• Courses

    • The Global Sixties
    • Capstone Humanities Seminar
    • The Cold War of the 1980s
    • The Global Cold War

  • Projects

    • The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs & Germany
    • The Nuclear Crisis: Cold War Cultures & the Politics of Peace and Security, 1975-1990

  • Books

    "Germany & the Black Diaspora: Points of Contact, 1250-1914," ed. with Mischa Honeck & Anne Kuhlmann (Berghahn Books: New York/Oxford, 2013)

  • Events

    • 11/20-21, 2014: Conference, "Media and the Cold War, 1975-91," Volda UC
    • 09/13, 2014: Conference, “Dr. Martin Luther King’s Visit to Berlin, 1964,” Berlin


My name is Martin Klimke and I am an associate professor of history at New York University Abu Dhabi and an associated faculty member in the Department of History at New York University.

In addition, I am an associated researcher at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) at the University of Heidelberg and in Transatlantic Cultural History (TCH) at the University of Augsburg, Germany.

My research focuses on the intersection of political and cultural history, with a particular emphasis on diplomatic and transnational history. The increasingly global cultural, political, and military presence of the U.S., especially after World War II, as well as the country’s complex entanglement with other forces of globalization, are at the center of my scholarly interests.

My latest book is a co-authored history of the experience of African American soldiers in Germany in the 20th century entitled A Breath of Freedom: The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs, and Germany (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). For more, please see here.

I am currently working on the nuclear crisis, U.S. foreign policy, and grassroots activism during the Cold War of the 1980s, and am writing a transnational biography of Petra Kelly, international peace activist and co-founder of the German Green Party.

Out Now: Historians across Borders


Historians across Borders
Writing American History in a Global Age

Edited by Nicolas Barreyre, et al. (UCal Press, March 2014).

In this stimulating and highly original study of the writing of American history, twenty-four scholars from eleven European countries explore the impact of writing history from abroad. Six distinguished scholars from around the world add their commentaries.

Arguing that historical writing is conditioned, crucially, by the place from which it is written, this volume identifies the formative impact of a wide variety of institutional and cultural factors that are commonly overlooked. Examining how American history is written from Europe, the contributors shed light on how history is written in the United States and, indeed, on the way history is written anywhere.

The book is the result of the “You, the People” research network.
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CFP: Media & the Cold War, 1975-1991


“Media and the Cold War, 1975-1991″
International conference at Volda University College, Norway
Supported by The Freedom of Expression Foundation, Norway, and “The Nuclear Crisis” Research Project
Convener: Rolf Werenskjold, Henrik G. Bastiansen (Volda University) & Martin Klimke (NYUAD)
Location: Faculty of Media and Journalism, Volda University College, Norway
Date: November 20-21, 2014
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Deadline for applications and abstracts: March 15, 2014 (EXTENDED DEADLINE)

Documentary: Breath of Freedom


“Breath of Freedom – Black Soldiers and the Battle for Civil Rights”
Documentary narrated by Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Featuring John Lewis, 
Colin Powell, Dieter Hildebrandt, etc.
MDR/ARTE, Smithsonian Network
Broadview, 2013, 90 min
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Premiers February 17, 8pm ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel

Workshop: The Peripheries of World War I


“The Peripheries of World War I: New Methodological and Spatial Perspectives”
Workshop at the New York University, NYC / NYU Abu Dhabi Institute, Abu Dhabi
Convener: Valerie Deacon (NYUNY), Martin Klimke (NYUAD), Andrew Patrick (Tennessee State University)
Date: May 15-16, 2014 / November 30-December 2, 2014
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