Margaret Lavinia Anderson

Professor Emerita


BA, Swarthmore College, 1963
PhD, Brown University, 1971

Research Interests

Until recently my work concentrated on political culture, including electoral politics, in Imperial Germany and in comparative European perspective, as well as on the intersection of religion and society—especially Catholicism in the 19th century. I am now working on the relations—at the level of governments as well as civil society—between Germany and the Ottoman Empire on the issue of the massacres of 1894-1896, the Armenian genocide of the Armenians in World War I and beyond.


Swarthmore College, 1970–1989

University of California, Berkeley, 1990–2010


2006, Best Graduate Syllabus in German History, awarded by H-German

1995, Best Article: Judith Lee Ridge Memorial Prize for best article by a woman historian, awarded by the Western Association of Women Historians. For "Voter, Junker, Landrat, Priest...."

1993, Best syllabus in German Studies, awarded by the DAAD

1987, Best Article on Central European History, awarded bi-annually, by the Conference Group on Central European History. For "The Kulturkampf and the Course of German History."

1985, Teaching: Flack Faculty Award for Teaching (Swarthmore College)

1984, Best Article on Central European History, awarded bi-annually, by the Conference Group on Central European History. For the "Myth of the Puttkamer Purge..." co-authored by Kenneth Barkin.

Fellowships Since 2000

2008–2009, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

2008–2009, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University

2004–05, Martha Sutten Weeks (External) Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center

2004–05, Fellow, American Council of Learned Societies

2001, Berlin Prize Fellow, American Academy in Berlin

Selected Professional Activity

1985, Nominating Committee for the American Historical Association's Conference Group on Central European History

1986, Chairman, Nominating Committee for the American Historical Association's Conference Group on Central European History

1988, Nominating Committee for American Historical Association's Modern European History Section

1988-91, Executive Council, American Catholic Historical Association (elected member)

1988-92, Board of Editors of Central European History.1990-92, Board of Editors of Journal of Modern History

1991, Chair, Prize Committee, Conference Group on Central European History

1993-2003, Member of the Academic Advisory Board (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat) of the German Historical Institute in Washington, DlC

1996, Member of Board of Editors of Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte

1999, Prize Committee for Book Award for German Studies Association

2000, Visiting Committee to evaluate the History Department of the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana

2001-2011, Member of Workshop of Armenian and Turkish Scholars (WATS)

2003-06, John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Prize Committee (Chair, 2006)

2003, Director, Graduate Summer Seminar in History for the Erasmus Institute, at College of the Holy Cross, Worcester MA.

2004, Senior Fellow of Translatlantic Doctoral Seminar, Tübingen, sponsored by the German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C.

2006, Selection Panel for history fellowships for the American County for Learned Societies (ACLS)

2007, Program Committee for the American Catholic Historical Association

2011, Member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Lepsiushaus, Potsdam, Germany

2014, 2015, Prize Committee for AHA's Nancy Roelker Award for Mentoring; chair in 2015

Courses Taught at Berkeley

History 5: Lecture Course: The Making of Modern Europe, 1453 to the Present (Fall 1995, Fall 1998, Fall 2005, Spring 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2009) 

History 39: Freshman Seminar: Fascist Europe

History 39: Freshman Seminar: World War I in Experience & Memory (Fall 2003)

History 103: Upper Division Proseminar: World War I in Experience & Memory

History 103: Upper Division Proseminar: Fascist Europe

History 101: Senior Thesis Seminar in World War II

History 158-B: Lecture Course: Europe in the 19th Century

History 167B: Lecture Course: The Rise and Fall of the Second Reich (Spring 2010)

History 275B: Graduate Seminar: Europe in the Long 19th Century (Fall 2006, Fall 2009)

History 275C: Graduate Seminar: Europe in the 20th Century (with Reginald E. Zelnik)

History 280U: Graduate Seminar; Germany and Russia Together Again (with Reginald E. Zelnik) (Spring 2004)

