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Dr. Robert Kramm

Dr. Robert Kramm

Freigeist-Fellow & Principal Investigator


LMU Munich
Munich Centre for Global History & Modern and Contemporary History
School of History
Lehrstuhl Prof. Wenzlhuemer PF 105
Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
80539 M√ľnchen

Schellingstr. 12, K 033

Room: K 033
Phone: +49 (0)89 / 2180 - 5563

Robert Kramm is a global historian of the 19th and 20th-centuries with a combined focus on modern Japan and the entanglements between Asia, Europe and America. His research interests encompass the history of everyday life, colonialism and postcolonialism, and the history of anarchism, communes, and the body. He holds a doctoral degree in history from ETH Zurich and a M.A. and B.A., both also in history, from the University of Erfurt. His first book, Sanitized Sex (UC Press, 2017), analyzes the regulation of sexuality, sex work, and intimacy during the occupation of Japan after World War II. His second book project is a social and cultural history of the early twentieth century investigating communal life in Japan, Jamaica and South Africa. The book aims at bringing different communal experiments into conversation, and to stress the interplay of difference and similarity in communes' visions and practices of a better life that in many cases manifested in ideals of the reformed body.


  • Since 2020 Freigeist-Fellow and Principal Investigator of the research group Radical Utopian Communities: Global Histories from the Margin, 1900-1950 (funded by the Volkswagen-Foundation), Department of History, LMU Munich
  • 2017 – 2019 Postdoctoral Fellow, Society of Fellows in the Humanities, Faculty of Arts, The University of Hong Kong
  • 2016 – 2017 Fellow (postdoc) of the Kulturwissenschaftliches Kolleg/Institute for Advanced Study, University of Konstanz
  • 2015 – 2016 Visiting Fellow (postdoc), Research Institute of Comparative History and Culture(RICH), Hanyang University
  • 2012 – 2015 Lecturer, Research Associate and PhD Candidate, History of the Modern World, Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences, ETH Zurich
  • 2010 – 2012 Lecturer and Research Associate, Department of Chinese and Korean Studies, Section for Korean Studies, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen




  • Sanitized Sex: Regulating Prostitution, Venereal Disease and Intimacy in Occupied Japan, 1945-1952 (Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2017).

Edited Volume:

  • Global Anti-Vice Activism: Fighting Drinks, Drugs and 'Immorality', co-edited with Jessica R. Pliley and Harald Fischer-Tiné (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Refereed Journal Articles:

  • "Trans-Imperial Anarchism: Cooperatist Communalist Theory and Practice in Imperial Japan," Modern Asian Studies (2020): 1-35.
  • "Post-Imperial Permutations of the Hong Kong Protests," EuropeNow: A Journal of Art & Research, January 2020 (https://www.europenowjournal.org/2020/01/15/post-imperial-permutations-of-the-hong-kong-protests/).
  • "Sexual Violence, Masculinity and Agency in Post-Surrender Japan, 1945," Journal of Women's History 31, No. 1 (2019): 62-85.
  • "Haunted by Defeat: Imperial Sexualities, Prostitution, and the Emergence of Postwar Japan," Journal of World History, 28, No. 3&4 (2017): 587-614.
  • "Reine Körper: Praktiken der Regulierung von Prostitution, Geschlechtskrankheiten und Intimität während der frühen US-Okkupation Japans," Geschichte und Gesellschaft 40, No. 4 (2014): 493-522.

Book Chapters:

  • "Potsdam und Japan, etwa 1945," in Potsdamer Konferenz 1945: Die Neuordnung der Welt, ed. by Jürgen Luh für die Generaldirektion der Stiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg. 158-171. Dresden: Sandstein Verlag, 2020.
  • "Potsdam and Japan, around 1945," in Potsdam Conference 1945: Shaping the World, ed. by Jürgen Luh on behalf of the General Direction of the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg. Transl. by Daniel Costello. 158-170. Dresden: Sandstein Verlag, 2020.
  • "Introduction: A Plea for a 'Vicious Turn' in Global History," co-authored with Jessica R. Pliley and Harald Fischer-Tiné in: Global Anti-Vice Activism: Fighting Drinks, Drugs and 'Immorality', ed. by Jessica Pliley, Robert Kramm, and Harald Fischer-Tiné. 1-30. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
  • "'Hey, GI, want pretty flower girl?' Venereal disease, Sanitation, and Geopolitics in U.S. Occupied Japan and Korea, 1945-1948," in: Global Anti-Vice Activism: Fighting Drinks, Drugs and 'Immorality', ed. by Jessica Pliley, Robert Kramm, and Harald Fischer-Tiné. 290-312. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
  • "Sexualerziehung und Charakterbildung: Das Erbe der Moralreform während der US-Okkupation Japans, 1945-1952," in: Biopolitik und Sittlichkeitsreform: Kampagnen gegen Alkohol, Drogen und Prostitution, 1880-1950, ed. by Judith Große, Francesco Spöring, and Jana Tschurenev. 349-381. Frankfurt/Main: Campus, 2014.

Book Reviews:

  • Aiko Takeuchi-Demirci: Contraceptive Diplomacy: Reproductive Politics and Imperial Ambitions in the United States and Japan. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2018, in: American Historical Review 125, 3 (2020): 998-999.
  • Matthias Wittig: Identität und Selbstkonzept. Autobiographien japanischer Unternehmer der Nachkriegszeit. München, Iudicium 2016, in: Historische Anthropologie 26, 1 (2018): 115-116.
  • Okihiro, Gary Y.: American History Unbound: Asians and Pacific Islanders. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2015, in: H-Soz-Kult, July 7, 2016, <http://hsozkult.de/publicationreview/id/rezbuecher-25040>.
  • Liu, Michael Shiyung: Prescribing Colonization: The Role of Medical Practices and Policies in Japan-Ruled Taiwan, 1895-1945. Ann Arbor, MI 2009, in: East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine, No. 40 (2014): 86-93.
  • Koikari, Mire: Pedagogy of Democracy: Feminism and the Cold War in the U.S. Occupation of Japan. Philadelphia 2009, in: H-Soz-u-Kult, Dec. 3, 2010, <http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/rezensionen/2010-4-163>.
  • Höhn, Maria; Seungsook Moon (eds.): Over There: Living with the U.S. Military Empire from World War Two to the Present. Durham/London 2010, in: H-Soz-u-Kult May 20, 2011, <http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/rezensionen/2011-2-143>.

Conference Proceedings:

  • Ursachen, Geschichte und Folgen des Kalten Kriegs im Vergleich: Deutschland und Korea. July10-12, 2013, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, in: ASIEN: The German Journal on Contemporary Asia, No. 129 (October 2013): 156-157.
  • Korean Diaspora: Beyond Colonialism and Cold War. October 6-8, 2011, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, in: H-Soz-u-Kult, 15.12.2011, <http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/tagungsberichte/id=3956>; 2. in: ASIEN: The German Journal on Contemporary Asia, No. 122 (January 2012): 109-111.

Other Publications: