University of Oxford

History Faculty

Your Location:

Professor Oliver Zimmer

Oliver Zimmer

Professor of Modern European History

Contact Information

University College

Professor Oliver Zimmer (MA, PhD, F.R.Hist.S.)

I work on the social, cultural and political history of Europe c. 1760 - 1939, particularly its German-speaking parts. And while my research interests relate to themes rather than particular countries or chronologies, I don't normally supervise theses that fall within the post-1945 period (i.e., what German historians call Zeitgeschichte).But there's no rule without exceptions.

Themes of special interest include citizenship; nationalism; religion; liberalism and its role in the formation of cultural norms and expectations; time and temporal rhythms; the history of towns and cities; the cultural history of economic life; historiography and theory. The question that preoccupies me at the moment is how ordinary people in the nineteenth century adapted to the acceleration of life and the standardisation of time. My first book, A Contested Nation: History, Memory and Nationalism in Switzerland, 1761 - 1891 (CUP, 2003), which placed contestation at the centre of the process of nationalisation, has acquired the status of a classic in the field. In Nationalism in Europe, 1890 - 1940 (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2003; now also available in Japanese and Chinese translations)  I offer an introduction to seminal concepts and theories as well as to the history of nationalism in Europe. My third book, Remaking the Rhythms of Life: German Communities in the Age of the Nation-State (OUP, 2013), explores the reconstruction of communal life in the second half of the nineteenth century through the prism of comparative urban history, using the concepts of place and rhythm as analytical lenses. I have also been involved in a number of collaborative research projects which have resulted in the publication of edited collections, and I am on the editorial board of the journal Nations and Nationalism. I welcome applications from graduate students wishing to work on topics that fall within these or related thematic areas.


Page last updated: 02/12/2013, at 10:11

Contact Us

There are a number of ways that you can contact us directly:

By post:

Faculty of History
George Street
Oxford OX1 2RL
United Kingdom

By telephone or fax:

Tel: +44 1865 615000
Fax: +44 1865 250704

Or by email:

For information on graduate admissions, contact:

For information on undergraduate admissions, contact: