Patrick Peter Bernhard

Professor - History
Image of Patrick Peter Bernhard
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Phone +47 22856176
Room 432
Visiting address Niels Henrik Abels vei 36 Niels Treschows hus 0851 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1008 Blindern 0315 OSLO

Academic interests

I have a strong passion for 20th century transnational history in Europe. The perspectives and methods of entangled history have very much informed my teaching and research since I started my academic career in Germany, and it is this approach that frames and links my various research interests, ranging from European fascism to colonialism, from World War II and genocide to consumerism and Cold War cultures.

My interest in the movement of peoples, ideas, technologies, and institutions across national boundaries has been considerably augmented by my own experiences abroad: I have had the great pleasure of working in different places in Europe and North America, and at places where there is a particular academic focus on the cultural crossovers between European societies, including the German Historical Institute in Rome, the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Istituto Storico Italo-Germanico in Trent, Italy.

My future work will focus on two topics: a cultural history of violence in North Africa during the 20th century, tentatively titled ‘In the Shadow of El Alamein: War Violence during the North African Campaign’, and a short history of Italian food and its worldwide spread, ‘A Tale of Modernity: The Global Success of Italian Cuisine in Western Societies’.


Born and raised in Southern Germany, I studied history and philosophy in Munich where I earned my PhD degree in 2005 with a study on the Sixties, the Cold War, and pacifism in West Germany.

I subsequently moved to Italy where I lived first in Trento and then in Rome. During my time in Italy, I worked on two topics that like few others have linked Germany and Italy: food and fascism.

While the pizza became a common staple in Germany in the 1960s, the Axis alliance between the two countries was, despite all the resentments that Germans and Italians nourished against each other, a strong bond between the main two fascist regimes that included cooperative activities as much as learning and cross-cultural fertilization. In particular, I explored the various ways of social engineering in which Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy tried to create new racist societies both at home and in their newly conquered territories.

After briefly returning to Germany where I lived in Berlin and Freiburg, I moved to Ireland to teach modern European history both at Trinity College and University College Dublin. Before coming to UIO, I worked at the Centre for Contemporary History in Potsdam on a project that dealt with tuberculosis as a major health threat of the 20th Century.

Positions held

2015-2017: Assistant Professor in Modern History, ZZF Potsdam

2013-2014: Lecturer in International History, University College Dublin

2012-2013: Assistant Professor in European History, Trinity College Dublin

2011-2012: Lecturer in European History, University of Freiburg

2010-2011: Research Fellow, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)

2010: Lecturer in European History, Free University Berlin

2005-2009: Research Fellow, German Historical Institute, Rome

2004: Research Fellow, University of Nuremberg

2003-2004: Research Fellow, Istituto Storico Italo-Germanico, Trento

1999-2003: Research Fellow, Institute of Contemporary History, Munich

Fellowships and Grants

2014: Cummings Foundation Fellow at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.

2011: Chercheur invité at the Centre canadien d'études allemandes et européennes de l'Université de Montréal and at the Centre d'Excellence sur l'Union européenne, McGill University

2010: Fellow of the Max Weber Foundation

2009: Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam

Teaching and Supervision

I will be happy to supervise students who want to write on Nazi Germany, World War II, racism, consumerism, the Cold War and colonialism. 

I teach widely across 20th Century European history in its international frameworks. Among the modules I teach are:

HIS2320 – Coming to Terms with a Nightmare: World War II, Axis Occupation, and Historians after 1945

HIS2354: Pizza, Pubs and Pogo: Consumerism and the Transformation of European Societies in the Long 20th Century

HIS2423: Reel Reality: Movies in 20th Century History

HIS4225: Racism: The History of a Powerful Idea

HIS4230: Introduction to International History

Current Research

I am currently working on the following research projects:

In the Shadow of El Alamein: The Desert War, Fascist Biopolitics and Violence in North Africa in the 20th Century

A Tale of Modernity: The Global Success of Italian Cuisine in Western Societies

Tuberculosis in Nazi Germany


I have reviewed books and peer-reviewed manuscripts and research applications for American Historical Review, Journal of Contemporary History, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, German History, Central European History, European History Quarterly, Ricerche di Storia Politica, Dublin Review of Books, Food & History, Social History, Cold War History, HSK, Beiträge zur Geschichte des Nationalsozialismus, Politics, Religion and Ideology, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, sehepunkte, and Routledge as well as for funding bodies such as HERA.

Tags: Modern European History, Contemporary History; Cold War Studies, International Fascism, Transnational History
Published May 10, 2017 11:55 AM - Last modified July 4, 2021 10:18 AM