School of Divinity, History, Philosophy & Art History
University of Aberdeen,
Tel. +44 1224 272451
Having studied in France, Munich, Washington D.C. and Poland, with a doctorate from Georgetown University, Karin Friedrich held the post of lecturer and then senior lecturer at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London/University College London from 1995 to 2004. In the spring/summer of 2000, she was visiting professor at the Free University, Berlin, and from 2001-2006 she was co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal German History. In January 2005 she joined the University of Aberdeen as a senior lecturer and became co-director of the Centre of Early Modern Studies. She is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and, from 2014-2019, an elected member of the Council of the Royal Historical Society. She serves as a member of the AHRC peer review college and on many editorial and advisory boards in Germany and Poland, including the editorial board of the book series on Early Modern European History published by Cambridge University Press. Promoted in 2013 to a professorship in Early Modern European History, she has held two Leverhulme Fellowships, an AHRC research fellowship, a Wellcome Trust small grant and a Gerda-Henkel Fellowship (small grant). She has widely published on the history of Poland-Lithuania, Prussia, court culture, history of religion and political ideas. She teaches on a range of undergraduate and graduate level courses and coordinates the postgraduate MLitt programme in History at Aberdeen. In 2020, she was elected chair of the German History Society in the UK. She welcomes supervision of topics in the social, political, cultural and intellectual history of Central Europe (esp. Brandenburg-Prussia, Poland-Lithuania and the Holy Roman Empire) from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth century, and the early modern/modern history of East Central Europe's borderlands.
- M.A. History, East European History and Politics1989 - Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany
- PhD History1995 - Georgetwon University, Washington D.C., USA
Memberships and Affiliations
- Internal Memberships
Founding member of the Centre for Polish-Lithuanian Studies (from 2020)
Co-director of the Centre for Early Modern Studies (2009-)
Coordinator of Postgraduate Studies in History (2021-)
Catalyst (History) for the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities (SGSAH)
Director of Research for History (2015-2017)
Coordinator of the Postgraduate Taught Programme (MLitt) in Medieval and Early Modern Studies; Member in the Research Committee, Member of the University Senate, and responsibility for student tutees (graduate attributes).
Head of Discipline (History), Deputy Head of School (Divinity, History and Philosophy) for History (2012-15)
- External Memberships
Editorial Board of the Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas (from 2022)
Editorial Board member for the New Studies in European History series, Cambridge University Press (from 2021)
Chair of the German History Society, U.K. (2020-2023)
Appointed member of the Advisory Council of the Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum für Ostmitteleuropa, University of Leipzig (since 2016)
Fellow (since 2000) and elected member (2014-2019) of the Council of the Royal Historical Society
Appointed member of the AHRC peer review college (since 2012)
Appointed member of the Peer Assessor College of the Carnegie Trust (2014-18).
Member of the advisory editorial board of H-Net German
Member and deputy chair of the academic advisory committee of the German Historical Institute in Warsaw (2001-11)
Member of the Arbeitskreis für Barockforschung at the Herzog-August Library in Wolfenbüttel (2003-13)
Joint editor of German History (2001-2006) and member of the editorial board of German History (until 2011)
Member of the Historische Kommission for Preussische Landesgeschichte (Historical Commission for Prussian History), Berlin.
External Examiner in History at the University of Dundee (2008-12) and at the University of Stirling (2011-2014).
Peer reviewer for numerous journals and publishers, assessor for academic prizes and academic promotions.
Prizes and Awards
Orbis-prize by the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (now ASEEES) 2001 for The Other Prussia (Cambridge, 2000) as best book in Polish Studies
Kulturpreis of the Society for West Prussian Studies (2022/3)
Two AHRC and two Leverhulme Resaerch Fellowships
One Wellcome Foundation Small grant
Several other smaller grants and guest scholarships in Germany, the UK and Poland.
My research focuses on the entangled history of the German-Polish borderlands in the context of early modern Europe and issues of cultural transfer, citizenship, religious and political identities, and the constitution of early modern commonwealths. I also work on the history of ideas in the early Enlightenment, nobilities and urban history and court culture.
My doctoral work and first book was on urban elites (mostly German-speaking and Protestant) in Polish Prussia, and their historical and national identities in the context of a noble-dominated Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Further interests and publications have focused on the history of political and religious ideas in early modern Central Europe, early modern identities and urban history, the history of Silesia, Cracow and Prague and confessionalisation in Poland-Lithuania in their European context from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. My interest in Polish-Lithuanian and German history of the early modern period also include court and festival culture, interest in the rival political systems of absolutist Brandenburg-Prussia and the mixed form of constitutionally limited monarchy in Poland.
