PD Dr. Johanna Blokker

Akademische Oberrätin, Chair of Heritage Conservation

Am Zwinger 4, Room 00.25
96047 Bamberg

Tel: +49 (0)951-863-2343
E-mail: johanna.blokker(at)uni-bamberg.de

Office hours during the academic session:  Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Office hours between academic sessions:  by appointment

Originally from Canada, Johanna Blokker studied art and architectural history as well as music at McGill University in Montreal and at the University of Toronto, before moving to the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. She wrote her dissertation on the reconstruction of Romanesque churches in Cologne after World War II: In an analysis on the public debate on the treatment of destroyed cultural heritage of the city, she showed how cultural heritage was mobilized and appropriated to foster different policies of history and identity, thereby assigning it a decisive role in local processes of negotiating the past. 

In 2019, she completed a habilitation investigating the American funding and support of building projects in postwar Germany which aimed to develop a Western democratic thinking and to strengthen the former enemy as a bulwark against the Soviet East, thereby promoting the geopolitical interests of the US in Europe. The project was awarded the University of Bamberg's habilitation prize in 2019 (2.0 MB). 

In additional research projects and publications, Dr. Blokker has dedicated herself to the dimensions of heritage discourses in regard to cultural and memory politics, most recently in the context of conservative cultural critique by radical right-wing groups in Germany and Great Britain. These topics are central to her teaching at the University of Bamberg, where she has been a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer since 2012. Another research focus is the encounter and exchange of memory cultures in foreign countries. She pursues this pedagogical goal in the course of teaching and research cooperations with international partners. 

Johanna Blokker is a member of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies, the Memory Studies Association with its Working Group on Memory and Populism, and the Working Group on Theory and Education in Heritage Conservation (AKTLD).

curriculum vitae

1992-99: Studies in art and architectural history as well as music at McGill University in Montreal (B.A.) and the University of Toronto (M.A.)

1996-2007: Research fellowships from the University of Toronto, the Institute for Fine Arts at New York University, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

2002-2004: Adjunct instructor at New York University and The New School University, New York

2009-2011: Adjunct instructor at the University of Cologne 

May 2011: Ph.D. in art and architectural history at the Institute for Fine Arts, New York University 

2012-2018: Postdoctoral fellow at the Chair of Heritage Conservation and lecturer in the Master's Programme in Heritage Conservation, Bamberg University 

Winter semester 2016-17: Guest lecturer at the Institute for Sociology / Department for Planning and Architectural Sociology, Technical University of Berlin

June 2019: Habilitation in art and architectural history at the Faculty of Humanities and Cultural Studies, Bamberg University

detailed CV(67.3 KB)

Focus areas

  • Reconstruction after World War II
  • Architecture, memory and identity
  • Heritage studies and cultural politics
  • Preservation of 20th-century architectural heritage
  • International heritage cultures
  • Architecture and photography



(Re)Constructing Identity: World War II and the Reconstruction of Cologne's Destroyed Romanesque Churches, 1945-1985.  Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest / UMIDissertation Publishing, 2012 (zugleich Dissertation der New York University).

Journal articles and essays

Architektur als Medium amerikanischer Kulturdiplomatie in Deutschland: Die Dominikanerkirche in Bamberg, in: Bamberg: Militär und Stadt, ed. Gabriele Wiesemann and Sabine Freitag (Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2019):  135-163. 

Die Denkmalpflege und das Digitale, in: Das Digitale und die Denkmalpflege. Veröffentlichungen des AKTLD 26, ed. Birgit Franz und Ingrid Scheurmann (AKTLD 2017):  24-31.

Heritage Conservation and Digitality, in: Forum Stadt 2 (2016): 189-206.    

Was nach dem Kalten Krieg übrig bleibt. Umnutzung und Umdeutung der gebauten Hinterlassenschaften der amerikanischen Präsenz in Deutschland, in: Strukturwandel – Denkmalwandel. Umbau, Umnutzung, Umdeutung. Veröffentlichungen des AKTLD 25, ed. Birgit Franz and Ingrid Scheurmann (AKTLD 2016):  114-121.

Remembering and Experiencing German Cities in Photographic Books after World War II, in: Paper Cities: Urban Representation in Photographic Books, ed. Susana S. Martins and Anne Reverseau (Leuven University Press, 2016): 191-214.

Habilitation Project: Architecture as a Medium of American Cultural Diplomacy in Germany Between the Second World War and the Cold War, in: Forschende Frauen in Bamberg. Beiträge Bamberger Nachwuchswissenschaftlerinnen 8, ed. Ada Raev, Iris Herrmann and Brigitte Eierle (University of Bamberg Press, 2016): 47-61.

