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Jonas Wernz


Department of History
Modern History
D-50923 Cologne

Philosophikum, 3rd floor, Room 3.107

E-Mail: jonas.wernz(at)uni-koeln.de

Research Areas

  • European History of the “Sattelzeit” (1750-1850) and of the “long” 19th Century (1789-1914)
  • History of International Relations
  • Postwar Politics and Transitions
  • Nationalism
  • Historical Times and Futures

Dissertation Project

Open Futures. Concepts of political (Re-)Organisation between Napoleonic Empire and the Concert of the European Powers 1813-1822 (working title)
Abstract During the critical transition period from the Napoleonic Empire to the post-Napoleonic international system, imagining prospective order was possible in multiple ways. German contemporaries, whose recent experiences were shaped by the contingencies of war and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, perceived the future as wide open and construed the presence of the Congress of Vienna 1814/15 as a decisive moment for reshaping the political organisation of Central Europe. Starting from theoretical assumptions of historical time and war-postwar-passages, the dissertation project examines the postwar discourse emerging from a multitude of still overlooked pamphlets and writings of German non-state actors. By analysing the various ideological positions, principles, and concepts that were reactivated, reformulated, and fused between 1813-1822, it sheds light on the conflicting debate on the reorganisation of the political landscape in the German public sphere after Napoleon. Oscillating between different temporal layers, political horizons, and geopolitical aspirations, this debate encompassed a variety of security proposals with a European dimension and an emphasis on international peace and conflict management. The project will contribute to a more complex comprehension of the relation between formal Congress politics and the interventions of a wider public, of reform and reaction, of internationalism and nationalism, and of continuity and discontinuity during the “long” transition from the Napoleonic wars to the Concert of Europe.


since 09/2020 Research Assistant (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter), Chair of Modern History (Prof Dr. Ute Planert), University of Cologne
since 05/2020 Phd Candidate in Modern History (Collegiate at the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for Humanities Cologne)

Teaching Assistant (Lehrbeauftragter) at the Department of History, University of Cologne


M.Ed., University of Cologne.

Master Thesis: „On the Threshold of a New Time": Postwar, Temporal Discourses and the Reordering of "Future" during the Congress of Vienna 1814-1815 (awarded with the Faculty Prize of the Philosophical Faculty)


Tutor for the Introductory Lecture in Modern History


Student Research Assistant (Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft), Chair of Modern History (Prof. Dr. Ute Planert), University of Cologne

2013-2019 Study of History, English and Educational Sciences at the University of Cologne and the School of History at the University College Cork, Ireland  


Talks (Selection)

Opening Postwar: Political Agency and the Public Sphere in Germany 1813-1818, Conference New Postwar Orders: Transforming Europe and the World after War and Revolution (1815-1840) (April 24-26, 2024): University of Cologne.

Preventing Defeat after Victory: European Peace due to Federal Nationalism in Germany, 1814-1815, Nationalism, War and Defeat. Interdisciplinary Conference on Nationalism (May 25-26, 2023): University of Copenhagen.

"A Vivid Idea of the Times": Open Futures, Politics and Re-Organisation 1814-15, Colloquium for Modern History and Contemporary History, Prof. Dr. Patrick Wagner/Prof. Dr. Theo Jung (April 13, 2023): Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg.

'Periodization in the Making': Time and the Figure of "Turning Point" in German Print Media 1814/1815, Conference Periodization and Time in History: Perspectives from Germany, Europe and the Middle East (March 29-30, 2023): University of Cambridge.

Archetype of "Europe"? German Nationalism, Print Media, and the Quest for European Postwar Order 1813-1815, Conference Changing Concepts of "Europe" since the 18th Century: Between the National, the Transnational, and the Global (March 2-4, 2023): Aarhus University.

Kairological Paradigm: Temporal Hybridity and Politics in the German Public Sphere 1814/1815, Cambridge German History Research Group, DAAD Cambridge Research Hub for German Studies (November 17, 2022): University of Cambridge.

Temporal Hybridity: A Liminal Approach Towards Periods of Transition and Social Change, 2022 Cambridge AHRC International Conference, Open-Oxford-Cambridge Doctoral Training Partnership (September 20-21, 2022): University of Cambridge.

Open Futures. Concepts of political (Re-)Organisation between Napoleonic Empire and the Concert of the European Powers 1813-1822, Colloquium Modern History, Department of History (May 17, 2022): University of Cologne.

Open Futures. Concepts of political (Re-)Organisation between Napoleonic Empire and the Concert of the European Powers 1813-1822, Colloquium New Research on the History of the 19th Century (May 12-13, 2022): Cologne.


Winter term 2023/24 | Proseminar: Constellations, Dynamics, In-Betweenness: Colonial History of the Kaiserreich

Winter term 2022/23 | Proseminar: Revolutionary Orders? Nationalism, Liberalism and the European State System 1848/49 (together with Elias Mahiout)

Summer term 2022 | Proseminar: „Ja dürfen s’ denn des?“ – The German States in the Kaleidoscope of Revolutions 1848/49 (together with Elias Mahiout)

Winter term 2021/22 | Proseminar: 1871 – Europe and the Founding of the Kaiserreich (together with Elias Mahiout)

Summer term 2021 | Proseminar: War and Nation: The German "Wars of Unification" 1864-1871 in European Perspective (together with Elias Mahiout)

Winter term 2020/21 | Proseminar: Europe or the World? Great Power Conflicts 1740-1763 (together with Elias Mahiout)

Summer term 2020 | Proseminar: The Seven Years' War (1756-1763): Global Crises and European Conflicts at the Onset of the Modern Era (together with Elias Mahiout)


Conference Review Neuere Forschungen zur Geschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts, May 12/13 2022 (together with Elias Mahiout), in: H-Soz-Kult (Sept 22 2022).