As co-director of the Centre for Early Modern Studies I am interested in supporting interdisciplinary research on early modern Europe. I have a particular interest in the notion and meaning of citizenship in the early modern period and closely cooperate with the University of Aberdeen's Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and the Rule of Law (CISRUL). Most recently (from 2020), I have been helping to build up our new Centre for Polish-Lithuanian Studies, which addresses the legacy of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and its successor states in East Central Europe, including Jewish history.
I am currently accepting PhDs in History.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.
- European History
- German History
- Polish Studies
- Russian and East European Society and Culture
Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.
My research continues to concentrate on the borderlands of Poland-Lithuania, Prussia and Germany. I am currently finishing a monograph (contracted with Routledge) under the title Traitor or Patriot? Bogusław Radziwiłł(1620-1669) and the Dilemmas of a Transnational Aristocrat on the Lithuanian magnate and governor of Prussia, Boguslaw Radziwill, whose role as a traitor who collaborated with the Swedish enemy, as a Calvinist, as a magnate in Lithuania and governor in Prussia, is still highly contested in Poland today. I analyse his political and religous patronage networks, his family policies, his changing allegiances between Poland-Lithuania, Sweden and Prussia, and his loyalties in political, religious and cultural terms.
Publications (ordered according to publication type):
Brandenburg- Prussia, 1466-1806. The Rise of a Composite State (Palgrave, 2011) is addressed to students and a wider readership, and locates Brandenburg-Prussia within East Central Europe as well as the German context of the Holy Roman Empire through a synthesis of approaches, debates and recent research.
The Cultivation of Monarchy and the Rise of Berlin: Brandenburg-Prussia 1700, with Sara Smart (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010).
Inne Prusy. Polska, Prusy Królewskie a Wolnosc, 1569-1772 (Poznan: Polskie Towarzytwo Przyjaciol Nauk, 2006) Polish translation of:
The Other Prussia. Poland, Prussia and Liberty, 1569-1772 (Cambridge University Press, 2000, pb 2006) 280 pp.
(ed.) Pietro Omodeo in collaboration with Karin Friedrich, Duncan Liddel (1561-1613) Networks of Polymathy and the Northern European Renaissance (Leiden: Brill, 2016).
(ed.) Die Erschließung des Raumes: Konstruktion, Imagination und Darstellung von Räumen und Grenzen im Barockzeitalter – Opening spaces: Constructions, visions and depictions of spaces and boundaries in the Baroque, 13. Wolfenbütteler Arbeitskreis für Barockforschung (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, forthcoming 2014)
(ed.) Citizenship and Identity in a Multi-National Commonwealth. Poland-Lithuania in Context, 1550-1750 (Leiden: Brill, 2009)
(ed.) Festivals in Germany and Europe: New Approaches to European Festival Culture (Lewiston, Queenston, Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 2000) 396 pp.
Chapters in books (selection)
‘Knowledge Transfer in the Age of Confessionalisation. Duncan Liddel (1561-1613) between Scotland and Northern Europe’, in 525 Years in the Pursuit of Truth: A New History of the University of Aberdeen, ed. by Bradford Bow and Michael Brown (Aberdeen: University of Aberdeen Press, 2021)
‚Eigennutz oder Gemeine Wohlfahrt? Bogusław Radziwiłł (1620-1668) und Danzig im Zweiten Nordischen Krieg, 1655-1660‘, Danzig in der Frühen Neuzeit: Kultur, Religion, Politik, Gesellschaft und internationale Beziehungen, ed. by Jürgen Sarnowsky and Wiesław Długokęcki (Gdańsk, 2021 in press)
'Obywatele i obywatelskość w wielonarodowej Rzeczypospolitej’, in: Dyskurs polityczny Rzeczypospolitej w dialogu z tradycją europejską. Struktury aksjologiczne – praktyka komunikacyjna – granice cywilizacyjne, ed. Anna Grześkowiak-Krwawicz (Warsaw: University of Warsaw Press, 2016).