History 280B: Graduate Seminar: World War One: Crucible of the 20th Century (Spring 2006)

History 280U: Graduate Seminar: History and Historiography of the German Question

History 285B: Research Seminar in German History and in European History (sometimes with Gerald D. Feldman)

History 285B: Research Seminar in Religion and Society in Europe

History 285B: Research in Modern Europe (with John Connelly)

History 299: Graduate Directed Reading on Religion and Society in Europe from the 19th through the 20th Centuries

History 299: Graduate Directed Reading in German Socialism in 19th and 20th century

History 299: Graduate Directed Reading on European Land Warfare

Personal Information

Married to James J. Sheehan, an historian at a competing institution

One daughter: Sarah Elizabeth Raff, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Pomona College, Claremont, CA


Co-edited Book

The End of the Ottomans: The Genocide of 1915 and the Politics of Turkish Nationalism, edited by Hans-Lukas Kieser, Margaret Lavinia Anderson, Seyhan Bayrakter, and Thomas Schmutz.  I.B. Tauris, 2019.


Windthorst: A Political Biography. Oxford University Press, 1981.

Windthorst: Zentrumspolitiker und Gegenspeiler Bismarcks. Droste Verlag, 1988.

Practicing Democracy: Elections and Political Culture in Imperial Germany. Princeton University Press, 2000.

Lehrjahre der Demokratie. Wahlen und Politische Kultur im deutschen Kaiserreich. Steiner Verlag, 2009.

Articles & Interventions

"Ein Demokratie Defizit? Das Deutsche Kaiserreich in Vergleichender Perspektive," Geschichte und Gesellschaft, vol. 44, no. 3 (2018): 367-398.

"A Responsibility to Protest? The Public, the Powers and the Armenians in the Era of Abdülhamid II," Journal of Genocide Research (2015), vol. 17, no. 3: 259-83.

"Shooting an Elephant," in Journal of Genocide Research (December 2013), vol. 13, no. 4; 424-32. Part of the Review Forum on Taner Akçam, The Young Turks' Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in Anatolia, 423–469.

"Confessions of a Fellow Traveler," The Catholic Historical Review 99/4 (October, 2013). Third in their series of entitled ourneys in Church History, 623-48.

"Helden in Zeiten eines Völkermords? Armin T. Wegner, Ernst Jäckh, Henry Morgenthau," in Rolf Hosfeld, ed., Johannes Lepsius – Eine deutsche Ausnahme. Der Völkermord an den Armeniern, Humanitarismus und Menschenrechte (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2013), 126-71.

"Anatomy of an Election: Anti-Catholicism, Antisemitism, and Social Conflict in the Era of Reichsgründung and Kulturkampf," in Markus Raasch and Tobias Hirschmüller, eds., Von Freiheit Solidarität und Subsidiarität – Staat und Gesellschaft der Moderne in Theorie und Praxis. Festschrift für Karsten Ruppert zum 65. Geburtstag (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2013), 39-95.

"Demokratie auf schwierigem Pflaster. Wie das deutsche Kaiserreich demokratisch wurde," in Logos im Dialogos. Auf der Suche nach der Orthodoxie. Gedenkschrift für Hermann Goltz (1946-1910), ed. by Anna Briskina-Müller, Armenuhi Drost-Abgarjan, and Axel Meißner (Berlin, etc.: LIT Verlag, 2011), 247-64.

"Who Still Talked about the Extermination of the Armenians? Imperial Germany and the Armenian Genocide," Bulletin of the German Historical Institute (Washington, D.C.), Fall 2011, 9-29.

"German History Beyond National Socialism: Forum," in German History 29/3 (September 2011): 470-484.

"Who Still Talked about the Extermination of the Armenians? German Talk and German Silences," in A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire, ed. by Norman Naimark, Ronald Grigor Suny, and Fatma Müge Göçek (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 199- 220; footnotes 372-379.

