Institute of Modern History

Manuela Mann

Research associate


Hölderlinstraße 19, first floor
72074 Tübingen
room: 106
07071 29-72989



Education and professional appointments

since 2018
research associate

with the project: “Landhäuser im Wandel – Country Houses in Times of Change“

01/2018 - 06/2018
research assistant

with Professor Ewald Frie, Institute of Modern History, University of Tübingen; application for third-party funding with the Sigurd-und-Irene-Greven Foundation (granted 6/2018; start date 7/2018)

10/2015 - 12/2017
student assistant

with CRC 923 “Bedrohte Ordnungen – Threatened Orders”

04/2015 - 12/2017
student assistant

with Professor Ewald Frie, Institute of Modern History, University of Tübingen

10/2013 - 12/2013
student assistant

with Professor Anselm Doering-Manteuffel, Institute of Contemporary History, University of Tübingen

12/2011 - 03/2013
student assistant

CRC 923 “Bedrohte Ordnungen – Threatened Orders” (sub-project “Dynastische Brüche – Dynastic Ruptures“) at the University of Tübingen

2011 - 2017
Master of Arts

student of History at the University of Tübingen

2012 / 2014

Birth of my two children

2007 - 2011
Bachelor of Arts

student of History at the University of Tübingen

2004 - 2007
school student

at Wilhelm-Schickard-Gymnasium, Tübingen; completed Abitur (A-level equivalent)

2002 - 2004

as wholesaler with Reiff Technische Produkte GmbH, Reutlingen

1996 - 2002
school student

at Realschule Münsingen; completed Mittlere Reife (GCSE equivalent)



  • history of rural societies
  • German history since 1945
  • economic history and history of consumption


PhD as part of the research project: Landhäuser im Wandel – Country Homes in Times of Change (sub-project 3, 1945-1990)

working title of PhD project: Bewahren, erhalten oder kann das weg? – Historisierungspraktiken als Ressource in deutsch-deutscher Perspektive (1945-1990) (Protect, preserve, or tear down? Practices of historicization as a resource in East and West Germany, 1945-1990)

long abstract: The preservation and upkeep of castles, palaces, and manor houses is notoriously expensive. Nonetheless, they are frequently listed as heritage buildings, preserved, and, if at all possible, restored. Given that many of these buildings are so dilapidated and potentially dangerous that any curious trespassers have to be deterred by means of enormous “Keep out” signs, one may very well ask where the considerable interest in preserving these buildings stems from.

Based on carefully chosen case studies, this project will examine exactly this issue, by analysing processes of negotiation and (re-)interpretation around castles, palaces, and manor houses. This sparks further questions: What stories are told, and who tells them? Why are they told, and how do they change over time? A multitude of examples proves that as late as the 1960s it was enormously difficult to mobilise funds for the preservation of such buildings. The decisive change came in 1975 – the European Architectural Heritage Year – at the latest. Great numbers of castles, palace, and manor houses in West as well as in East Germany were restored and opened to the public. Contemporary historians refer to this period, which had its first beginnings in the mid-1960s, as the time of the “history boom.” The preservation of historical monuments became a topic of public interest.

Nonetheless, studies of the “history boom” have hitherto mainly focused on monument protection on the level of national institutions; very few have adopted a microhistorical approach. What is more, while institutionally-organised monument protection efforts have been examined from a history of ideas perspective, they have not been studied in terms of their cultural practices and their function within the infrastructures of historical culture. Historical culture (Geschichtskultur) is not solely a expression of one specific type of historical consciousness (Geschichtsbewusstsein). After all, actors view and interpret monuments in manifold ways, and refer to them in their own self-fashioning; their relationship with these monuments thus allows for insights into their experience of their own lives in the present rather than the past of the buildings in question. Adhering to the slogan that ‘history sells,’ these practices of historicization were also used as economic resources.

The specific geographic framework chosen for this project enables me to adopt a non-teleological perspective including both German states, which prioritises the analysis of shared experiences and actions.