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Frederik Frank Sterkenburgh - PhD Student


I studied military history at the University of Amsterdam, graduating in 2012 and became a PhD student at the Department of German Studies at the University of Warwick in 2013. From my MA thesis on the military career of prince Frederick of the Netherlands (1797-1881) and his role in The Netherlands' political-military strategy in the 1813-1840 period I developed an interest in the transformation of monarchy in Europe during the 19th century. This resulted in a PhD research project on William I as Imperial Germany's first emperor, for which I was awarded a Doctoral Award by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as well as research grants from the Amsterdam Institute for German Studies, the German Historical Institute London, the German History Society, the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz and the Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund.

Research interests

The 'long 19th century', in particular the transformation of monarchical rule in Europe, military and Prussian history.

PhD project

William I and monarchical rule in Imperial Germany, 1871-1888


- 'Political agency through representation: Emperor William I as monarchical political actor', Blog Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin / Preußischer Kulturbesitz (2017).

- 'Tussen historische ervaring en historisch inzicht: onderzoek in het Koninklijk Huisarchief' in: Yvonne Bos-Rops, Marijke Bruggeman and Gustaaf Janssens eds., Vorstelijk, koninklijk, keizerlijk. Archiven van vorstenhuizen in Europa (Stichting Archiefpublicaties; The Hague 2016) 42-44.

- ‘Narrating Prince Wilhelm of Prussia: Commemorative Biography as Monarchical Politics of Memory’ In: Frank Lorenz Müller and Heidi Mehrkens (eds.), ‘Winning their trust and affection’. Royal heirs and the uses of soft power in 19th-century Europe (Palgrave Macmillan; London 2016) 281-301.


(2016) Werkstattgespräch, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, 21st June 2016.

(2016) Kolloquium German Historical Institute London, 1st March 2016.

(2016) Forschungskolloquium Alfred Freiherr von Oppenheim-Professur für Preußische Geschichte / Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Neugebauer, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, 4th February 2016.

(2016) Kolloquium zur Europäischen Geschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, 6th January 2016.

(2015) 'The supreme master of ceremony of the nation. On conceptualizing monarchical agency in the 19th century. The case of German emperor William I'. Understanding political history in and beyond the nation state. Workshop at the University of Leiden, 22nd / 23rd October 2015.

(2015) ‘Dynastic virtues, military heroism and embodiment of Prussia. Topoi in Prince William of Prussia’s authorized biographies’. “Winning their trust and affection”: Royal heirs and the uses of soft power in 19th-century Europe. Conference at the University of St. Andrews, 29th August 2015.

(2015) ‘Biographies as Geschichtspolitik: William I and the works of Louis Schneider, Oskar Meding and Wilhelm Oncken’. The Memory Group, European History Research Centre, The University of Warwick, 19th February 2015.

(2015) ‘Monarchical rule and political culture in Imperial Germany: the reign of Emperor William I. The victory parade of 16 June, 1871 in Berlin as an example’. Postgraduate conference, German Historical Institute London, 9th January 2015.

(2014) ‘Rhythm as symbolic politics: on the use of rhythm by emperor William I as monarch, 1871-1888’. International PhD and postdoctoral workshop, The University of Konstanz, 14th May 2014.

(2014) ‘Emperor William I as a symbolpolitische actor: Thoughts on the reign of the first German emperor, 1871-1888’. German Studies Research Seminar, Department of German Studies, University of Warwick, 7th May 2014.

Scholarships / research grants

(2015) Research Stipend Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz

(2015) PhD Scholarship, German Historical Institute London

(2014) Postgraduate Bursary, German History Society

(2014) Cultuurfondsbeurs / Bernhard Fellowship, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds

(2013) Doctoral Award, Arts and Humanities Research Council

(2013) DIA-Stipendium, Duitsland Instituut Amsterdam / Amsterdam Institute for German Studies


(2013) Bi-annual Master’s Thesis Award of the Royal Netherlands Foundation ‘Ons leger’ and the Schouwenburg Fund Foundation for the best thesis on a topic in military history and / or security policy.