James Retallack, innovator

Furthering research on pre-First World War Germany

A professor of history and German studies, Dr. James Retallack was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Humanities and a Killam Research Fellowship in 2015. These distinctions will enable him to further research on pre-First World War Germany, a crucial moment in German and world history.

Dr. Retallack’s research into pre-First World War Germany illuminates a time when the promise of democratic reform and social justice had not yet been derailed by fascism and communism. He is now writing a biography of Ferdinand August Bebel, one of the founders of the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Germany and leading figure of the social democratic movement. The book will offer a life-and-times account of the country’s missed opportunities to implement liberalism and democracy and steer away from Nazism.

After graduating from Trent University, Dr. Retallack was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University where he received a DPhil. He has held grants, fellowships and research prizes from numerous foundations and had held visiting professorships at Germany’s the Free University Berlin and the University of Göttingen and most recently was a visiting scholar at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, also in Germany. He was inducted as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2011.

Learn more about the Guggenheim Fellowship

* James Rettalack is one of 24 Canadian winners of major international research awards in 2015 featured in the publication Canadian excellence, Global recognition: Celebrating recent Canadian winners of major international research awards.

Universities Canada