From the Heritage of the German "Other" to the Heritage of the "Other" Germany: American policy on German architectural heritage between the Second World War and the Cold War, in: Das Erbe der Anderen. Denkmalpflegerisches Handeln im Zeichen der Globalisierung, ed. Gerhard Vinken and Carmen Enss (University of Bamberg Press, 2015): 49-57.

St. Kolumba in Cologne, Germany: A case of the elaboration or the elision of memory? in: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference of the European Architectural History Network, ed. Hilde Heynen and Janina Gosseye (Brussels: KVAB, 2012): 193-195.

(Re)konstruierte Identität. Zum Wiederaufbau der Romanischen Kirchen in Köln, in: Geschichte in Köln 58 (2011): 211-228.

In preparation

Architecture as a Medium of American Cultural Diplomacy in Germany between the Second World War and the Cold War (monograph)

Bauliches Erbe in der Besatzungspolitik der Westalliierten in Deutschland nach 1945 (article)

Peter Behrens and the Modern Theatre (article)

Presented papers and public lectures

"Heritage and Populism".  Annual Memory Studies Association Conference, Madrid, June 2019.

"Heritage in Contemporary Populist Discourse in Britain and Germany".  Kulturelles Erbe und öffentliches Interesse. Deutsch-britische Perspektiven auf regionale Erinnerungskultur, Bayreuth, June 2019.

"Architecture and Reorientation: The Special Projects Program of the American High Commissioner for Germany".  Urban Renewal and Resilience: Cities in Comparative Perspective.  European Association of Urban Historians (EAUH) 14th International Conference, Rome, September 2018.

"Die Denkmalpflege und das Digitale".  Das Digitale und die Denkmalpflege. Jahrestagung des Arbeitskreises Theorie und Lehre der Denkmalpflege, Weimar, September 2016.

"Konversion und Konservierung: Der Erinnerungswert ehemaliger Militärstützpunkte und die Möglichkeiten seiner Erhaltung und Realisierung".  Workshop Ehemalige militärische Liegenschaften im urbanen Raum – Konversion für die Zukunftsstadt?,  Bonn, May 2016.

"Was nach dem Kalten Krieg übrig bleibt.  Umnutzung und Umdeutung der gebauten Hinterlassenschaften der amerikanischen Präsenz in Deutschland vor und nach 1989".  Strukturwandel - Denkmalwandel.  Umbau, Umnutzung, Umdeutung.  Jahrestagung des Arbeitskreises Theorie und Lehre der Denkmalpflege, Dortmund, October 2015.

"Photography and Memory in German Cities after 1945".  Symposium Remembering Bombed Cities. Competing narratives and transnational perspectives.  NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam, September 2015.

"Germany's Amerika-Häuser: Architecture in the Battle for Hearts and Minds".  Ringvorlesung Making America der Professur für Amerikanistik.  Bamberg University, June 2015.

"American Cultural Diplomacy and the Rebuilding of Germany after 1945".  ESALA Research Seminar Series.  Edinburgh University, October 2014.

"Urban Photography, Memory and the Simultaneity of Past and Present in German Cities after 1945".  EAUH 12th International Conference on Urban History: Cities in Europe, Cities in the World.  Lisbon, September 2014.

"Architektur als Medium amerikanischer Kulturdiplomatie in Deutschland nach 1945: Die Dominikanerkirche in Bamberg".  Bamberg: Militär und Stadt. Öffentliche Vortragsreihe zur Bamberger Militärgeschichte anläßlich der Konversion.  Bamberg University, June 2014.

"Heritage in Ruins: Historic Preservation and the Legacy of World War II in Germany".  Symposium Ruination and Conservation: Practical Perspectives on the Management of Architectural Heritage.  University of Aarhus, September 2013.

"Architecture of the 1960s in Germany: A Difficult Heritage".  Kolloquium Modernism at Risk: 1960s Modern.  University of Lund, February 2013.

"St. Kolumba in Cologne, Germany: A case of the elaboration or the elision of memory?"  European Architectural Historians Network 2nd International Meeting.  
Brussels, May 2012.

"Peter Behrens and the Modern Theatre".  Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Symposium 2012.  Cambridge University, April 2012.

"Reconstructing Identity in Architecture: Cologne's Romanesque Churches after 1945".  German Studies Association Conference.  St. Paul, Minnesota, October 2008.

"Berlin and Dresden: Museum Architecture in Context".  
Tagung Strategies for the Future of Culture: Dresden in Global Context.  Dresden, October 2005.

"'Persistent Revivalism' and the Problem of the Past in German Medieval Architectural History after 1945".
 College Art Association 91st Annual Conference.  
New York City, February 2003.