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Dr Felicia Gottmann

Senior Lecturer in History

Department: Humanities

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

Felicia joined Northumbria as a Senior Lecturer 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.

Campus Address

Lipman 331

0191 2270 3097


BA Hons (Oxon)

M.St. (Oxon)

D.Phil. (Oxon)

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

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 is funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The project, entitled 'National, European, or Global? The Prussian East India Company and the formation of early modern European identities', uses the underresearched Prussian East India Company, a multinational enterprise trading to India and China in the 1750s, to reveal the global dimensions of European national identity formation and transnational commercial collaboration in the crucial decade leading up to the Seven Years War. 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 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 Liberalism: Asian 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.

Teaching Interests

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.

She currently convenes and teaches HI7005 (‘Digital Methods and Dissertation Preparation’) at masters level and contributes to the team-taught module HI4008 (‘Cultures, Structures, and Ideas’) at level 4.



Commercial cosmopolitanism? Policing contact zones and governing ‘multinationals’ in the early modern world, editor with James Livesey (forthcoming)


Global Trade, Smuggling, and the Making of Economic Liberalism: Asian Textiles in France 1680-1760 (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)


Goods from the East, 1600-1800: trading Eurasia. Co-editor with Maxine Berg, Hanna Hodacs, and Chris Nierstrasz (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)




Peer-reviewed journal articles and essays in edited collections:

‘Information asymmetry, adverse selection, and enforcement: the challenges and opportunities of a transnational enterprise in the eighteenth century.’ manuscript to be submitted to World History (special issue on Early Modern Trading Companies, co-edited with Phil Stern)


‘Mixed company in the Contact zone: The ‘glocal’ diplomatic efforts of a Prussian East Indiaman in 1750s Cape Verde, Journal of Early Modern History – special issue: Actors in Transcultural Diplomacy (forthcoming)


‘Fraud, malfeasance, and transnational networks: the Prussian Bengal-Company and the challenges of commercial cosmopolitanism’, in Commercial cosmopolitanism?, ed. by Gottmann and Livesey (forthcoming)


With Martine van Ittersum and Tristan Mostert, 'Writing Global History and Its Challenges - A Workshop with Jürgen Osterhammel and Geoffrey Parker', Itinerario 40.3 (2016), 357-376


‘Textile Furies – the French state and the retail and consumption of Asian cottons 1686-1759’, in Goods from the East, ed. by Maxine Berg, Felicia Gottmann, Hanna Hodacs, and Chris Nierstrasz (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 244-258


With Maxine Berg , Timothy Davies , Meike von Brescius, Hanna Hodacs , and Chris Nierstrasz, ‘Private Trade and Monopoly Structures: The East India Companies and the Commodity Trade to Europe in the Eighteenth Century’, in Emily Erikson (ed.) Chartering Capitalism: Organizing Markets, States, and Publics. (Political Power and Social Theory, Volume 29, 2015), pp.123 - 145


'Intellectual History as Global History: Voltaire's Fragments sur l'Inde and the problem of Enlightened commerce', in New Global Connections: India and Europe in the Long Eighteenth Century ed. by Gabriel Sanchez, Simon Davies, and Daniel Roberts (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2014), 141-155


'French-Asian Connections: The Compagnies des Indes, France's Eastern Trade, and New Directions in Historical Scholarship', The Historical Journal 56 (June 2013), 537-552


'Du Châtelet, Voltaire, and the Transformation of Mandeville's Fable,' History of European Ideas 38 (2012), 218-232


'Materialism and Morality: Diderot and Sade in Light of the Luxury Debate' SVEC (Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century): 2008:06, 217-226

Funding Awards and Fellowships

Felicia’s research has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Institute for Historical Research, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, and the Leverhulme Trust.

Postgraduate Supervision

Felicia is happy to supervise graduate students working on any aspect of Europe’s early modern overseas trade, the East India Companies in particular, on Enlightenment thought, material culture, consumption studies, and technology transfer.


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