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Visiting Professors

  • Jan Hansen

    Jan Hansen

    Visiting Associate Professor
    Phone: (858) 534-4582
    Office Number: 917

    Jan Hansen is a Visiting Associate Professor at UCSD sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). He teaches Modern German and European History. Additionally, he holds the position of Assistant Professor of History at Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, but is currently on leave.

    As a historian specializing in Germany, Europe, and the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries, his research and teaching interests encompass social, cultural, political, and urban history. Jan Hansen is the author of Abschied vom Kalten Krieg? Die Sozialdemokraten und der Nachrüstungsstreit (1977–1987) (de Gruyter Oldenbourg) [Farewell to the Cold War? The Social Democrats and the Controversy over the NATO Dual-Track Decision]. This book examines the history of labor and peace movements in West Germany during the Cold War, focusing on the contentious debates over the NATO dual-track decision within the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The book argues that in the early 1980s, portions of the social democratic spectrum considered the Cold War anachronistic long before its actual end.

    Recently, Jan Hansen has turned his attention to the history of infrastructure. His second book, tentatively titled Empire of Disconnection: Infrastructure and Informality in Los Angeles, 1800–1940, explores how the introduction of supplied water and electricity in the 19th and 20th centuries influenced the transformation of Los Angeles's social fabric. Bridging infrastructure history with social history, the book investigates how consumers of infrastructure negotiated forms of social order within neighborhoods and households. It examines creative, small-scale efforts to appropriate centrally controlled infrastructures such as water and electricity, considering both the formalization of usage by city government officials and the informal economies that emerged within and beyond these formalization attempts. The central premise is that informal uses of infrastructure were a defining feature of Los Angeles history.

    Jan Hansen has authored several journal articles and book chapters, as well as co-edited four edited volumes. Most recently, he co-edited an open-access textbook titled The European Experience: A Multi-Perspective History of Modern Europe (OpenBook Publishers). The textbook's chapters are collaboratively written by international teams of authors from seven European universities to provide a comprehensive European perspective.

    Additionally, Jan Hansen serves as a book review editor for H-Soz-Kult.