"Down in Turkey Far Away": Human Rights, the Armenian Massacres, and Orientalism in Wilhelmine Germany," Journal of Modern History, 79/1 (March 2007): 80-113

"Germany and the Armenian Genocide: An interview with Margaret Anderson, " by Khatchig Mouradian. The Armenian Weekly, November 11, 2006. Republished in journals in Armenian, Italian, Spanish, French, and German; and posted on the homepage of the website of the Lepsius Haus, Potsdam, Germany.

"How German is It?" in German History 24/1 (Jan. 2006): 123-127.

"A German Way of War?" in German History 22/2 (May 2004): 254-258. Reprinted in Relevance. The Quarterly Journal of the Great War Society 14/1 (Winter 2005):22-24.

"An Exchange on the Kaiserreich: Reply to Volker Berghahn," in Central European History 35/1 (Feb. 2002): 83-91.

"Afterword: Living Apart and Together in Germany," in Helmut Walser Smith, ed., Protestants, Catholics, and Jews in Germany 1800-1914 (Oxford: Berg, 2001), 319-332.

"From Syllabus to Shoah?" Central European History 34/2 (2001): 231-238.

"The Divisions of the Pope: The Catholic Revival and Europe's Transition to Democracy," in Austen Ivereigh, ed., The Politics of Religion in an Age of Revival (ILAS 19th Century Latin America Series, No. 5: London, 2000), 22-42. A Spanish translation was published in the journal of the Columbian Historical Association, Historia y Sociedad 6 (Dec. 1999): 59-84.

"Clerical Election Influence and Communal Solidarity: Catholic Political Culture in the German Empire, 1871-1914," in Eduardo Posada-Carbó, ed., Elections before Democracy. Essays on the Electoral History of Latin America & Europe (Macmillan: NY, London, 1996), 139-162.

"The Limits of Secularization: On the Problem of the Catholic Revival in 19th Century Germany," in: Historical Journal, 38, 3, 1995: 647-670.

"Die Grenzen der Säkularisierung. Zur Frage des katholischen Aufschwungs in Deutschland des 19. Jahrhunderts," in Hartmut Lehmann, ed., Säkularisierung, Dechristianisierung, Rechristianisierung im neuzeitlichen Europa. Bilanz und Perspektiven der Forschung(Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht: Göttingen, 1997), 194-222. An earlier version of "The Limits," above.

"Voter, Junker, Landrat, Priest: The Old Authorities and the New Franchise in Imperial Germany, 1871-1914," American Historical Review 98/5 (Dec. 1993): 1448-74.

"Liberalismus, Demokratie und die Entstehung des Kulturkampfes," in R. Lill and F. Traniello, eds., Der Kulturkampf in Italien und in den deutschsprachigen Ländern [Schriften des Italienisch-Deutschen Historischen Instituts in Trient, Bd. 5] (Duncker & Humboldt: Berlin, 1993): 109-27. Also published in Jahrbuch des italienisch-deutschen historischen Instituts in Trient 40 (Bologna, 1992).

"Liberalismo, democrazia e nascita del 'Kulturkampf,'" Annali dell' Istituto storico italo-germanico in Trento (Bologna, 1992), Quaderno 30: 137-163. An Italian translation of the above.

"History in the Comic Mode: Jonathan Sperber's 1848," in: Central European History 25/3 (1992): 333-42.

"Piety and Politics: Recent Work in German Catholicism" in: Journal of Modern History (Dec. 1991): 681-716.

"Würdigung" [Afterword], Ludwig Windthorst 1812-1891. Christlicher Parlamentarier und Gegenspieler Bismarcks. Begleitbuch zur Gedenkausstellung aus Anlaß des 100. Todestages (Meppen, 1991): 104-106. [Catalogue to traveling exhibition in Germany.]

"Inter-denominationalism, Clericalism, Pluralism: The Zentrumsstreit and the Dilemma of Catholicism in Wilhelmine Germany," in: Central European History 21/4 (1990): 350-378.

