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Dr Felicia Gottmann

Senior Lecturer

Department: Humanities

Felicia Gottmann is Senior Lecturer in History. Her research interests lie in the global and transnational history of early modern Europe.

Felicia joined Northumbria in January 2018. Before this she held posts at the Universities of Dundee (Leverhulme ECR Fellow, 2014-2017) and Warwick (Research Fellow, 2010-2014), having completed her DPhil at the University of Oxford in 2010.



Felicia studies the global and transnational movements of goods, people, ideas, and technology to elucidate the transformational processes of early modernity: globalisation, commercialisation, technological innovation, nation building, and the development of political economy as a discipline.

Her current research, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, investigates the interlinkages of Europe’s various East India Companies. It uses the underresearched Prussian East India Company, a multinational enterprise trading to India and China in the 1750s, to analyse the interplay between transnational capital, highly mobile expertise, state institutions, and corporate enterprise which formed the matrix for much of Europe’s early modern imperial and economic expansion. Political economy is a vital component of these processes and her abiding interest in this topic stems from her PhD thesis, which investigated the place of global trade and consumption in the political economy of the European Enlightenment.

After finishing her DPhil Felicia was part of a major ERC-funded project studying European-Asian trade. Based on this research her monograph Global Trade, Smuggling, and the Making of Economic LiberalismAsian Textiles in France 1680-1760 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) investigates the material culture of French-Asian commerce. Focussing on the global trade in Asian textiles, the book explores its impact on the early modern French state: on its practices of policing, its industrial and scientific programmes, on knowledge transfer and industrial espionage, on smuggling, consumer cultures, and popular resistance, and on the development of Enlightenment economic liberalism.



Felicia enjoys teaching both early modern global history and European cultural, economic, and intellectual history. Using non-textual sources, material culture in particular, always plays a major part in her teaching which has won funding for its innovative approach to student-led material culture research. She has taught on and lead several optional and core modules at undergraduate and masters level including HI7005: Digital History; HI4008: Cultures, Structures, and Ideas; and HI4006: Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe 1200-1720.

Her level 5 module HI5037 ‘Globalising Worlds: Objects, People and Ideas, 1600–1800’, introduces students to the different ways of studying the global connections of the early modern world ranging from food history, material culture, and the history of migration, to environmental history, religion and revolution and includes visits to Archives and Museums.

Her level 6 module (HI6034) entitled ‘Big Business in Asia? The European East India Companies, 1600–1800’ gives students the opportunity to develop their own primary-source based research into the worlds of these first multinationals.


Felicia Gottmann

Campus Address

Lipman 331


  • BA (Hons)
  • MSt
  • DPhil

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Introduction: Crossing Companies, Gottmann, F., Stern, P. 7 May 2020, In: Journal of World History
  • Prussia all at sea? The Emden-based East India Companies and the challenges of transnational enterprise in the eighteenth century, Gottmann, F. 3 Sep 2020, In: Journal of World History
  • Mixed company in the Contact zone, Gottmann, F. 2 Oct 2019, In: Journal of Early Modern History
  • Global Trade, Smuggling, and the Making of Economic Liberalism, Gottmann, F. 2016
  • Writing Global History and Its Challenges - A Workshop with Jürgen Osterhammel and Geoffrey Parker, van Ittersum, M., Gottmann, F., Mostert, T. Dec 2016, In: Itinerario
  • Goods from the East, 1600-1800, Berg, M., Gottmann, F., Hodacs, H., Nierstrasz, C. 2015
  • Textile Furies – the French state and the retail and consumption of Asian cottons 1686-1759, Gottmann, F. 2015, Goods from the East, 1600-1800: trading Eurasia, Palgrave

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