Ms Katherine Arnold

Ms Katherine Arnold

PhD Student

Department of International History

English, German
Key Expertise
Anglo-German Relations, German History, Imperial History

About me

Katherine Arnold is currently under the supervision of Dr Joanna Lewis and Dr David Motadel. She holds BA degrees in History and Anthropology from the University of South Carolina and an MA in European History from UCL (with distinction). Before starting her PhD at LSE, she spent a year as a US Fulbright English Teaching Fellow in Germany. She spent the last year undertaking her fieldwork through affiliations with the University of Cape Town and Freie Universität in Berlin. She was co-convener of the HY509 International History Research Seminar in 2019/20 and co-editor of the LSE International History Blog from January 2019 to August 2020.

 Watch Katherine talk about her experience as a PhD student in the department.

Provisional thesis title

Between Europe and the World: German Naturalists in the Cape Colony, 1652-1871

My project focuses on the historiographical separation between the British Empire and continental Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This hypothesis is tested through an examination of knowledge networks produced as a result of German naturalists operating in the Cape Colony under British administration (with potential for expansion into the period of Dutch rule). Ultimately, the project will demonstrate the impact these naturalists had on imperial/South African knowledge production, patterns of imperial migration, the multi-national nature of imperial structures, transnational and trans-imperial scientific networks, and on forms of hard and popular science in Europe.

Expertise Details

Anglo-German Relations; German History; Transnational History; Global History; History of Science; Imperial History; the British Empire; South African History


Conference presentations and talks

  • 'Negotiating Trust in Natural History Partnerships: The Berlin Museum für Naturkunde in Southern Africa, 1815-1827', MfN Kolloquium, Online, May 2021
  • 'Germany: The Second Reich, Berlin and Colonial Exhibitions', Hardcore Humanities Podcast, May 2021
  • 'Desire and Desiderata in Cape Natural History', CHSTM 'Colonial Science in the German Empire' Working Group, Online, March 2021.
  • '"Great" Men of Science?: German Naturalists at the Cape of Good Hope, 1820-1835', German Historical Institute London Postgraduate Student Conference, London, UK, January 2021
  • 'From Humans to Objects: Commercial Skull Collecting in the Nineteenth-Century Cape Colony', LSE HY509 International History Research Seminar, London, UK, October 2020
  • 'Examining "Germanness" in a British Colony: Auslandsdeutsche in Southern Africa', German History Society Annual Conference, London, UK, September 2020
  • 'Writing Europeans into the History of Greater Britain: The Case of Germans in Southern Africa', Greater Britain? Rewriting the Settler Colonies into the History of British Imperialism; Cambridge, UK, March 2020
  • 'Scientific Discovery in the Cape of Good Hope: German Expertise under Dutch Rule, 1679-1795', IHR History Lab; London, UK, January 2019
  • 'Spain, Germany and the United States in the Marshall Islands: Re-Imagining the Imperial in the Pacific,' Borders, Boundaries, Territories: Reshaping Collective Identities; Bucharest, Romania, June 2018
  • 'Von der Berliner Gewerbeausstellung 1896: The Cairo and Colonial Exhibitions on Display,' UCL MA History Graduate Conference; London, UK, May 2014
  • 'German Exploration and Cooperative Spirit: European Interactions in Pre-Colonial Africa,' London Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference; London, UK, April 2014


  • German History Society Small Grant (2020)
  • The Royal Society Lisa Jardine History of Science Award (2019)
  • DAAD Short Term Research Grant (2019)
  • Royal Historical Society Postgraduate Research Support Grant (2018)
  • Partnership PhD Mobility Scheme (2018). Read her interview for LSE Academic Partnerships about her three-month archival trip to Cape Town, South Africa.
  • German History Society Postgraduate Bursary (2018)
  • LSE PhD Studentship (2017-2021)
  • US Fulbright English Teaching Fellowship, Germany (2015)
  • Phi Beta Kappa (2012)
  • Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Award (2012)
  • Coolidge Award (2011)
  • Woodrow Scholarship Award (2008)