'Die Reformation in Polen-Litauen', in: Polen in der europäischen Geschichte. Ein Handbuch in Vier Bänden, general ed. Michael G. Müller, vol. ed. Hans-Jürgen Bömelburg, vol II: Die Frühe Neuzeit (Hiersemann-Verlag, Stuttgart, 2011), 123-143.
'Von der religiösen Toleranz zur gegenreformatorischen Konfessionalisierung: Konfessionelle, regionale und ständische Identitäten im Unionsstaat', Polen in der europäischen Geschichte. Ein Handbuch in Vier Bänden, ed. Michael G. Müller, vol. ed. Hans-Jürgen Bömelburg, vol II: Die Frühe Neuzeit (Hiersemann-Verlag, Stuttgart, 2012), 251-289.
'Poland-Lithuania', in History of European Political Throught, 1450-1700, eds. Howell Lloyd, Glenn Burgess, Simon Hodson (Yale University Press, 2007), 208-242.
Articles in journals and edited collections
'Zwischen Ost und West - Kultur und Politik in Preußen Königlich-Polnischen Anteils im Zeitalter der Aufklärung' [Between East and West – Culture and Politics in Royal-Polish Prussia in the Age of Enlightenment], in Die Geschichte der Musikkultur in Danzig und Westpreußen. Perspektiven einer transnationalen Forschung, ed. by Erik Firscher, Anneliese Kürsten, Sarah Brasack (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2018), 120-137.
‘Political Loyalties in the Commonwealth’s Borderlands. The Case of Bogusław Radziwiłł (1620-1669)’, Imaginations and Configurations of Polish Society: From the Middle Ages through the 20th Century, ed. by Yvonne Kleinmann, Tomasz Wiślicz and Achim Rabus. Alexander Brückner Zentrum, Universität Jena (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2017, open access), 143-173.
‘Rola i znaczenie Prus Królewskich w życiu politycznym i intelektualnym Rzeczypospolitej w XVIII wieku, szczególnie w dobie reform ustrojowych‘, in Pamięć „chwili, która nas samym sobie wróciła..”: Wykłady Trzeciomajowe w Trybunale Konstytucyjnym w latach 2000-2016, Andrzej Rzepliński, Karol Budziło, & adam Jankiewicz (eds), Lectures of the Constitutional Tribunal in Warsaw, Poland 2016; vol. one, no. 50 (Warsaw: Constitutional Tribunal Warsaw 2016), 231-253.
'"Pomorze" or "Preussen": Polish Perspectives on early modern Prussian History', German History 22:3 (2004), special issue: 'Polish Views of German History', pp. 190-217, and Introduction (co-authored with Klaus Zernack), 155-168.
'Nationsbewußtsein im Schlesien der frühen Neuzeit' [National identity in early modern Silesia], in: Die Grenzen der Nationen. Nationale Identitätenwandel in Oberschlesien in der Neuzeit, edited by Kai Struve and Philip Ther (Marburg: Herder-Institut, 2002),19-44.
'Royal Prussia: Monarch, Nobles and Cities', in Richard Butterwick (ed.), The Polish-Lithuania Monarchy, 1500-1795 (London: Palgrave, 2001), 93-115.
Natural Law and Early Enlightenment in East Central Europe (17-18th century)
Little attention has hitherto been given to natural law thinking in East Central Europe, where the Enlightenment has either been described as belated, weak or an act of superficial imitation of West European models. With a focus on the rights of the individual (noble) citizen and freedom of religion, the republican model of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, laid foundations that contributed to the origins of Enlightenment and lasting ideas of toleration from the 16th century onwards.
525 Years in the Pursuit of Truth
A podcast series that will present a new history of The University of Aberdeen, one that accounts for the University's activities in the transnational and global transmission of ideas since its foundation.
Episode 3 - Duncan Liddel (1561-1613): Medicine and Mathematics during Northern Europe's Age of Confessionalisation
As part of local public engagement, in 2014-2015, I organised a community project "Linking Northern Communities" to support the integration of East European, and esp. Polish, migrants to Scotland, funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute, and in collaboration with Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh. The report, blogs, and a scholarly article are available on this website.
With the Foundation for Prussian Heritage (Stiftung preussische Schlösser und Gärten, Potsdam) which provides funding, and Dr Thomas Biskup (University of Hull), I am planning an anniversary programme 2023-2025 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the act of Prussian homage to the Polish king in Cracow in 1525. The interdisciplinary project, called PP500, will organise several international conferences and an exhibition in Potsdam and Poland.
