Claire Louise Blaser

Guest Scholar

Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington
Institute of European Studies | University of California, Berkeley | 249 Moses Hall | Berkeley, CA 94720-2316

Biographical Summary

Claire Louise Blaser is a doctoral student at the Chair for History of the Modern World at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Her PhD project, funded by a Doc.CH scholarship from the Swiss National Science Foundation, examines the life and intellectual legacy of Swiss-born feminist, writer and painter Frieda Hauswirth (1886-1974). Hauswirth’s “global biography” was shaped by migratory experiences that brought her from rural Switzerland via Northern California to colonial India and back around to various locations in North America and Europe. Claire’s research analyses Hauswirth’s biography as a form of global microhistory, which draws together three fairly separate strands of historiography: early transnational feminism, global Indian anti-colonialism, as well as Switzerland’s entanglement with European colonial politics and imaginaries.

She recently wrote her first article on the early history of Indology and Orientalist studies in Switzerland, forthcoming in a special issue of Comparativ on “Transimperial Histories of Knowledge” that she co-edited with Monique Ligtenberg and Josephine Selander. She was a member of the interdisciplinary doctoral program “Migration and Postcoloniality meet Switzerland” and is part of the doctoral programs “History of Knowledge,” formerly run by the Centre for History of Knowledge in Zurich, and “Regimes of Inequality – Past and Present”. She is a board member and co-president of the Swiss Network of Female Historians.

Main Areas of Interest

  • Gender and Women’s History
  • Biography and Global Microhistory
  • Transnational Feminism
  • History of Knowledge
  • South Asian history
  • Global anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism
  • (post)colonial Switzerland