Curriculum Vitae 

Undergraduate Courses:  

History 125A: 
Europe 1450-1600 
Fall 1996
Fall 2000

History 125B: 
Europe 1600-1715 
Fall 1997
Fall 1998
Winter 2001
Winter 2003

History 129A: 
Baroque & Enlightenment Germany 
Fall 1995
Fall 2003

History 129B: 
History of Germany 1820-1914 
Winter 1996

History 197: 
Construction of Self-Understanding, 19th and 20th Centuries 
Spring 1995

Master/Slave Narratives 
Spring 1996

German History and Modernity
Spring 1994

Male Fantasies: Problems in European Modernity 
Winter 1998

What is the Enlightenment? 
Winter 1999

Graduate Courses: 

History 230A-B: 

International Families In Europe and Beyond since the Late Middle Ages
Fall 2005

Production of the Self in the West 
Winter/Spring 1994

Introduction to the Study of Ego-Documents
Spring/Fall 1998

Oedipus Readings: Explorations in the History of the Self in the West 
Winter/Spring 2000

Identity and Subjectivity as Historical Categories
Fall/Winter 1995/6

Sacred and Profane in European History since 1500
Winter/Spring 2001

Religious Conversion in Europe and in Comparative Perspective: 1450-Present
Fall/Winter 2003/4



History 241A-B: 

Cultural History of German Law Since the Renaissance 
Winter/Spring 1995

Religion in German Culture Since the Renaissance 
Fall/Winter 1996/7

Kinship in Europe Discussion Board


For information, please contact David Sabean at 

David Warren Sabean

Henry J. Bruman Professor of German History

David Sabean graduated from Houghten College and studied cultural and intellectual history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under George Mosse during the early 60s, interpellating a year at Brandeis University in the History of Ideas program. During those years, discussions among graduate students turned his interests to the new field of social history. He went off to Tübingen in 1965-6 to research his dissertation on the German Peasant War of 1525, eventually published as Landbesitz und Gesellschaft am Vorabend des Bauernkriegs (Stuttgart, 1972). From 1966 to 1970, he was a Lecturer at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England. There, while writing his dissertation, he entered into discusssions with social anthropologists and read widely in Anglo-Marxist historiography and Annales School history. From 1970 to 1976, Sabean taught at the University of Pittsburgh, where a remarkable group of young social historians had gathered. He joined the editorial board of the newly founded Historical Methods Newletter (later Historical Methods ) and founded the journal Peasant Studies Newletter (later Peasant Studies ). During that period, he developed a large data base from records of a single South German village and spent a year as a post-doctoral student at Cambridge, studying social anthropology, with a concentration on kinship studies, with Jack Goody. From 1976 to 1983, Sabean joined a research group of social historians at the Max-Planck-Institut für Geschichte in Göttingen, who were studying the process of protoindustrialization. With Hans Medick, Alf Lüdtke, Robert Berdahl, and others, he founded an interdisciplinary group of historians and anthropologists, which met in a series of round tables in Göttingen, Paris, Bad Homburg, and Bellagio. Several volumes of papers were published from those meetings, among which were Klassen und Kultur (Frankfurt, 1982) and Interest and Emotion (Cambridge, 1984). During that period, he began to explore the territory of popular culture and wrote Power in the Blood: Popular Culture and Village Discourse in Early Modern Germany (Cambridge, 1984; Ger: Das zweischneidige Schwert (Berlin, 1986; Frankfurt, 1990)). Sabean returned to the United States in 1983 as a professor at UCLA, where he finished the first volume of his village study: Property, Production and Family in Neckarhausen, 1700-1870 (Cambridge, 1990). Tired of freeway driving, he left for Cornell University after five years, but nostalgia and a lively graduate program drove him back again five years later. He now holds the Henry J. Bruman Endowed Chair in German History. He completed the second volume of his village study in 1998: Kinship in Neckarhausen 1700-1870 (Cambridge), which attempts to rethink the categories of an earlier generation of social historians through more recent notions from cultural studies. He argues for the analytical usefulness of "kinship" and "class" for European history and suggests that rethinking both in terms of gender refits them for fresh ways of seeing historical issues. Sabean is now currently working on two projects: a study of narrativity in bureacratic writing and a comparative analysis of incest discourse in Europe and America since the sixteenth century.  He has been a Gugggenheim Fellow and has recently been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

While in England from 1965-70, Sabean created a number of courses in social history (European peasantry, Aristocracy and Bureaucracy) and made them a central part of the curriculum. He also worked together with a group of sociologists and anthropologists in interdisciplinary courses on the history of the family. At Pittsburgh, he was part of an interdisciplinary group working on the comparative studies of peasantry. There also he worked together with anthropologists on the history of the family. He also taught lecture courses and seminars on historical demography. During the years in Göttingen, Sabean participated in a series of workshops on the history of the family and in interdisciplinary round tables in anthropology and history on work, kinship, Herrschaft , and memory. During the first years at UCLA (1983-88), he began to explore issues that have to do with the historicity of the self in his graduate research seminars--on the History of Individualism and the History of the Body. He also taught graduate courses on anthropolgy and history. Gradually his interests became more centered on the nineteenth century, although he continued to teach and still teaches and does research on problems from the sixteenth century onwards. At Cornell University (1988-93), Sabean continued to explore issues of selfhood but also became interested in new approaches to the social and cultural history of law. Back at UCLA, Sabean has alternated his graduate courses between German and comparative history. He has held seminars on the cultural history of German law and on religion in Central Europe and on "identity and subjectivity," "ego-documents," and "on reading Oedipus." Beginning in winter 2001, his research seminars will explore issues having to do with the "sacred and profane." His undergraduate lectures explore German history from the Baroque to World War I. His undergraduate seminars explore a range of topics dealing with modern Germany or modern Europe: "Germany and its Outsiders," "Master/Slave Narratives," "Male Fantasies," "What is Enlightenment." 

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