Valeska is head of the Emmy Noether Research Group Reaching the People: Communication and Global Orders in the Twentieth Century, funded by the DFG (German Research Council). She joined the Freie Universität Berlin in October 2017 after working as Research Fellow in Colonial and Global History at the German Historical Institute London and as Assistant Professor at the University of Konstanz. Her work has been supported by various scholarships and she has spent time as a visiting fellow at the History Department of Harvard University and at the Kulturwissenschaftliches Kolleg Konstanz. She holds a PhD in Modern History from the University of Konstanz, an MPhil from Cambridge University and a BSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
A historian of global and international history with a focus on the Middle East, Valeska is particularly interested in the question of how global connections resulted not only in greater integration but also in new attempts to control and contain movements and flows. Her first book, Channelling Mobilities: Migration and Globalisation in the Suez Canal Region and Beyond 1869-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2013), drew on archives in five countries and told the stories of tourists, troops, workers, pilgrims, stowaways, caravans, dhow skippers and others. It reveals that the history of globalisation is not simply a history of acceleration, but instead it was characterised by the channelling of mobilities through the differentiation, regulation and bureaucratisation of movement. Her current book project explores how conceptions of global order incorporated new modes of mass communication which found reflection in literacy campaigns and language reforms.
Keywords: migration and refugees; health and medicine; international development; globalization; language and communication; international education; intellectual history; Europe; Middle East