PD Dr. Philipp Müller

Dr. Philipp Müller


  • 2018 to date Chair in Social History and Social Movements, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Lehrstuhlvertretung Prof. Dr. Stefan Berger)
  • 2017-2018 Chair in Modern and Contemporary History, Universität Kassel (Lehrstuhlvertretung)
  • 2016/2017 Chair in Modern and Contemporary History (Lehrstuhlvertretung Prof. Dr. Rebekka Habermas)
  • 2012-2016 Assistant Professor (GRF Research Fellowship), Georg-August Universität Göttingen
  • 2011-2012 Honorary Lecturer in Modern German History, University College London
  • 2006-2011 DAAD Francis Carsten Lecturer in German History, University College London
  • 2005-2006 Post Doctoral Fellow, Research Centre Media of History - History of Media, Bauhaus Universität Weimar & Universität Erfurt
  • 2004-2005 Teaching Assistant, Ruhr Universität Bochum
  • 1999-2000 Research Assistant, Ruhr Universität Bochum


  • 2017 Habilitation, venia legendi Modern and Contemporary History (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
  • 2008-2009 Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University College London
  • 2000-2004 Ph.D. History and Civilization, European University Institute, Florence
  • 1997-1998 European History Programme, Certificate in European History, Ruhr Universität Bochum
  • 1994-2000 Magister Artium, Modern Literature, Medieval Literature, Modern History, Ruhr Universität Bochum
  • 1994-1999 Staatsexamen, History and German, Ruhr Universität Bochum

Research Interests

  • Political, Social and Cultural history of Central Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries; Urban History, Media History, History of Crime and Police, Historical Anthropology, History of Sciences, History of Knowledge.


  • I specialize in two distinct fields of historical research. My first research project connected hitherto separated fields of historical study: the history of the metropolis, of media, of crime and police, and the history of popular entertainment. In my Ph.D. thesis, Ganz Berlin ist Hintertreppe, I explored the communication process between the police, the press and ordinary Berliners, revealing the emergence of the urban crime drama in the transforming media landscape of Imperial Berlin. My new research project focuses on Archival Politics in Central Europe in the 19th century. This project is placed at the intersection of the transnational history of governance, the institutional and administrative history of state archives and the history of knowledge and historiography. It is my intention to historicise 'the archive' as a site of historical research; accordingly, the relationship between the arcana imperii and the public, the presence of governmental politics in Central European archive matters, the formation of historical knowledge and its role in a period of enhanced building of nations and identities, is the focus of my study.

Awards, Fellowships & Scholarships

  • 2016 German Research Foundation Research Fellowship
  • 2012 German Research Foundation Research Fellowship
  • 2011 DAAD Scholarship
  • 2011 Foundation Prussian Cultural Heritage Research Fellowship
  • 2006 "History Book of the Year" Award by German H-Net
  • 2004 German Research Foundation Post Doc Fellowship
  • 2004 European University Institute Fin de Thèse Scholarship
  • 2000 DAAD Ph.D. Scholarship at the European University Institute



  • Politics of Secrecy and Historical Archival Research during the 19th century. (currently under review)
  • Writing History with the Archive - or Johann Gustav Droysen doing his scholarly work. (currently under review)
  • Auf der Suche nach dem Täter. Die öffentliche Dramatisierung von Verbrechen im Berlin des Kaiserreich. Campus: Frankfurt a.M. 2005 (Historische Studien, 40). Peer Reviewed Book Series edited by Rebekka Habermas, Gerhard Haupt, Alois Wierling, Michael Wildt [Searching for the Perpetrator. The Public Dramatisation of Crime in Imperial Berlin]

Edited Refereed Journal Issues

Refereed Journal Articles

Chapters in Books (Selection)

Presentations (Selection)

