Dr. Verena Lehmbrock

Verena Lehmbrock

Contact: verena.lehmbrock@uni-erfurt.de

I am a historian and philosopher of knowledge specializing in a cultural history of economics and psychology. My methodological interests gravitate towards historical epistemology, intersectional analysis, and historical semantics. I am active in two areas of research – the first focuses on the economic Enlightenment in the 18th and 19th century Germanophone world. My first book Der denkende Landwirt (“The farmer as Thinker”) was published by Böhlau in 2020. It examines the intricate relationships between knowledge, economy, and society in a ubiquitous and yet little researched field of practice: agriculture. I have several articles published or underway which trace the transformations of agrarian economic knowledge under conditions of early modern social inequality. My second focus lies on the history of psychology in the 20th century. I am currently working on a book on the global circulation of psycho-techniques in the second half of the 20th century, specifically exploring the polyvalent usage of psychological management training in economic settings across the Iron Curtain, between liberalism and socialism.
I am a founding member of the GWMT group Forum for the History of the Human Sciences which advocates the history of disciplines such as psychology, economy, and sociology in the German history if science community.  

Project on ‘technologies of the self’ under state socialism, the case of psychological leadership training in East German Industrialism 1960s-90s (funded by DFG – German Research Council).

Teaching: Self Care vs. Civil Duty (2022), with Michael Cotterell.

The psychological humanities (2021/22), with Andreas Häckermann.

2022: Visiting Researcher at the IHPST, University of Toronto, and the HTC of psychology program at York University, Toronto.


Ein Foto von Frau Verena Lehmbrock


2016                          Ph.D. at Technical University of Berlin, History of Science

2006                          M.A. Philosophy / Early Modern and Modern History, Humboldt University of Berlin

2017–today             B.Sc. studies Psychology, Fernuniversität Hagen (correspondence programme)

Selected publications

Early modern echo chambers. Material improvement, social inequality, and the restricted circulation of knowledge in 19th Century Bavaria, Journal for the History of Knowledge 3 (2022), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.55283/jhk.11356.

Paying attention to each other. An essay on the transnational intersections of industrial economy, subjectivity, and governance in East Germany’s social psychological training, Journal for the history of the behavioral sciences (early view, 2022). https://doi.org/10.1002/jhbs.22212.

Peasant Eyes: A Critique of the Agricultural Enlightenment, in: van Molle, Leen und Yves Segers (Hg.): Knowledge Networks in Rural Europe since 1700. Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer 2022, S. 50-74.

Der denkende Landwirt. Agrarwissen und Aufklärung in Deutschland 1750–1820 [The Thinking Farmer. Agricultural Knowledge and Science in the German Enlightenment], Weimar/Köln/Wien: Böhlau 2020.

By excavating the values and hierarchies attached to agricultural labor and farm management, the book traces the intricate entanglements between technique, concepts of knowledge, and contemporary social order.

The historical force of creative concepts: a post-Koselleckian approach, in: Hendriksen, Marieke & Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis (ed.): Early Modern Understandings of Knowledge 1500–1900 (Knowledge Societies in History 5). Abingdon, New York: Routledge (in preparation).

Zur Geschichte einer Metakategorie: Das ‚Empirische‘ in der deutschen Ökonomischen Aufklärung und frühen Agrarwissenschaft um 1800, Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte 39 (2016), 79–98.

Lob des Handwerks: Wissenstheorie heute und bei Albrecht Daniel Thaer (1752–1828), Zeitschrift für Agrargeschichte und Agrarsoziologie 62 (2014), 30–41.

Agrarwissen und Volksaufklärung im langen 18. Jahrhundert. Was sehen historische Gewährsleute und was sehen ihre Historiker:innen?, in: Mulsow, Martin and Frank Rexroth (ed.), Was als wissenschaftlich gelten darf. Praktiken der Grenzziehung in Gelehrtenmilieus der Vormoderne. Frankfurt/Main: Campus 2014 (Historische Studien 70), 485–514.

‚Laboratorium‘, in: Frietsch, Ute and Jörg Rogge (ed.), Über die Praxis des kulturwissenschaftlichen Arbeitens. Ein Handwörterbuch. Bielefeld: transcript 2013, 245–249.