In 2014-15 I have led an outreach-public engagement project, Linking Northern Communities socially, culturally and economically: East European Immigration in Scotland, funded with £ 18,000 by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute, based at the University of Strathclyde (http://www.scottishinsight.ac.uk/Programmes/Programmes20142015/LinkingNorthernCommunities.aspx).
I have also been in cooperation with the Institute for Reformation Studies at the University of Warsaw, funded by the Polish Science Foundation, on Universal Reformation http://www.ibi.uw.edu.pl/pl. As part of the Centre for Early Modern Studies, I have been involved in several funding applications, such as an application within the HERA Collaborative Research Project Balancing Diversity and Community: 17th-Century Politics and Media Practises(with the University of Paderborn, Germany) and a publication project with the University of Warsaw and the Instytut Bada? Literackich on 'Political Discourse in Poland-Lithuania in Dialogue with the European Tradition'.
In 2013-14 I have led a project funded by the Wellcome Trust under the title Medical Knowledge between Polymathy and Disciplinarity: Duncan Liddel (1561-1613) in Context as part of the research initiatives located within the University's Centre for Early Modern Studies (CEMS). The result was a publication with Brill in Leiden: Duncan Liddel (1561-1613). Networks of Polymathy
and the Northern European Renaissance (ed. Pietro Omodeo in collab. with K. Friedrich, Leiden, 2016) I am also an active member of and PhD supervisor for the University's Centre for Citizenship, Civic Society and the Rule of Law (CISRUL)
I have regular collaborative and advisory contacts with the Leibniz Institute for then History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO), co-operated with an urban history project at the Palacky-University in Olomouc (Czech Republic), the Zentrum für Historische Kulturwissenschaften der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz and the East European History at the University of Halle (both Germany).
In 2002-2004, I took part of an AHRB-funded project on East European travel literature (London), a Leverhulme-funded project on European political thought (Hull), and an AHRC-funded project 'Europa Triumphans' (Warwick), all of which resulted in publications.
Priya Parrotta (shared): Acoustic Paradise. A History of the commercialisation of Hawai`s, in the context of travelogues, music and as an evironmental study
Ioannis Chountis (shared): Edmund Burke's philosophy and the reception of classical thought in 18th-century Britain (tbs 2024)
Christoph Moore (Beattie Fellowship): Objects & Images from a Foreign Land: Scotland, Poland-Lithuania, and the Problem of Cultural Transfer (tbs 2024)
Paweł Grabowski (second supervisor): Comparison of the Polish and Burgundian Princely States in the late Middle Ages (distance learning PhD, tbs 2024)
Benjamin Whitlock (second supervisor): Empires in Comparison: The Habsburg and the British Empire during the Long Nineteenth Century
Jared Thomley (second supervisor): Concepts of Charity in Calvinist Geneva and Aberdeen (2020)
Hanna Mazheika: British-Lithuanian religious networks ( 2019)
Anna Grudzińska: `Citizens’ and ‘Nationals’ in Contemporary Poland (2017)
Mindaugas Šapoka (second supervisor): The Vilnius Confederacy, 1717-1720 (2016)
Sheena Hogan (second supervisor): The Irish Enlightenment and Francis Hutcheson (2015)
Kate Wilson (SSEES/UCL): Protestantism in Great Poland, 1573-1620 (2004)
Funding and Grants
Leverhulme Research Fellowship 2018-2019
Professorial guest scholarship at the Leibniz Institute for European History, Mainz, 2019
Gerda Henkel Foundation Small Grant 2018
Royal Society of Edinburgh/ Polska Akademia Nauk, International Exchange Fellowship, August-September 2016
Scottish Universities Insight Institute, University of Strathclyde, public engagement grant 2014-15
Hunter-Caldwell Fellowship/ Aberdeen Humanities Fund, University of Aberdeen 2013-14
The Wellcome Trust, small grant 2013-14
AHRC Fellowship 2011-12
Exchange Fellowship British Academy/Polish Academy of Sciences, May 2010
Guest scholar at the Herzog August Library Wolfenbuettel, summer 2008 and summer 2009
Guest scholar at the Krupp Foundation Greifswald/ University of Greifswald, summer 2007
