Stephan Karl Sander-Faes, PD Dr. phil.

Oberassistent | Senior Research and Teaching Associate

Phone: +41 (0) 44 634 38 61

Telfax: +41 (0) 44 634 47 07

Room number: KO2-F-169



Curriculum vitae

My work focuses on Central and Southeastern Europe throughout the early modern and modern period. I am interested in how historical change, widely understood, manifested itself outside the continent’s courtly centres and urban cores. In have used this 'perspective from the periphery' in my first book on the 16th-century Venetian Adriatic—then as now a prime example of a vibrant multi-cultural, poly-confessional, and transnational environment—arguing that we need to broaden our perceptions of (urban) elites to more inclusively reconstruct the interrelated issues of socio-economic change and geographical as well as social mobilities.

As is customary in German-language academia, I then focused on a different spatiotemporal context. From 2011 to 2017, I worked on my professorial thesis, or Habilitationsschrift, focused on 'Lordship and State Formation' in the early modern Austrian monarchy. Using the example of Bohemia—arguably the most important of the Habsburgs’ possessions—during its emergence to great power-status, I am exploring how these 'macro' developments played out as seen from the usually all-but overlooked level of the lordship, of Herrschaft. In short: my study explores how, as the court and its central institutions tried to cope with war-induced stresses, its actions started to tear apart the administrative and social fabric that held society together.

These days (spring 2018), I am finishing a textbook on what I perceive as the (short) 'Habsburg moment', documenting the dynasty’s ascent from emperors Frederick III to Ferdinand I for the Darmstadt-based Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. In addition, I am working on the book manuscript of my professorial thesis. In autumn 2018, I willbe on leave as I was invited to join Columbia University's Harriman Institute as the Fall term's István Deak Visiting Professor in East Central European Studies.

I hold a MA degree from the University of Vienna (History, Italian; 2006), a PhD from the University of Graz (History; 2011), and my my Habilitation proceedings concluded in October 2018 with the conferral of the venia legendi in early modern and modern history. I have taught general and specialised courses on early modern and modern history at the Universities of Zurich and Fribourg as well as at the Zurich University of Teacher Education (PH Zurich).

Research Interests

  • Geographically, my research focuses on Central Europe in the early modern and modern period (16th-19th centuries), in particular on the Habsburg monarchy, as well as on the Mediterranean, where Renaissance Venice and its overseas possessions in Southeastern Europe are my study subjects.
  • Conceptually, I am employing what may be termed a ‘perspective from the periphery’ to gain new insights into events and developments that are traditionally perceived from both outside the various courtly and urban centres of powers as well as from below the socially privileged orders.
  • Thematically, on the one hand, I discuss how governance worked ‘on the ground’, including, financial-fiscal arrangements, economic development, and state formation; I am also working on economic and social history, everyday life, communication, widely understood, and migration on the other hand.

Selected Publications

Europas habsburgisches Jahrhundert [Europe’s Habsburg Century] (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2018).

Weltstädte, Metropolen, Megastädte: Dynamiken von Stadt und Raum von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart [World Cities, Metropolises, and Mega-Cities: On the Dynamics of Urban Space from Antiquity to the Present], eds. Stephan Sander-Faes and Clemens Zimmermann (Ostfildern: Thorbecke, 2018)

Lordship and State Formation: Bohemia and the Habsburg monarchy from the Thirty Years’ War to Charles VI’, Opera historica 18, no. 1 (2017): 82-99.

“To avoid the costs of litigation, the parties compromise…”: Crime, Extrajudicial Settlement, and Punishment in Venetian Dalmatia, c. 1550’, in Venezia e il suo Stato da mar: Atti del convegno inter-nazionale, Venezia, 9-11 marzo 2017/Venice and its Stato da mar: Proceedings of the International Congress, Venice, 9-11 March 2017, ed. Bruno Crevato-Selvaggio (Rome: Società Dalmata di Storia Patria, 2018), 127-57.

Urban Elites of Zadar: Dalmatia in the Venetian Maritime State, 1540 to 1569 (Rome: Viella, 2013) | (I libri di Viella 156). Publisher's information, incl. links to the reviews in, among others, Annales 70, no. 4 (2015): 1036-8; Mediterranean Historical Review 30, no. 2 (2015): 175-7; Renaissance Quarterly 67, no. 4 (2014): 1358-9; Archivio Storico Italiano CLXXII, no. 2 (2014): 395-6.