Gudrun Gersmann

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Gudrun Gersmann in August 2007 at the Wikipedia Academy in Mainz

Gudrun Gersmann (born March 25, 1960 in Herne ) is a German historian . From 2007 to 2012 she was director of the German Historical Institute in Paris.


Gudrun Gersmann studied history, Romance studies, philosophy and German studies at the Ruhr University in Bochum from 1978 to 1981 . In the summer semester of 1981 she switched to the University of Geneva with the subjects history and romance studies. In the winter semester 1981/1982 she studied history at the Sorbonne in Paris , where she received a scholarship from the German Historical Institute in 1983 . From 1984 to 1993 she was a research assistant and assistant in Bochum. In 1991 she received her doctorate with a dissertation on book censorship and the underground book trade in the Ancien Régime . The font was awarded the 1997 Gleimhaus literature prize in Halberstadt. From 1993 to 1996 she was a habilitation scholarship holder for the project “Water samples and witch trials. Witch persecution as a witchcraft policy in the early modern duchy of Münster ”as part of the Meitner program.

Gudrun Gersmann (2015)

After her habilitation grant, Gersmann went to the LMU Munich as a research assistant . Since 1999 she has been the head of the cooperation projects " Server early modern times " (project end 2003) and "" (from 2001). In 2000 she completed her habilitation in Munich. In 2002 she received a post-habilitation grant from the University of Munich. In 2002 she accepted a call to RWTH Aachen University as professor for the history of the early modern period. In the summer semester of 2004 she moved to the University of Cologne . From November 1, 2007 to September 30, 2012 she was director of the German Historical Institute in Paris . As the head of the institute, she attached great importance to the use of digital media. Since the winter semester 2012/2013 she has been teaching again as a professor for early modern history at the University of Cologne.

Research and offices

Gersmann deals with the constitutional and legal history of the early modern period; with the epochs of the Enlightenment, the Ancien Régime and the French Revolution ; with the restoration in France; with the history of the witch hunts; with the connection between history and new media; also with the European nobility in the early modern period and at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Gersmann is deputy chairwoman of the University Council of Trier University , spokeswoman for the Advisory Board of the Institute for European History in Mainz , member of the University Council of RWTH Aachen University , advisory board member of the Historical Center ( Hagen ), the Ruhrland Museum Essen and vascoda . She is also a member of the Committee for Scientific Libraries and Information Systems of the German Research Foundation as well as chairwoman of its subcommittee for electronic publications and deputy chairwoman of the advisory board of the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig .

From 2001 to 2011 Gersmann was co-editor of the online review journal sehepunkte .


  • 2017: Knight of the National Order of Merit of the French Legion of Honor

Fonts (selection)

  • as editor with Hubertus coal : France 1800. Society, culture, mentalities. Steiner, Stuttgart 1990 ISBN 3-515-05749-8 .
  • as editor with Hubertus Coal: France 1815–1830. Trauma or utopia? The Society of Restoration and the Legacy of the Revolution. Steiner, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-515-05831-1 .
  • In the shadow of the Bastille. The world of writers, colporteurs and booksellers on the eve of the French Revolution. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-608-91623-7 (at the same time: Bochum, University, dissertation, 1991/1992).
  • as editor with Hubertus coal: France 1848–1870. The French Revolution in the culture of remembrance of the Second Empire. Steiner, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-515-07260-8 .
  • as editor with Hubertus coal: France 1871–1914. The Third Republic and the French Revolution. Steiner, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-515-08057-0 .

Web links

Commons : Gudrun Gersmann  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. ^ Rolf Große : France research at the German Historical Institute. In: Yearbook of historical research in the Federal Republic of Germany. Reporting year 2012, 2013, pp. 21–27, here: p. 22.
  2. University of Cologne press information from February 16, 2017: High French distinction for Cologne prorector , accessed on February 22, 2017