Natalie Bormann

Natalie Bormann joined the Political Science Department in 2007, after holding positions at Brown University, and the Universities of Manchester and Edinburgh in the UK.   She is the author of National Missile Defence and the Politics of US identity – A poststructural critique (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2008) and co-editor of Securing Outer Space (London: Routledge, 2009).  Her current writings explore the constitutive interplay of identity, trauma and memory, in which she turns to the more interpretative modes of inquiry provided to us by critical social theory and poststructuralism.


POLS 2328 Modern Political Thought
POLS 2338 Contemporary Political Thought
POLS 4701 Senior Capstone
POLS 7207 Seminar in International Relations
POLS 7366 Genocide

//Experiential education
Dialogue of Civilizations:   Germany and Poland:  Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
Professor Bormann has been taking students to Munich, Nuremberg, Berlin, Warsaw and Krakow study history and politics of the Holocaust as well as questions of memory and remembrance.
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Natalie’s research interests are interdisciplinary and draw mostly from International Relations, Cultural Studies, and Social and Political Theory. Her current work explores the role of trauma and ethics in international politics, the relation between violence and memory, and questions of identity in formulating foreign and security policies.

//current projects

  • The people want souvenirs” Professor Bormann is participating in an edited book project Memory and Materiality (University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming, 2014) in collaboration with the Memory Studies program at the New School in New York.  Her work for this project probes the materialization of memory through the trading stories of Nazi relics.
  •  “Postcards from Auschwitz? An experiential account on the ethics of visiting sites of trauma” (presented with Veronica Czastkiewicz) at Trauma – Theory and Practice Conference, Prague, March 2014). This project is a reflection on questions of ethics and responsibility when visiting and teaching about sites of trauma.
  • “Never ban, never forget?  The trade in Nazi relics & its impact on negotiating a European identity” (presented at the International Conference of Europeanists, Washington D.C., March 2014). This project grapples with the ways in which the trade of Nazi memorabilia connects with, travels through, and informs the continual negotiating of a collective European memory landscape

//previous projects


//other activities

  • Critical Social Theory Research Cluster

Together with Carleton Gholz in Communication Studies, Professor Bormann directed the Critical Social Theory (CST) Research Cluster from 2012-2014, for which she received a grant from the Humanities Center.  The CST Cluster wants to create and facilitate a vibrant intellectual culture in radical thinking and social critique – which can be thought of as covering interactions between the explanatory, the normative and the ideological dimensions of social and political thought.  We are in the process of creating a database of reading material for the NEU community, and as it relates to critical social theory; see here.  You can follow us on facebook

  • Commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall

Professor Bormann created an interdisciplinary research cluster geared towards the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 2014.  Part of the group’s activities include organizing and sponsoring the Virtual Wall exhibit.

  • European Campus Weeks

With a grant from the Germany Embassy, Professor Bormann (together with Hans Eijmberts) is organizing a series of events related to EU/German-US relations.  The events feature essay contests, talks and workshops, and movie screenings.  For more information, follow us here.

//in the news