Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Prof Dr Christiane Eisenberg



Former Chair British History and Society




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Christiane Eisenberg held the Chair of British History and Society from 1998 until her retirement in October 2021, and was Director of the Centre for British Studies in 2008-10, 2013-15 and 2019-21.

She came to Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin after posts at Bielefeld University, where she gained her PhD in 1986, and Hamburg University, where she completed her Habilitation in 1996. From 1987 until 1988 she was a member of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton.

Professor Eisenberg has published widely, in particular on the social and cultural history of Britain and Germany as well as on methodological problems of historical comparisons and cultural transfer research. Her books revolve thematically around questions of the market economy and how modern society deals with it. In the 1980s, her research focused on cooperatives and trade unions as organisations for market regulation. in the 1990s she then examined diverse aspects of modern sport, especially in its commercial manifestation, which has made it a world culture. During her time at the Centre for British Studies she took direct aim at the modern market economy and examined the English or rather British case, an early developed and especially successful example. Her current book project, The Sporting Spirit of Capitalism, pursues the hitherto unexplored entanglements of sport and financial history, again with an eye on Britain. This investigation into the history of mentality takes up questions from Max Weber's well-known essay on The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904) - in order to answer them anew with knowledge of the state of research that has since been achieved.