Universität Stuttgart (Germany) 


Wolfram Pyta


Chair for Modern History

Professor Wolfram Pyta holds the Chair for Modern History at the University of Stuttgart. A university graduate of history, philosophy and political science, he has held several teaching positions in Bonn, Munich, Tübingen and Cologne before joining the University of Stuttgart. He is the author of several books and numerous scholarly articles on German history since the early 19th century, and his recent monumental biography of Hindenburg, which was awarded the ‘Baden-Württemberg research prize for fundamental research’, has obtained significant attention and praise in German academia and media. Wolfram is also Director of the Ludwigsburg Research Centre for the Study of National-Socialist Criminal History.

Over the last years he has developed a strong research interest in the emergence of modern sport in European societies and the epistemology of sport as object of the social sciences. One of his current projects in this field concerns the ‘Cultural History of the Bundesliga 1963-1995’ and has been awarded funding by the Thyssen foundation.

Within the FREE project Wolfram is in charge of research on Collective Memory and Transnational Media Events and organises the project’s second thematic conference in Stuttgart in February 2013.


« As both a historian and cultural theorist, I have been researching the influence of football on the formation of collective identities for many years. Hence, I was fascinated from the very beginning by the question whether football plays an important role as a soft factor in the European integration process as well. The disciplinary diversity of the colleagues working together in the FREE project represents a perfect combination of scientific approaches to this demanding project. »



Nils Havemann
Research fellow
Department of Modern History



Dr Nils Havemann was born in 1966. He studied history, Romance philology and political sciences in Bonn, Paris and Salamanca. In 1996 he obtained his PhD in history from the University of Bonn under the guidance of Prof Dr Klaus Hildebrand on the subject: ‘Spain in German foreign policy strategy - from the last years of the Bismarck era to the beginning of Wilhelminian politics of global ambition (1883–1899)’. In 2005 his book Football under the Swastika (Fussball unter dem Hakenkreuz), which was the first comprehensive study of the German football federation’s behaviour under the Nazi regime, became one of the most widely discussed academic publications on football. In 2010 he joined the University of Stuttgart as research fellow in the Department of Modern History.


« FREE is an excellent project to explore the cultural potential of sports on the European scale. It is tempting for me to work in an international team

of researchers from so many renowned universities. »


Universität Stuttgart

The University of Stuttgart, founded in 1829 as a ‘College of Technology’, has since grown into an internationally recognised site of science and research in both natural and social sciences. The University counts over 20 000 students and employs 4 000 staff in over 150 institutes that are grouped up in 10 departments. These figures make it one of the greatest employers of the Baden-Württemberg region. The University of Stuttgart, which ran two successful projects in the recent ‘excellence initiative’ sponsored by the German federal and state governments, has the ambition to strengthen its research further through interdisciplinary networks of cooperation.