Who is Who
Dirk van Laak

Dirk van Laak

Dirk van Laak, born in 1961, grew up in the Ruhr Area/Germany. He studied at the University of Essen, worked at the State Archive in Düsseldorf and finished his Ph.D. at the University of Hagen. In 1993 he became a scientific assistant at the University of Jena. In 1995/96 he was Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago. In 2002 he finished a major study on „Imperiale Infrastruktur. Deutsche Planungen für eine Erschließung Afrikas 1880 bis 1960“ („Imperial Infrastructure. German Planning for Opening up and Developing Africa, 1880 to 1960“, published in 2004). In 2002/03 he was acting professor at the University of Tübingen, in 2003/04 acting professor at the University of Freiburg. Since 2007 he is Professor for Contemporary History at the University of Giessen. Among his publications are: „Weisse Elefanten. Anspruch und Scheitern technischer Grossprojekte im 20. Jahrhundert“ (Stuttgart 1999), „Technological Infrastructure. Concepts and Consequences” (in: ICON. Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology, Vol. 10, 2004, p. 53-64) and “Detours Around Africa. The Connection between Developing Colonies and Integrating Europe” (in: Alec Badenoch/Andreas Fickers, eds.: Materializing Europe. Transnational Infrastructures and the Project of Europe, Houndmills 2010, p. 27-43).

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