Research & Publications

Professor Nelson is currently at work on his second monograph about the interconnections of North American and German colonial practices through the journeys and policies of the Agrarian Economist Max Sering (1857-1939). He is also under contract with Biblioasis to produce a book on ‘Border Foods’, comparing and contrasting the cross-border food cultures of Windsor/Detroit, the US Southwest and Vancouver/Seattle. For articles on this topic see below and information about the documentary on this project see and the video section.



2011, German Soldier Newspapers of the First World War (Cambridge University Press).

This book is the first systematic study of German soldier newspapers as a representation of daily life on the front during the First World War. It reveals the importance of comradeship and manliness in soldier identity, both for soldiers' morale as well as for justifying the treatment of occupied civilians. [More]








2009, ed. Germans, Poland and Colonial Expansion to the East: 1850 Through the Present

This incisive collection probes the history of colonialism within Europe and posits that Eastern Europe was in fact Germany's true "colonial" empire. Through a series of interdisciplinary essays ranging from 1850 to the European Union of today, this collection explores the idea that Germany's relationship with Poland and Eastern Europe had many similarities to the practice of "overseas" colonialism. As the contributing scholars aptly demonstrate, the history of Germany's relationship with Poland contains all the trappings of the classic colonial encounter, from its structures of power and control, racism and cultural chauvinism, to the implementation of wholesale scientific experimentation in a "lawless" environment. [More]

Refereed Articles/ Invited Chapters

2020 | with Justin Fantauzzo, ‘German Veteran Settlement on Conquered Land: Soldier Settlers in East Central Europe, 1915-22’, in Heather Perry, Emre Sencer, and John Deak, eds. The Central Powers’ Responses, [Russia’s Great War and Revolution, Vol. 3.]  (Slavica Publishers, forthcoming)

2020 | with Sharon Hanna. ‘Settler Colonial Plans in East Central Europe  and the Ottoman Empire in the Era of the First World War.’ In The Great War and Its Legacies in Central Europe and the Middle East: (Re-)Drawing and Contesting, Nations, Identities, and Spaces, edited by Peter Polak-Springer (London: Palgrave, forthcoming).

2020 | ‘Deutsche und französische Soldatenzeitungen des Ersten Weltkrieges.’ In Das Regensburger Lager im Kontext der deutsch-französischen Beziehungen, edited by Bernhard Lübbers and Isabella von Treskow (Regensburg: Pustet, forthcoming).

2019 |‘Pitas and Passports: Arab Foodways in the Windsor-Detroit Borderlands’ Mashriq & Mahjar 6:2.

2019 | ‘“Inner Colonization” and Race: Germany, Canada, and Globally Transferrable Concepts from the 1880s to the 1940s’, in Wissen - Transfer - Differenz. Transnationale und unterdiskursive Verflechtungen von Rassismus ab 1700, edited by Claudia Bruns and Michaela Hampf (Wallenstein), pp.274-95.

2017 | with Heidi M. Jacobs. ‘History, Play and the Public: Wikipedia in the University Classroom.’ The History Teacher 50. pp. 483-500.

2016 | with Justin Fantauzzo. ‘A Most Unmanly War: British Military Masculinity in Macedonia, Mesopotamia, and Palestine, 1914-18.’ Gender and History 28: 587-603.

2015 | with James Elborg, Heidi M. Jacobs and Kelly McEllroy. ‘Giving Voice to Students as Literary Practice.’ Reference and User Services Quarterly 55. pp. 144-155.

2015 | ‘A German on the Prairies: Max Sering and Settler Colonialism in Canada’, Settler Colonial Studies 5. pp. 1-19 (available online).

2015 | ‘German soldier newspapers and their Allied counterparts’, in Reading and the First World War, edited by Shafquat Towheed (New York Palgrave), pp. 209-226.

2014 | ‘Utopias of Open Space: Forced Population Transfer Fantasies during the First World War’, in Legacies of Violence: Eastern Europe's First World War, edited by Jochen Böhler, Wlodzimierz Borodziej, and Joachim von Puttkamer (de Gruyter), pp. 113-128.

2012 | ‘The Allied Bombing of German Cities during the Second World War from a Canadian Perspective’, Journal of the History of International Law 14: 87-122.

2012 | with Veronika Mogyorody, et al., ‘Integrating peer mentors into first-year course design’, in Engaging the 21st Century Student through Peer-led Learning, edited by Tania Smith (Peter Lang), pp. 67-91.

2011 | ‘The Baltics as Colonial Playground: Germany in the East, 1914-1918’, Journal of Baltic Studies 42: 9-19.

2010 | ‘From Manitoba to the Memel: Max Sering, Inner Colonization and the German East’, Social History 35: 439-57.

2010 | ‘Soldier Newspapers: A Useful Source in the Social and Cultural History of the First World War and Beyond’, War in History 17: 167-191.

2009 | “Introduction: Colonialism in Europe? The Case Against Salt Water”, in Germans, Poland, and Colonial Expansion to the East: 1850s through the Present, edited by Robert L. Nelson (Palgrave), pp. 1-9.

2009 | “The Archive for Inner Colonization, the German East, and World War I”, in Germans, Poland, and Colonial Expansion to the East: 1850s through the Present, edited by Robert L. Nelson (Palgrave), pp. 65-93.

2002 |  ‘“Unsere Frage ist der Osten”: Representations of the Occupied East in German Soldier Newspapers, 1914-1918,’ Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropaforschung 51: 500-528.

2002 | “German Comrades — Slavic Whores: Gender Images in the German Soldier Newspapers of the First World War” in Home/Front: The Military, War and Gender in Twentieth-Century Germany, edited by Karen Hagemann and Stefanie Schueler-Springorum (Berg), pp. 69-85. This article appears in German as “Deutsche Kameraden — slawische Huren. Geschlechterbilder in deutschen Feldzeitungen des Ersten Weltkrieges” in Heimat — Front. Militär und Geschlechterverhältnisse im Zeitalter der Weltkriege, edited by K. Hagemann and S. Schueler-Springorum (Campus), pp. 91-107.

Encyclopedia Entries/Review Essays

2014 | ‘Soldier Newspapers’, 1914-1918-online.

2011 | ‘Emptiness in the Colonial Gaze: Labor, Property and Nature’, International Labor and Working Class History Journal 79: 161-74.

2009 | “Germans at War”, International History Review 31: 85-95.

2004 | ‘“Ordinary Men” in the First World War? German Soldiers as Victims and Participants’, Journal of Contemporary History 39: 425-36.

2004 | “Soldatenzeitungen”, in Encyklopedie Erster Weltkrieg, edited by Gerhard Hirschfeld, Gerd Krumreich, and Irina Renz (Schöningh), pp. 849-50.

Book Reviews

2000-2014 | 24 Book Reviews in journals such as: Journal of Modern History, Central European History, German History, Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung, Nationalities Papers, International History Review, Journal of World History, Slavic Review, Canadian Journal of History, Journal of Military History, Journal of Contemporary History.