"Der Mythos der Puttkamer-'Säuberung' und die Realität des Kulturkampfes: Einige Überlegungen Geschichtsschreibung über das kaiserliche Deutschland," with Kenneth Barkin, in: Historisches Jahrbuch 109. Jg, Zweiter Halbband (1989): 452-498. A German translation of "The Myth of the Puttkamer Purge...." below.

"Windthorsts Erben: Konfessionalität und Interkonfessionalismus im politischen Katholizismus, 1890-1918," in Christliche Demokratie in Europa. Grundlagen und Entwicklungen seit dem 19. Jahrhundert, ed. by Winfried Becker and Rudolf Morsey (Böhlau: Cologne, 1988), 69-90. (An earlier version of "Inter-denominationalism," above.)

"The Kulturkampf and the Course of German History," Central European History 19/1 (1986): 82-115.

"The Myth of the Puttkamer Purge and the Reality of the Kulturkampf: Some Reflectionss on the Recent Historiography of Imperial Germany (with Kenneth Barkin)," in: Journal of Modern History (December 1982): 647-686.

Scholarly Papers & Commentaries Since 2000

Papers on the Armenian Genocide and/or Mass Violence

"Armenian Blood and the German Conscience," at the American Academy in Berlin and at the Deutsch-Armenische Gesellschaft, Free University-Berlin (2001);

"The Armenian Genocide: A German Story," Gonville and Gaius College, Cambridge University (2001); Sawyer Seminar on Mass Killing at the Center for Advanced Study of the Behaviorial Sciences–Stanford University; the Seminar on Genocide, Yale University (2002), and the Workshop of Armenian and Turkish Scholars, University of Minnesota (2003);

"The Enemy is at Home: Turks and Armenians in 1915," annual conference of the Great War Society, Kansas City (2004);

"'Hinten, weit, in der Türkei': Orientalism and Human Rights in Wilhelmine Germany," keynote address at conference on Visions of the East: Orientalism and German National Culture, University of Toronto (2004). Repeated at UC-San Diego; Minda de Gunzberg Center–Harvard University; the Borderlands Workshop on Anatolia, Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia–Stanford University; the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies' Carnegie Seminar on Extremism in the New Eurasia–UC Berkeley (all in 2006); and Georgetown University (2007);

"What does the Historiography of the Shoah Offer to the Historians of the Armenian Genocide?" for symposium on "The Past as Present: Representations and Consequences of the Armenian Genocide,"UC-Berkeley (2005);

"Geopolitics and Brotherly Love: Germany between Turks and Armenians, 1895-1916," American Historical Association annual meeting, Philadelphia (2005);

"Germany and the Armenian Genocide," Stanford Humanities Center (2005);

Commentator on paper by Norman Naimark, “The Killing Fields of the 'East’: 300 years of Mass Killing in the Borderlands of Russia and Poland,” Sawyer Seminar Conference on Mass Killing and Genocide, Stanford University (2005);

Commentator on papers by Keith Baker (“Jean-Paul Marat: Prophet of Terror”), Carla Hesse (“Tribunals: à la lanterne”), and Norman Naimark (“Totalitarian States and the History of Genocide”) in symposium on Revolution and State Terror, Mellon Seminar Series on Mass Violence and Genocide, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University (2006);

Commentator and Participant at WATS V (Workshop for Armenian and Turkish Scholars), New York University (2006);

"The Limits of Coercive Diplomacy: Germany between Turks and Armenians, 1896-1918," Center for European Studies, Harvard-in-Berlin (2007);

"Hell to Pay: The German Empire and Europe's First Genocide," Center for Advanced Study of the Behaviorial Sciences–Stanford University (2009);

Commentator on three papers – on Côte d'Ivoire's 'Second War of Independence;' on 'Preemption in the 1967 Israeli War,' and on 'Sectarianism in Lebanon –for a panel on "History as Recrimination," presidential session at the American Historical Association’s annual meeting, New York City (2009);

