Sebastian Bondzio

Gerda Henkel Fellow for Digital History

German Historical Institute Washington
1607 New Hampshire Ave NW | Washington DC 20009

Biographical Summary

Sebastian is a Historian at the Department for Modern History and Historical Migration Research at Osnabrueck University. Since 2018 he is the Senior Researcher in the research group Data Driven History, in which he and his team develop automated workflows to produce large digital datasets from analogue serial sources and apply digital methods from the field of exploratory data analysis to this historical big data. Being aware of the contingent historical emergence of such sources and the need for reflexivity that comes with it, Sebastian developed a strong interest in the History of Knowledge that lies behind these large historical datasets as well as for the datafication of societies as governmental acts, in the context of which ‘knowledge’ was produced. 

Alongside his PhD Sebastian published nine peer-reviewed papers. 2020 his first monograph came out, in which he answered the question, how German society was able to wage war for more than four years (1914-1918) while soldiers from that society were dying constantly, by applying a digitally supported mixed-method approach. 

In January 2021 Sebastian joined the German Historical Institute Washington and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University as the Gerda Henkel Fellow for Digital History. There he is part of larger Digital History research groups and will be able to combine his interest in Migration History, Digital History and the History of Knowledge in a project that aims to model and research the process of German migration to the US during the 19th century on the basis of about 4.2 million migrant datasets as well as the US authorities’ production of ‘knowledge’ as part of the historical migration regime.

Main Areas of Interest

  • Data Driven History
  • Migration Regimes
  • Nexus of Knowledge and Power
  • Genealogy of Cultures
  • Society, War, and Violence
  • (Digital) Methodologies