The Andrew Mellon Foundation Conference Grant/Sawyer Seminars Series, 2005
Leverhulme Research Fellowship 2000-2001
Guest Chair Free University Berlin, Summer Term 2000
Max Planck Institute for History, Goettingen, Reseach Grant, summer 1999
Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum fuer Ostmitteleuropa (GWZO) Leipzig, Research Grant, July/Aug 1998
AAASS travel grant to conference in Boston, 1996
British Academy Conference Grant, 1995
PhD Fellowship and Teaching Assistantship Georgetown, 1989-1992
- Postgraduate, 3 stage, September start
Please see the programme page on the University's website here
Non-course Teaching Responsibilities
I also fulfil the following roles:
- Programme Coordinator MLitt in Early Modern Studies
- Coordinator of all History postgraduate taught degrees
- Coordinator of postgraduate research students in History
- Catalyst for the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) for History at the University of Aberdeen
- Final Year Undergraduate Dissertation Supervision
- MLitt and PhD supervisions
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The influence of natural law on the discourse of toleration on seventeenth-century Poland-LithuaniaNatural Law in Eastern Europe. Gango, G., Haakonssen, K., Klippel, D. (eds.). first edition. Leiden: Brill, pp. 61-104, 43 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
Multiculturalism, Multiconfessionalism, and Interconfessionality:: Polish-Lithuanian “Toleration” Between Discourse and PracticeMulticultural Commonwealth:. Bill, S., Lewis, S. (eds.). first edition. University of Pittsburgh Press, 33 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
- [ONLINE] Recording of the Conference
Eigennutz oder Gemeine Wohlfahrt? Bogusław Radziwiłł (1620-1668) und Danzig im Zweiten Nordischen Krieg, 1655-1660 [Self-interst or Common Good? Bogusław Radziwiłł (1620-1668) and Gdańsk in the Second Northern War, 1655-1660]Gdańsk w okresie nowożytnym (Kultura, religia, polityka, społeczeństwo i stosunki międzynarodowe). Długokęcki, W., Sarnowsky, J. (eds.). first edition. Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego, pp. 293-319, 26 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
“I was there for three weeks, I knocked on the door and they said, ‘Remont!’” or: "What are you going to do with your life, baby?”, Wende, Wandel, Weitermachen? Nachfragen zur Geschichtswissenschaft der 1990er Jahre in Deutschland, Polen und Europa, edited by Kolja Martinet-Lichy, Markus Krzoska et al (Stuttgart, Schöningh Verlag, 2021)FOKUS Neue Studien zur Geschichte Polens und Osteuropas, vol. 4, pp. 104-134Contributions to Journals: Articles
- [ONLINE] DOI: https://doi.org/10.30965/9783657760664_006
525 Years in the Pursuit of Truth Podcast: Duncan Liddel (1561-1613): Medicine and Mathematics during Northern Europe's Age of ConfessionalisationNon-textual Forms: Digital or Visual Products
Odpowiedzi na Ankietę (Answers to the Survey)Kwartalnik Historyczny, vol. 128, no. 1, pp. 113-118Contributions to Journals: Articles
Zwischen Ost und West: Kultur und Politik in PreußenKöniglich-Polnischen Anteils im Zeitalter der AufklärungDie Geschichte der Musikkultur in Danzig und Westpreußen. Fischer, E. (ed.). Franz Steiner Verlag, pp. 146-164, 19 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
Obywatele i obywatelskość w wielonarodowej RzeczypospolitejWartości polityczne Rzeczypospoltej Obojga narodów. Nowicka-Jeżowa, A., Axer, J., Grześkowiak-Krwawicz, A. (eds.). first edition. Wydawnicto Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, pp. 119-150, 31 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
Political Loyalties in the Commonwealth’s Borderlands: Bogusław Radziwiłł (1620-1669) and the Problem of TreasonImaginations and Configurations of Polish Society. Kleinmann, Y., Heyde, J., Hüchtker, D., Kałwa, D., Nalewajko-Kulikov, J., Steffen, K., Wiślicz, T. (eds.). Wallstein Verlag, pp. 143-173, 31 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
Rola i znaczenie Prus Królewskich w życiu politycznym i intelektualnym Rzeczypospolitej w XVIII wieku, szczególnie w dobie reform ustrojowych"PAMIĘĆ „CHWILI, KTÓRA NAS SAMYM SOBIE WRÓCIŁA...”. Rzepliński, A., Budziło, K., Jankiewicz, A. (eds.). first edition. Constitutiuonal Tribunal Warsaw/Poland, pp. 231-253, 22 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters