© Markus Reinke

Department of History
Chair for Modern and Contemporary History/North American History

Dr. Jana Weiß
Post doctorand

Tel.: +49 (0) 251/83-23256 
Jana Weiß

Consultation hours summer semester 2019
Tuesdays, 3-4 pm

Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität
Department of History
Fürstenberghaus, room 219 a (3rd floor)
48143 Münster

Habilitation project

"The Lager Beer Revolution in the United States: The History of Beer and German-Americans as a Reinvention of Ethnicity, Knowledge, and Consumption"

The project analyses the technological and cultural transfer of the “German art of brewing” to the United States. It covers the beginning of the 19th century, when German-style, bottom-fermented beers were first introduced until national prohibition in 1920, when the production, sale, and transport of alcohol over 0.5 vol.-% was legally banned. The focal point of the project is the transfer of the brand beer understood as a (re)invention of ethnicity, knowledge, and consumption, i. e. as a differentiated geographical, technological, and socio-cultural exchange process of ethnic brewing traditions. By building upon (transnational) studies in the field of (German-)American immigration, consumption history, and the history of knowledge and technology, the project is based on case studies in three regions: the Midwest (Wisconsin, Missouri, Ohio), the east and west coast (New York, California).

Curriculum Vitae

Education & Training

Ph.D./Dr. (WWU Münster) History & English Studies Topic: Civil Religion in U.S.-American, Patriotic Holidays, 1945-1992 Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Heike Bungert Second and third assesors: Prof. Dr. Großbölting; Prof. Dr. Mark Stein
First State Examination (University of Bremen; University of Portsmouth) History, English Language and Linguistics, Educational Sciences
Abitur (Graf-Stauffenberg-Gymnasium, Osnabrück)

Work Experience

since 07/2016 Assistant Professor
Department of History, Chair for North American History, WWU Münster
07/2015-06/2016 Visiting Fellow, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Max Kade Institute (DFG-Research Fellowship)
04/2015-05/2015 Assistant Professor
Department of History, Chair for North American History, WWU Münster
09/2014-03/2015 Adjunct Professor
Department: International Politics and History, Jacobs University Bremen
Department: History of Great Britain and North America, University of Kassel
05-08/2014 Assistant Professor
Department of History, Chair for North American History, WWU Münster
03-04/2014 Postdoctoral Fellow, German Historical Institute, Washington, D. C. Project: Beer in the U.S.: From a German Cultural Asset to an Americanized Mass Product? A “(Re)Invention of Tradition and Consumption”
2009-2012 Assistant Professor, Cluster of Excellence, “Religion and Politics“ (WWU Münster)
2009-2011 Mid-level Faculty Member (faculty representation in the board of directors and in the assembly of principal investigators of the Cluster of Excellence)
2008-2009 Research Assistant, library of the Department of History (WWU Münster)


  • Erstklassig! Programme for the Advancement of Women (06/2019-11/2020)
  • Research Fellowship (Post-Doc), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (07/2015-06/2016)
  • Research Fellowship (Post-Doc), Deutsches Historisches Institut, Washington, D.C. (03-04/2014)
  • Graduation Scholarship (Dissertation), WWU Münster (09/2012-02/2013)
  • Erasmus/Socrates, University of Portsmouth (WiSe 2004/05)

Research Interests

  • North-American History of the 19th and 20th Century
  • Politics and Religion
  • Cultural and Social History
  • History of Migration
  • Economic History



  • Fly the Flag and Give Thanks to God. Zivilreligion an US-amerikanischen patriotischen Feiertagen, 1945-1992. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2015.


  • Heike Bungert/Jana Weiß (eds.). Zivilreligion in den USA im 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2017.

Journal Articles

  • Weiß, Jana/Bungert, Heike, "The Relevance of the Concept of Civil Religion from a (West) German Perspective", in: Religions 10/6 (2019), https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/10/6/366/htm.
  • "The National Day of Mourning: Thanksgiving, Civil Religion, and American Indians", Amerikastudien/American Studies 3 (2018): 367-388.
  • “Remember, Celebrate, and Forget? The Martin Luther King Day and the Pitfalls of Civil Religion”, Journal of American Studies (2017), online: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-american-studies/article/remember-celebrate-and-forget-the-martin-luther-king-day-and-the-pitfalls-of-civil-religion/919E83478526C423F940B90273C9B127
  • Bungert, Heike/Weiß, Jana, “Die Debatte um ‚Zivilreligion‘ in transnationaler Perspektive”, Zeithistorische Forschung 7 (2010): 454-459.