  • Die geöffneten Archive. Historisches Forschen und Arkanpolitik im 19. Jahrhundert. Historikertag Hamburg, September 2016.
  • Die kleine Diplomatie der Gelehrten: Lobbyarbeit im Vorraum des Archivs. HU Berlin, July 2015.
  • Die Mikropolitik der Gelehrten. Archivbenutzung und Arkanpolitik im 19. Jahrhundert. Universität Gießen, June 2015.
  • Praxis - Medium - Wissen. Die Eingabe im frühen 19. Jahrhundert, Universität Zürich, NCCR Mediality and Historicity, 03/2015.
  • Archive Politics and Historical Research in 19th-Century Central Europa, University of Arizona, Tucson, Feb. 2014.
  • The New History out of the Old Archive. Historical Research and Politics of Secrecy in Central Europe in the long 19th century. University of Chicago, Feb. 2014.
  • Kontinuität und Wandel. Die frühneuzeitliche Tradition der Suppliken und die Öffnung des Archivs im 19. Jahrhundert, Technische Universität Dresden, 12/2013.
  • Geschichte und Geheimnis. Geschichtsforschung und Arkanpolitik in Mitteleuropa, c.1800 - c.1850, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Nov. 2013.
  • Wem gehören die Daten? Zur Wissensgeschichte der historischen Archivrecherche im 19. Jahrhundert, Gesellschaft für Philosophische Kultur e.V., Philosophischer Salon, Detmold, Nov. 2013.
  • The 'Opening of the Archives'. Secrecy, History, and the Administering of Access to State Archives, AGHS Conference Edinburgh. Sept. 2012
  • Discovering Archives. Monuments, Letters and the Past during Ranke's Study tour in Central Europe. Universiteit Leiden, Workshop 'Discovering the Archive in Historiography. Jan. 2012
  • 'Observing the Past, its Representation and Conditions'. Freiburg Inst. of Advanced Studies & Humboldt Centre for Epistemological Research. Sept. 2011
  • Regulating Access, Producing Sources. The Politics of the Archive in the 19th Century. Institute of Historical Research, London. March 2011
  • 'The Opening of the Archives'. Historical Interest and the Administering of State Archives. DFG Research Group Historische Lebenswelten, Popular History 1800 - 1900 - 2000, Universität Freiburg. July 2010
  • 'But we will always have to individualise'. Police Supervision, its Crisis and Reform in Prussia 1880-1914. German Historical Institute London, Changing Patterns of including and excluding the "deviant" poor. Febr. 2010
  • Using the Archive. Administering Secret Knowledge in the Nineteenth Century. Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, University of Manchester. Oct. 2009
  • Monuments, the Historian and the Past. Ranke touring Central Europe. Ruhr Universität Bochum, Symposium 'From the Margins to the Centre'. Sept. 2009
  • "'Using the Archive'. The Arcana? and the Public in the Long Nineteenth Century." Research Centre "Archive, Power, and Knowledge", Universität Bielefeld. June 2009
  • Reform and Change. Police Supervision in Prussia during the Imperial Period. Universität Erfurt, Symposium Everyday Life in Transnational Perspective: Alltagsgeschichte Revisited. Oct. 2008
  • Archives and Historians in the Nineteenth Century. Conference 'Histories: Unsettled and Unsettling' Universität Erfurt. July 2007
  • "Searching the Perpetrator in Berlin around 1900." German Historical Institute Paris, Das 19. Jahrhundert als Mediengesellschaft. June 2007
  • "'Teacher' or 'Crook'? The Captain of Köpenick Case and the Transformation of the Media Landscape in Imperial Berlin'. University of Oxford, Modern Germany History Seminar. Oct. 2007
  • Enchanting Modernity. Semi-Official Sensations and Emotional Politics in Imperial Berlin. University College London, CEELBAS Launch Conference East European Area Studies. April 2007
  • Leopold Ranke Seeking Access to the Archive. European University Institute Florence, Workshop 'Historians at Work'. Oct. 2006
  • "Letters of Historians and Writs of the State Administration." Ruhr Universität Bochum, Workshop 'Cultures of Letter Writing'. Aug. 2006
  • Searching the Perpetrator in the Metropolis. The Culture of Sensations in Imperial Berlin. Centre for Global Culture and Communication, Northwestern University (Illinois). February 2006
  • Time, Speed, and Rhythm. The Narrative Administering of Time. Universität Erfurt, Symposium 'Provincializing Europe: Potential and Pitfalls of (Non-) Western Approaches to History'. June 2005
  • The Criminal. Metamorphoses of a Stereotype. German Historical Institute London, Workshop 'Social Stereotypes and History'. Oct. 2005
  • News and Tidings in the Metropolis: Berlin's Dailies and Peoples Idle Talk around 1900. Goethe-Institute Prague, Workshop 'City - Media - Space'. Oct. 2005
  • "Beyond Fiction. New Approaches of the History of Sciences." Research Centre 'Archive, Power, and Knowledge', Universität Bielefeld. Oct. 2005
  • "Semi-Official Sensationalism and Emotional Politics in Wilhelmine Berlin." Villa Vigoni, Como, Workshop 'Transfigurationen der Macht. Politik, Vermittlung und Popularität'. March 2005
  • "Photographic Representations and Popular Perceptions of the Criminal in Berlin, 1890-1914." 15th Colloquium for Police History. July 2004
  • Mug Shots and their Use in the Combat against Crime in Imperial Berlin." Institute of the History of Technology and Sciences of Technology (TU Dresden), Seminar. June 2004
  • News and 'Idle Talk' in the Metropolis: The Interrelations between Berlin's Dailies and Peoples Talk Around 1900. Workshop 'Interrogating Hearsay: Rumours and Gossip in Historical Perspective 1500-2003', University of Essex. July 2003
  • "Limits of Police Supervision in Imperial Germany." 14th Colloquium for Police History, Universität Graz. July 2003
  • "'Searching for Hennig'. Appropriating News in the Metropolis." Symposium 'Raum als Kategorie einer Kommunikationsgeschichte des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts'. Febr. 2003
  • From Metaphor to Algebra: The Making of the Captain of Cöpenick in 1906. European University Institute Florence, Workshop 'Making Sensation and Covering Reality'. Nov. 2002
  • The Public Combat Against Crime in Wilhelmine Berlin. 13th Colloquium for Police History, Universiteit Twente. July 2002
  • Not Knowing the City. The Heinze Case and the Role of Print Media in the Production of Urban Knowledge in Berlin around 1900. European Association for Urban History, 6th Intern. Conf. on Urban History, Edinburgh. Sept 2002