Lora Faculty Page

Lora Wildenthal

Professor of History

Faculty Affiliate, Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

Email: wildenth@rice.edu Phone: x3526 Office: 318 Humanities


  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1994
  • B.A. Rice University, 1987

Areas of Interest

  • Modern Germany
  • European Women
  • Human Rights
  • Modern Colonialism

Research and Teaching

Dr. Wildenthal received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1994, and came to Rice in 2003 after teaching at Pitzer College, M.I.T., and Texas A&M University.

Her book, The Language of Human Rights in West Germany, appeared with University of Pennsylvania Press in Fall 2012. It explores these questions: What causes have West Germans considered to be “human rights” causes? Why did West Germany have the kinds of human rights activists and experts that it did? This book seeks to meet a need for studies of human rights activism that are closely contextualized in their domestic settings. For more about this book project, please click here.

Lora Wildenthal’s 2001 book German Women for Empire, 1884-1945 (Duke University Press) pursued the questions of how German women participated in Europe’s most intense period of imperial expansion, and how ideas of race in the colonial context implicated white German women. For more about this book project, please click here.

Dr. Wildenthal offers two 100-level surveys: HIST 108 “World History since1492” and HIST 102 “Modern Europe, 1789-present.” She also teaches upper-level and graduate courses on the “History of Human Rights,” on Nazi and post-1945 German history, on nationalism, and on the history of women, gender and feminism in Europe and around the world.

Dr. Wildenthal does not take graduate students in German history who seek her as dissertation director. However, she does teach graduate courses in the department as needed, including the department's Pedagogy Seminar; History of Human Rights; Women and Gender in Europe and Beyond; and Nationalism. She is glad to serve as a general field examiner or member of a dissertation committee for graduate students in the department when that fits their interests. Beyond the department, she has served on dissertation committees in English, Anthropology, and Music.

Selected Publications

  • German Women for Empire, 1884-1945 (Duke University Press, 2001).
  • "Human Rights Activism in Occupied and Early West Germany: The Case of the German League for Human Rights," Journal of Modern History, vol. 80, no. 3 (September 2008): 515-556.
  • "Mass-Marketing Colonialism and Nationalism: The Career of Else Frobenius in Weimar and Nazi Germany," in Nation und Politik. Frauenbewegungen und Nationalismus zwischen Aufklärung und Zweitem Weltkrieg, pp. 328-343. Ed. Ute Planert. Frankfurt: Campus, 2000.

FREE - Primary Sources on German Colonialism

Curriculum Vitae

Current CV