Online Articles

  • “Frederick Pabst” (in English), in: William J. Hausman (German Historical Institute), Immigrant Entrepreneurship. German American Business Biographies, August 2016, http://www.immigrantentrepreneurship.org/entry.php?rec=25.

Book Chapters

  • “Zwischen Patriotismus, (In)Toleranz und Machtmissbrauch: Jean-Jacques Rousseaus Einfluss auf die US-amerikanische Zivilreligion”, in:  Thomas Lau et al. (eds.), Der Bürger als Souverän. Jean-Jacques Rousseaus Lehre von der volonté générale. Baden Baden: Nomos Verlag, 2018: 103-125.
  • “’We Are Not Fighting this Battle Alone. We Have God on Our Side‘: Nationale Feiertage als zivilreligiöse Propagandainstrumente im Kalten Krieg?”, in: Bungert/Weiß (eds.) 2017, 221-258.
  • Heike Bungert/Jana Weiß, “Einleitung: Zivilreligion(en) – alte Herausforderungen, neue Perspektiven”, in: Bungert/Weiß (eds.) 2017, 7-36.
  • “Mit jedem Einwanderer eine neue Religion? Die Entwicklung der religiösen Vielfalt in den USA”, in: Wiebke Ahrndt (ed.), Amerika, TenDenZen, 2016: 62-64.
  • “‘The Art of Brewing Was Developed by the Germans’: Der Einfluss deutsch-amerikanischer Einwanderung auf die US-amerikanische Brauindustrie vor der Prohibition”, in: Willi Kulke (ed.), Vom Streben nach Glück. 200 Jahre Auswanderung aus Westfalen nach Amerika. Essen: Klartext Verlag, 2016: 108-119.


  • „The Lager Beer Revolution in the United States”, in: Rachel Carson Center, Seeing the Woods (Blog), 09/2018, https://seeingthewoods.org/2018/09/07/the-lager-beer-revolution-in-the-united-states.
  • “‘Hopfen und Malz, Gott erhalt’s’: How German-Americans Shaped America’s Beer Drinking Culture”, Max Kade Institute Friends Newsletter 24/3 (2015): 12-13.
  • “German Gemuetlichkeit 2.0”, in: Food, Fatness, and Fitness (Blog), 09/2015, http://food fatnessfitness.com/2015/09/01/german-gemuetlichkeit-2-0.

Book Reviews and conference reports in: H-Soz-u-Kult, Amerikastudien, Yearbook of German-American Studies.

Presentations (selection)

  • “German Enemies”: World War I and the U.S. Brewing Industry (10/2017, conference: World War 100: A Centennial Symposium, University of Wisconsin-Madison).
  • “Perfection in Brewing Is Reached in America”: German-American Brewers in the Global Midwest (10/2016, Symposium: German Iowa & The Global Midwest, University of Iowa).
  • "The Art of Brewing Was Invented by the Germans": Wisconsin’s Beer Barons and the Shaping of a German-American Drinking Culture in Pre-Prohibition USA (02/2015, Conference: Histories of American Foodways, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien, Universität Erfurt).
  • A "National Day of Mourning": Thanksgiving, Civil Religion, and Native Americans (06/2014, conference: Civil Religion in the United States, WWU Münster).
  • "Faith in America": Civil Religion and Billy Graham’s Honor America Day Campaign of 1970 (06/2014, lecture series: Religion and Media: Evangelicalism in the United States, Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz).
  • Rekindle the (Lost) "Spirit of ‘76"? Celebrating the ‘Glorious’ Fourth in Postwar America (02/2013, conference: Religion in American Life, King’s College, London, UK).
  • "On this Memorial Day, we honor all of our fallen soldiers, their commitment to our country, and their legacy of patriotism and sacrifice": Civil Religion and the Memorial Day Celebrations in the United States (04/2012, conference: European Social Science History Conference, University of Glasgow, UK).
  • Civil Religion as a Rhetorical Instrument of Empowerment? The Martin Luther King Day in the United States (06/2011, conference: Empowerment and the Sacred, University of Leeds, UK).
  • Zivilreligion – Möglichkeiten und Grenzen (02/2011, lecture series: Religion und Politik - (un)vereinbar?, Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz).


