International Research Award
of the Max Weber Foundation in Cooperation with the Historisches Kolleg
Award Winner 2014
Historian Isabel V. Hull, who received her Ph.D. from Yale University with a dissertation on the Empire of Wilhelm II, currently holds the position of John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.
Hull’s main research interest is the history of Germany since the 18th century. Her work is characterized by a large thematic range and a methodological diversity and originality that is remarkable. Her work “Sexuality, State and Civil Society in Germany, 1700-1815 (1996) won multiple awards. It analyzes the emergence of the civil society using the perspective of gender history and connects this development to bureaucratic practices of state institutions.
Hull raised international attention following the publication of her work “Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany” (2004). Therein she argues that a specific German military culture developed after the War of 1870 that led to a radicalized use of military force which took on a life of its own. This culture, Hull states, resulted in Germany completely annihilating its enemies and the country’s eventual downfall. “Absolute Destruction” caused an intense debate that went well beyond the field of military history.