Public Engagement

  • Faculty

    Jonathan Bach

    Professor of Global Studies


    Jonathan Bach is professor of global studies in the Global Studies Program, and faculty affiliate in the Anthropology Department at The New School. His recent work explores social change through the politics of memory, material culture, and urban space, with an emphasis on transitions in Germany and China. He is the author most recently of What Remains: Everyday Encounters with the Socialist Past in Germany (Columbia University Press, 2017), and co-editor of Learning from Shenzhen: China’s Post-Mao Experiment from Special Zone to Model City (University of Chicago Press, 2017). His articles have appeared, inter alia, in Memory Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Politics, Public Culture, Theory, Culture and Society, and Philosophy and Social Science. His earlier book Between Sovereignty and Integration: German Foreign Policy and National Identity after 1989 (St. Martin’s Press) examined questions of normalcy and responsibility in Germany during the early years after unification. 

    He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and has held postdoctoral or visiting appointments at Columbia, Harvard, and Brown universities as well as at universities and centers in Hamburg and Berlin, Germany. He is a faculty affiliate at Columbia University's Center on Organizational Innovation. At The New School he was the founding chair of the Global Studies Program and served as the associate director of the Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs.

    Degrees Held:

    PhD 1997, Syracuse University

    Professional Affiliations:

    American Anthropological Association, German Studies Association, Memory Studies Association

    Recent Publications:


    What Remains: Everyday Encounters with the Socialist Past in Germany (Columbia University Press, 2017),

    Learning from Shenzhen: China’s Post-Mao Experiment from Special Zone to Model City (University of Chicago Press, 2017) Co-edited with Mary Ann O'Donnell and Winnie Wong.


    Book Chapters

    “Objects.” In Andrew S. Bergerson and Leonard Schmiedling et al., Ruptures in the Everyday: Views of Modern Germany from the Ground. Berghahn Publishers, 2017.  With Cristina Cuevas-Wolf and Dani Kranz.

    “Collecting Communism: Private Museums of Everyday Life under Socialism in former East Germany.” German Politics and Society, vol 33, no. 1-2, Spring/Summer 2015.

    “Consuming Communism: Material Cultures of Nostalgia in former East Germany.” In Olivia Ange and David Berliner, eds., Anthropology and Nostalgia. New York: Berghahn Publishers, 2014.



    “China’s Infrastructural Fix.” Limn no. 7, special Issue on Public Infrastructures/Infrastractural Publics, Fall 2016.

    “The Berlin Wall after the Berlin Wall: Turning Site into Sight.” Memory Studies Vol. 9, no. 1, Spring 2016.

    “Memory Landscapes and the Labor of the Negative in Berlin.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, vol. 26, no. 1, March 2013.

    “Shenzhen: Constructing the City, Reconstructing Subjects.” Open Democracy, Special feature on Cities in Conflict, Online, March 2013.

    Research Interests:

    Germany, China, post-socialism, memory, material culture, everyday life, sovereignty, national identity, urban space, special economic zones, migration, globalization, markets and society, political culture

    Current Courses:

    CRS:Imagining Inequality

    CRS:Imagining Inequality (Spring 2019)

    Imagining Inequality (Spring 2019)

    Politics of Memory

    Politics of Memory (Spring 2019)

    Politics of Memory

    Senior Capstone Rsrch Seminar

    Senior Capstone Writing Wkshp

    Senior Capstone Writing Wkshp (Spring 2019)

    The Wall: Berlin and Beyond

    Thesis Supervision

    Thesis Supervision (Spring 2019)