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Dr. Simone Müller-Pohl

Simone Müller-Pohl is Assistant Professor of History at the John-F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. She teaches B.A. and M.A. level courses on the history of North America with a particular focus on the nineteenth and twentieth century and the global perspective. Her research focuses on global and transnational history, social and cultural history, the United States in global perspective, the history of science and technology as well as media studies. In her second book project she will explore the intricate relationship between hazardous waste incidents in twentieth century America and a global risk society. From 2008 until 2011 she had a position as research associate within the DFG-funded (German Research Foundation) research group “Actors of Globalization, 1860-1930” headed by Sebastian Conrad (FU Berlin) and Andreas Eckert (HU Berlin). Within this setting she wrote her PhD thesis “The Class of 1866 and the Wiring of the World. Telegraphic Networks in Maritime Space, 1858-1914.” As advisors served Sebastian Conrad and Michaela Hampf (both FU Berlin). For more detailed information please consult the attached CV.

Long CV as a pdf-file

Focus of Research

Global History, North American Studies, Cultural History, History of Science and Technology, Environmental History


Postdoctoral Research Project

“Hazardous Waste” and the Risk of Consumption. The United States facing global environmentalism and consumption in the post-World War II Era.


This book project investigates hazardous waste and its various concepts as an episteme of modernity set in the contexts of transnational environmentalism, global consumption and social risk assessment. Within the time frame from the 1940s until the 1980s, I will focus on a selection of U.S. American hazardous waste sites as well as the discourses surrounding questions of waste siting and management, ethical consumption and social corporate responsibility to uncover the intricate relation between cultures of consumption, the political economy and global environmentalism in the post-World War II era. The study aims at unveiling the distinct political, economic and social constellations that allowed for changes in the perception of (environmental and hence health) risks and how these findings relate to the concepts of reflexive modernity and globalization. The study is set at the intersection of environmental history and the history of consumption and will work interdisciplinary with the field of sociology and political science.


Together with Michaela Hampf (eds.)Global Communication Electric. Actors of a Globalizing World. Frankfurt: Campus 2013.


“Working the Nation State: Submarine Cable Actors, Cable Transnationalism and the Governance of the Global Media System, 1858-1914,” in Isabella Löhr and Roland Wenzlhuemer (eds.), The Nation State and Beyond. Governing Globalization Processes in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century. (Forthcoming Springer Press, 2012).

“Colonialism and Decolonization in the Cable System: The United States, Canada and the Pacific Telegraph(s),” in Norbert Finzsch, Ursula Lehmkuhl, Eva Bischoff (eds.), Provincializing the United States (forthcoming 2012).

“By Atlantic Telegraph“. A Study on Weltcommunication in the 19th Century, in: medien & zeit, Nr. 4 (2010): 40-54.

“Porthcurno. Das Kommunikationszentrum am Ende der Welt,“ [Porthcurno – A Communication Center at the World’s End] Spiegel Online, http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,705352-2,00.html. 2010.

„Die lange Leitung“ [the long line], in Hilmar Schmundt, Milos Vec, Hildegard Westphal (eds.) Mekkas der Moderne. Pilgerstätten der Wissensgesellschaft [Mekkas of Modernity], Köln, Böhlau, 2010.

The Transatlantic Telegraphs and the Class of 1866. Transnational Networks in Maritime Space, 1858 – 1884/89, in: Historical Social Research, 35.1, (2010): 237-259.

Die transatlantische Telegraphenverbindung und die Verkabelung der Welt. Epistemische Gemeinschaften und kulturelle Netzwerke im maritimen Raum, 1858-1914 [The Transatlantic Telegraphs and the Wiring of the World. Epistemic Communities and Cultural Networks in Maritime Space, 1858-1914], in Rundfunk und Geschichte December 2009.

Simone Müller, Henriette Rytz: Gemeinsames Europa, gemeinsame Geschichte, gemeinsames Erinnern? [Common Europe, Common History, Common Remembrance?], in: AdHoc international, Vol. 6, September 2009.


Convention in Dada: Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven and her German poems in the Little Review, in: ELM: A Journal of Undergraduate Research, Nr.1, (Fall 2004).