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Moritz von Brescius

John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow & Visiting Scholar 2021-2022


Moritz von Brescius

Moritz von Brescius is a senior lecturer in modern history at University of Bern. His research areas include the global history of science and empire, the environmental and economic history of plantation economies, and the acclimatization of cash crops as part of the global expansion of commodity frontiers.

At the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES), he will pursue his new project on the ‘synthetic age’ and shifting resource regimes in the 19th and 20th centuries from a transatlantic perspective.


  • Senior Lecturer and Research Group Leader, University of Bern
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow & Visiting Scholar 2021-2022, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University

Research Topic

Visions and disruptions of the ‘synthetic age’: rubber, science and shifting resource regimes, c.1839-1973



Areas of Expertise

  • Resources
  • Europe’s Relations with the Wider World
  • Science and Empire


von Brescius, Moritz. German Science in the Age of Empire Enterprise, Opportunity and the Schlagintweit Brothers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

Hedinger, Daniel, and von Brescius, Moritz. “The German and Japanese Empires: Great Power Competition and the World Wars in Trans-Imperial Perspective.” The Oxford World History of Empire, 2021, 1123–60.

von Brescius, Moritz. “Empires of Opportunity: German Naturalists in British India and the Frictions of Transnational Science.” Modern Asian Studies 55, no. 6 (2020): 1926–71.

Dejung, Christof, and von Brescius, Moritz, “The Plantation Gaze: Imperial Careering and Agronomic Knowledge between Europe and the Tropics”, Comparativ 31, 5/6 (2021), pp. 572–590.

CES Award