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Andreas Bolte

andreas bolte

Ph.D. Student

Postal address:

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Historisches Seminar
Lehrstuhl für Neuere und Neueste Geschichte Westeuropas
79085 Freiburg im Breisgau

E-Mail: andreascbolte@gmail.com

Academic Career
Grants and Awards
Ph.D. Project



Academic Career

December 2017

Ph.D. Student with the Chair of Modern European History, Prof. Dr. Jörn Leonhard
Research assistant and tutor with the Department of History, Prof. Dr. Willi Oberkrome and the Chair of Economic, Social and Environmental History, Prof. Dr. Dr. F.-J. Brüggemeier
2015-2017 M.A. Comparative Modern History, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
2014-2015 Modern History, Göteborgs Universitet
2012-2014 Research assistant and tutor with the Chair of Early Modern History, Prof. Dr. Ronald G. Asch
2011-2015 B.A. Early Modern and Modern History and German Literature, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg


Grants and Awards

2017 Bavaria-Master-Stipendium of the Faculty of Philosophy, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
2015 Adlerbertska Hospitiestiftelsen, Göteborgs Universitet
2014-2015 ERASMUS+-Stipendium


Ph.D. Project

"The temporality of imperial rule in British Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, ca. 1900-1940"

Around the turn of the last century a specific situation of imperial rivalry led to an intensification of imperial rule in Southeast Asia, which expressed itself in a push to make those colonies more economically lucrative. At the same time a process of ‘temporalization’ took place in those societies, manifesting itself in a rising relevance of temporal practices like planning and precise time-keeping. Historical researchers have described both phenomena as formative for the first half of the twentieth century – though suggestions that there might be a connection between the two remain connected to the contemporary view of ‘European’ temporal practices being exported to the colonies as a tool of top-down imperial rule. The project challenges this interpretation in favour of the view that most persons involved in the bargaining for imperial rule used the same temporal practices to reach their goals.


Conflicts surrounding imperial rule, that occurred when different temporal practices collided, play a key role in investigating the temporality of the imperial: Punctuality could conflict with procrastination, production schedules with religious calendars and economic with biographical planning. In these situations, a wide range of protagonists clashed in changing constellations. Colonial officials and imperial governments, private economy personnel, indigenous functional elites and immigrated workers all tried to modify the fundamentals of imperial rule in their favour. Most of these conflicts happened near systems that depended on strict time-keeping and careful planning, like the railway and plantations, backbones of the thriving export-oriented imperial economy. Others could take place in the colonial cities or in the rural villages, where small business owners and farmers had their own economic (and private) planning to do. They, along with plantation workers and foremen, station masters and train drivers frequently tried to play the temporal conflicts to their advantage.


Analysing how different temporal practices were use in the process of bargaining for imperial rule promises insights into the mechanics of conflict in colonial societies, but also shines a light on the economics of temporal practices that are still important today – even beyond the spheres of the imperial.


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