OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021

Angela Zimmerman

Portrait of Angela Zimmerman

Angela Zimmerman is a professor of history at the George Washington University. Her research focuses on revolutions and empires in the United States, West Africa, and Europe. She is the author of Anthropology and Antihumanism in Imperial Germany (2001) and Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South (2010). She has also edited Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Civil War in the United States (2016). She is currently writing a history of the American Civil War as an international revolution.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

Historians have long recognized that gender is, in the worlds of Joan W. Scott, a "useful category of historical analysis," and, more recently, have come to embrace the value of transnational approaches. In this lecture, Angela Zimmerman, a transgender transnational historian, explains, using concrete examples, how trans* approaches to history illuminate the past in new ways.
This lecture reveals how Reconstruction after the Civil War was not only a turning point in the history of the United States, but also in the history of imperialism and anti-imperialism in the Atlantic world.
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels agreed that the American Civil War was the most important event of the nineteenth century, and they wrote extensively about the American Conflict. Through thousands of German exiles who fought in the Union ranks, they remained distant participants in what they saw as a great labor struggle -- a war against slavery. This lecture reveals how they understood the Civil War, how the Civil War shaped their own political theories, and suggests that US history can be placed in a much broader international and intellectual context than is often supposed to be the case.
Many consider the Civil War to be the most important event in the history of the United States. Yet, the American Civil War was both an international and a national event, with European, Caribbean, Latin American, and African histories influencing, and in turn being influenced by, the war over slavery in the United States.