"'Jäckh of the Türks:' Portrait of an Enabler," conference on The State of the Art in Armenian Genocide Research, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies," Clark University (2010);

Who Still Talked about the Extermination of the Armenians? German Talk and German Silences" the Gerald D. Feldman Memorial Lecture, German Historical Institute–Washington, D.C. (2011);

"'Das krumme Holz der Menschlichkeit'. Helden in Zeiten des Völkermords. Gruppenbild mit Lepsius," in symposium on Johannes Lepsius: ein Deutscher Ausnahme, University of Potsdam, Germany (2012);

Panelist on "Germany, Colonialism, and the Armenian Genocide," at conference on All Not Quiet on the Ottoman Fronts: Neglected Perspectives on a Global War, 1914-1918, Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey (2014);

"Wer redet heute noch von der Vernichtung der Armeniern? Deutsche Reden und Deutsches Schweigen," public lecture inaugurating the Bayerische Staaatsbibliothek's exhibition on the Armenian Genocide, Munich, Germany (2015);

"A Responsibility to Protest? The Public, the Powers, and the Armenians in the Era of Abdülhamid II," at conference on The Armenian Genocide: The Crucial Years 1912-1915 at UC- Berkeley (2015);

Panelist comments on "Germany and the Armenian Genocide"; at conference on Ottoman Cataclyism: Total War, Genocide and Distant Futures in the Middle East 1915-1917, University of Zurich (2015);

"The Ambassador's Story: Henry Morgenthau, the Armenian Genocide, and the Problem of Humanitarian Intervention," invited lecture, Vanderbilt University (2016);

Panelist and commentator on three papers at conference on The Levant in the Shadow of World War I: Unhealed Wounds, Perpetuated Patterns, University of Zurich (2017);

Ambassador Morgenthau's Story: The Armenian Genocide and the Problem of Humanitarian Intervention," Gerald D. Feldman and Norma von Ragenfeldt Feldman Memorial Lecture, UC-Berkeley (2017).

Papers on Elections, Democratic Transitions, 19th Century Germany and Europe

"What Do Democracies Really Want?" International Conference on Democracy, the Economy, and the Middle Class, Strassler Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, Clark University (2004);

"Culture Wars and Electoral Politics," Election Watch Seminar, Center for the Advanced Study of the Behaviorial Sciences, Stanford University (2008);

"How One Authoritarian State (Germany 1871-1914) Made the Transition to Democracy - Or did it?" for the "Democracy in Hard Places" series at the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School (2010);

"How important was Bismarck? Views of Contemporaries and Historians?" University of Augsburg colloquium on Bismarck honoring Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Josef Becker, (2011);

Commentator on four papers at conference entitled: Decades of Reconstruction: Postwar Societies, Economies, and International Relations from the 18th to the 20th Century, University of Toronto (2013).

Papers on Religion and Religious Identities in Europe

On Ultramontanism and the Transition to Democracy at the Universities of Passau, Eichstätt, Munich, and the Free University of Berlin (2000-01) and Notre Dame, South Bend, IN (2003);

Commentary on three papers on Catholic Cultural Engagement at Home, Parish, and Workplace in early 20th century Germany, Catholic Historical Association annual meeting (2000);

Commentary on paper on “Mendelssohns Großmutter, Bach und die Sing-Akademie: Um Wandel der Berliner Musikkultur um 1800,” by Christoph Wolff of Harvard University, at the Bach Evening sponsored by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Johannes Rau, at the Palais Bellevue, Berlin (2001);

Commentary on papers on Protestant Teachings about the Jews in Germany at the Conference on Christian Teachings about the Jews: National Comparisons in the Shadow of the Holocaust (sponsored by the National Holocaust Center and Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte) at Pacific Lutheran University (2002);

Commentary on four papers at the conference on Alternate Master Narratives of Religion in the Modern World, University of Amsterdam (2004);

Commentary on Catholics, anti-Racism and Mission to the Jews, 1933-65, Berkeley History Department Colloquium (2010).