Courses at University of Münster (since 2011) 

  • Jenseits von Kornfeldern und Cowboys: Der Mittlere Westen der USA
  • „Normalcy, Prosperity, Stability“? Die 1920er Jahre in den USA
  • Progressive Era – Die USA im Zeitalter des Fortschritts und der Sozialreformen, 1890er-1920er
  • Gilded Age – Die USA im vergoldeten Zeitalter, 1870er bis 1900
  • Im Kampf für die Demokratie: Die USA im Ersten Weltkrieg
  • Politik und Demokratie (together with Dr. Sandra Kraft)
  • Drunk History: Die Geschichte des Alkohols in den USA
  • ‘A Nation of Drunkards’? The Temperance Movement in the United States (in English)
  • Crisis on Wall Street: The History of Capitalism in the U.S. (in English)
  •  Malcolm X vs. Martin Luther King, Jr. (in English)

Courses at Jacobs University Bremen (2013-2014)

  • (Introduction to) North American History (in English)

Courses at University of Kassel (2013-2014)

  • ‘E Pluribus Unum’: Geschichte der Einwanderung nach Nordamerika
  • Weltmacht USA: Die US-amerikanische Außenpolitik seit dem 19. Jahrhundert

Courses at University of Bremen (2007-2008)

  • Introduction to Studies in English-Language Literatures and Cultures

English Teacher (A Levels), Schulzentrum Blumenthal, Bremen (2007)

Public Outreach/PR

  • „heldenhaft gewaltfrei“ – Martin Luther King (05/2018, Katholikentag, Münster)
  • Martin Luther King und die Bürgerrechtsbewegung in den USA (02/2018, panel discussion, VW Stiftung, Schloss Herrenhausen, Hannover).
  • „In God We Trust“: Zivilreligion in den USA (10/2017, 10. Bischöfliche Schülerakademie, In God We Trust, Münster).
  • Der Einfluss deutsch-amerikanischer Einwanderung auf die US-amerikanische Brauindustrie (07/2017, Vortrag zur Ausstellung Vom Streben nach Glück: 200 Jahre Auswanderung aus Westfalen nach Amerika, LWL-Industriemuseum, Zeche Hannover, Bochum).

  • "God’s Own Country? Zivilreligion und politische Kultur in den USA" (07/2016, 9. Bischöfliche Schülerakademie, Blick über den Atlantik, Münster).
  • “Prost! America’s Beer History and German-American Migration” (11/2015, Fundraiser, Quench Your Thirst for Knowledge, Max Kade Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison).
  • „Die Geschichte des Bieres in den USA“ (04/2015, Schulzentrum Rübekamp, Berufsausbildung „Brauer und Mälzer“, Bremen).
  • “‘Es knallten haushohe Kopfbälle von Dauerwelle zu Dauerwelle’: Frauenfußball in Deutschland – Von der Dauerwelle zur Marke, Soroptimist International Deutschland (Lecture, 05/2014, Münster).
  • „Exzellenzforschung im Klassenzimmer“: Wie entsteht ein Forschungsprojekt? (11/2011, Kardinal-von-Galen-Gymnasiums und Gymnasiums St. Mauritz, Münster).
  • “Thanksgiving – Entstehungsgeschichte und Mythos”, Deutsch-Amerikanische Gesellschaft Münster e.V. (Lecture, 11/2011, Münster).


  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien
  • Society for German-American Studies
  • Max Kade Institute (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • American Breweriana Association
  • Verband der HistorikerInnen Deutschlands
  • Organization of American Historians
  • Gesellschaft für Geschichte des Brauwesens