People

Christine von Oertzen

Principal Investigator (Since 2005)

Prof. Dr.

Christine von Oertzen has published widely on gender relations in society and science and the material culture of collecting, processing, and visualizing data. Her recent publications include Beyond the Academy: Histories of Gender and Knowledge, Data Histories (with Elena Aronova and David Sepkoski), Working With Paper: Gendered Practices in the History of Knowledge (with Carla Bittel and Elaine Leong), and Histories of Bureaucratic Knowledge, all products of MPIWG Working Groups which she organized as long-standing senior member of Department II.

Her first monograph explored gender politics and social change in West Germany. The focus of her second book was the creation and maintenance of female academic networks in western Europe and North America from the late-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. A project website provides an online biographical database of the many actors figuring in the book.

Her current research group Data, Media, Mind combines a long-term focus on epistemologies and material practices of personal data compilation with media and gender studies, environmental and supply chain studies, the history of bureaucracy, the social, human, and cognitive sciences, and citizen science.

She has earned her PhD at the Free University of Berlin, has taught at the Technical Universities of Berlin and Braunschweig, and was a research scholar at the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. In 2020, she was appointed professor of media practices in the Media Studies Department at Berlin’s Humboldt Universität. She is also Co-Speaker of the new International Max Planck Research School “Knowledge and Its Resources,” a research-based PhD program which is to open with the first cohort of students in September 2022.

Current Projects

Technologies of Self Inscription
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Politics of Epistemic Technologies
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Completed Projects

Beyond the Academy
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At-Home Observation
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Gender Studies of Science
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Historicizing Big Data
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History of Bureaucratic Knowledge
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Housewifery Skills and Paper Technologies in Census Compilation
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Machineries of Data Power
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Machines of Memory
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Science, Gender, Internationalism
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Sciences of the Archive
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Working with Paper
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Selected Publications

Felten, Sebastian, and Christine von Oertzen (2020). “Bureaucracy as Knowledge.” Journal for the History of Knowledge 1 (1): 1–16. https://doi.org/10.5334/jhk.18.

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Felten, Sebastian, and Christine von Oertzen, eds. (2020). Histories of Bureaucratic Knowledge. Special issue, Journal for the History of Knowledge. 1 (1). OpenJournals. https://journalhistoryknowledge.org/histories-of-bureaucratic-knowledge.

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Oertzen, Christine von (2020). “Madness in Numbers. Review of: Porter, Theodore M.: Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity. Princeton: Princeton University Press 2018.” Inference 5 (3). 5 (3): 1–3. https://inference-review…

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Oertzen, Christine von (2020). “Prussian Census Box: Moving and Freezing Data.” In Boxes: A Field Guide, ed. S. Bauer, M. Schlünder, and M. Rentetzi, 473–480. Manchester: Mattering Press.

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Oertzen, Christine von (2007). The pleasure of a surplus income : part-time work, gender politics, and social change in West Germany, 1955-1969. New York [u.a.].

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Oertzen, Christine von (1999). Teilzeitarbeit und die Lust am Zuverdienen. Geschlechterpolitik und gesellschaftlicher Wandel in der Bundesrepublik, 1948-1969. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht.

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Oertzen, Christine von (2007). “Völkerverständigung durch akademische Vernetzung : die International Federation of University Women 1919-1945.” In Politische Netzwerkerinnen : internationale Zusammenarbeit von Frauen 1830-1960, ed. E. Schöck-Quinteros, A. Schüler, A. Wilmers, and K. Wolff, 333–356. Berlin: Trafo.

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UWIND Database

Bookshelf

Forschungsthemen

Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

The Here and Now in Numbers: Census Compilation and Data Visualization in Nineteenth-Century Prussia

Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica,Taiwan

https://www2.ihp.sinica.edu.tw/bulletinDetail.php?TM=1&M=1&C=1&bid=1310
The Many Hands that Work with Paper: Towards a Socio-Material History of Knowledge

College of Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei

http://www.science.ntu.edu.tw/speechDetail_en.php?SpeechId=7084
Papier als Werkzeug: Eine soziomaterielle Geschichte des Wissens

Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Kulturwissenschaften, Ringvorlesung "Schrift/Bild/Sound"

https://www.schriftbildsound.de/.../Schrift.+Bild.Sound+Programm....