Cornelius Merz, M. A.
I graduated with a master’s degree in history from the University of Regensburg in early 2020. My master's dissertation examined how knowledge about alcohol and health was subjected to a moralizing discourse in mid-nineteenth century Britain and how this process created a system of social regulation that could justify intervention and stigmatisation.
In my doctoral project I will analyse how new forms of urban transportation, such as the electric tramway and the safety bicycle, created a variety of new spatial arrangements in the cities of Cleveland and Leipzig. I will examine the means by which different groups appropriated these newfound spaces, thus creating a feeling of belonging. By taking into account aspects including historical development, urban planning, demographics and migration patterns, as well as the regional and national contexts of these cities, the comparative aspect of my project provides a valuable perspective for examining practices of belonging and the urban social fabric through the lens of spatial relations.