History, University of Lille, France

Fellowship : October 2018 to June 2019

Discipline(s) : History

Pays : France

Research project : Beyond European Memories

Ideally, Thomas Serrier’s research residence at the IAS Nantes will have two aims and be divided into two periods. The first aim will be to round up a manuscript for a book on the « lost territories of the German Reich after 1945“ which concentrates on the  wide-ranging phenomena of cultural appropriation in the eastern territories of the German Reich that were incorporated into Poland after WWII. The main focus of this research project is dedicated to transnational memory issues and to possible memory transfers within the territorial frame of former eastern German/postwar western Polish regions. With the manifold processes of transgenerational and transnational developments of entangled memory cultures, the issues of « divided », « shared » and « shareable » memories in a post-war situation will be at the center of analysis. The dialetics between « shared » and „divided“ memories were already the key concepts of the big collective volume « Europa. Notre histoire » (published in autumn 2017 at Les Arènes) dedicated to the European memory issue, that I directed together with Etienne Francois.


Thomas Serrier is a historian and germanist born in 1971 in Le Mans (France). His researches concentrate on German cultural history in the 19th and 20th centuries. Beginning with a special focus on German-Polish and German-East Central European entangled history, his main interest focuses increasingly on a transnational history of European borders and European memories. After graduating at the Parisian École Normale Supérieure he completed his studies at the Université Paris 8, the INALCO, the Freie Universität and the Humboldt Universität Berlin. He successively taught at the Paris8 Institute for European Studies, the Center for French Studies of the FU Berlin and the European University Viadrina in Francfort-on-the-Oder. Since his habilitation at the EPHE in 2014, he is a professor for contemporary German history and culture at the University of Lille. He is a researcher at IRHiS (Université de Lille/CNRS) and an associated researcher at the Institut d’Histoire du Temps Présent (CNRS/Paris8). Thomas Serrier was awarded a fellowship from the Humboldt Foundation in 2004-05. He worked at the Foundation Genshagen in 2006. From 2011-2017 he was member of the international research project Phantom Borders in East Central Europe which was initiated by Béatrice von Hirschhausen at the Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin and is now coeditor of the series of books emanating from this project which are published by Wallstein Verlag in Göttingen. In 2016-17 he was head of the project “The location of Europe. Shared and divided memories in a global age” supported by the Foundation Volkswagen and organizer of the research residence “Lieux de mémoire européens” at the Foundation Les Treilles while simultaneously codirecting with Etienne François the volume Europa. Notre histoire, which was published in 2017 at Les Arènes.

Major publications

SERRIER, Thomas. EUROPA. Notre histoire (dir., avec Etienne François), Paris : Les Arènes, 2017, 1392 p.

SERRIER, Thomas. Phantomgrenzen in Ostmitteleuropa. Räume und Akteure in der Zeit neu denken [Frontières fantômes en Europe centrale. Repenser les espaces et les acteurs dans le temps] (avec Béatrice von Hirschhausen, Hannes Grandits, Claudia Kraft, Dietmar Müller), Göttingen: Wallstein, 2015.

SERRIER, Thomas. Lieux de mémoire européens (avec Etienne François), Paris : La Documentation Française (Documentation Photographique n°8087), 2012.

SERRIER, Thomas. Des choses cachées depuis la fondation de l’Allemagne d’après-guerre. Réflexions sur Günter Grass et la Waffen-S.S. Le Débat n°144, mars-avril 2007, p.71-95.

SERRIER, Thomas. Entre Allemagne et Pologne. Nations et identités frontalières 1848-1914, Paris : Belin, 2002.