emotions and translation studies. He has received grants from Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes and DAAD and worked in various fields, including heritage protection, online journalism and cultural diplomacy, in Berlin and Beijing. He is a co-founder and editor of [Global Histories] A student journal.