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Julia Tischler studied History and English at the University of Cologne and the University of Stirling (UK) and completed her doctorate in Cologne in 2011. Her PhD thesis examined the Kariba Dam on the border between today’s Zambia and Zimbabwe as a case study of development and state-building during the late colonial period. For her research, Julia Tischler travelled to Zambia, Malawi and the UK and spent a term as visiting PhD candidate at St Cross College in Oxford. The dissertation was honoured with the Hedwig Hintze Award of the Association of German Historians (VHD) in September 2012.
In 2011, Julia Tischler led the Junior Research Group ClimateWorlds, a collaborative investigation into local perceptions and consequences of climatic changes, at the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS). Between 2012 and mid-2015, she was postdoc at the International Research Center “Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History” (re:work) at Humboldt University in Berlin. Julia Tischler joined the University of Basel in August 2015 as Tenure Track Assistant Professor.
Her current project looks at agricultural education in South Africa in the first half of the twentieth century. It analyzes different educational services set up during South Africa’s ‘agricultural revolution’ (agricultural colleges, extension services, journals etc.) as forms of rural social engineering by which state actors tried to navigate through rapid structural change. The study focusses on the connections between segregation and rural development, comparing state interventions and responses in the Afrikaans-dominated Orange Free State and the African reserves of the Ciskei and Transkei. As South Africans frequently looked to other nations – especially the USA – in dealing with both the ‘agrarian question’ and the ‘race question’, this project also adopts an ‘entangled’ perspective.