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Simone Müller

PD Dr. Simone Müller

Principal Investigator
DFG Emmy Noether Research Group "Hazardous Travels:
Ghost Acres and the Global Waste Economy"


Rachel Carson Center
Leopoldstr. 11a, 4. OG, 428
80802 Munich

Room: 428

Simone M. Müller is project manager and principal investigator of the Emmy Noether Research Group “Hazardous Travels: Ghost Acres and the Global Waste Economy” that is sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and located at the Rachel Carson Center in Munich, Germany. Together with her team of four, she investigates the structures and dynamics of the international trade in hazardous waste from the 1970s onwards. From an America-in-the-world perspective, Simone extrapolates the global dimension of the movement of hazardous waste material ranging from outdated chemical weapons and pesticides to infamous waste barges and e-waste, and how these trading movements relate to mutable concepts of ecology and economy.

Simone received her PhD in history from Freie Universität Berlin with a study on the social and cultural creation of global telegraph networks. Before the RCC, Simone worked as an assistant professor for North American history at Freiburg University. She has received numerous awards and fellowships, among them from the Smithsonian Institutions and the German Historical Institute, both in Washington DC. In 2015, she received the Maria Gräfin von Linden Preis for her research on the global waste economy. In 2016 she was elected Junior Fellow at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research of Bielefeld University (ZIF) as well as at the Center for Advanced Studies at LMU Munich. In 2017, the Robert Bosch Foundation named her among the leading scientific female scholars of Germany.

Her research interests cover global, economic, and environmental history alongside those of science and technology studies. Her first book Wiring the World, on the social and cultural creation of global telegraph networks, was published by Columbia University Press in 2016.

RCC Research Project: Hazardous Travels: Ghost Acres and the Global Waste Economy

Selected Publications:

  • Wiring the World: The Social and Cultural Creation of Global Telegraph Networks. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016.
  • “Corporate Behaviour and Ecological Disaster: Dow Chemical and the Great Lakes Mercury Crisis, 1970–1972.” Business History (2017), 1–24.
  • “Rettet die Erde vor den Ökonomen? Lawrence Summers’ Memo und der Kampf um die Deutungshoheit über den internationalen Giftmüllhandel.” Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 56 (2017): 353–73.
  • with Heidi J.S. Tworek. “The Telegraph and the Bank: On the Interdependence of Global Communications and Capitalism, 1866–1914.” Journal for Global History Special Issue, no. 2 (2015). 
  • “Umwelt- und Klimapolitik in den USA: lokale Interessen und globale Verantwortung.” In Handbuch Politik in den USA, edited by Christian Lammert, Markus Siewert, and Boris Vormann. Springer, 2014.
  • “Wiring the Pacific: North American Perspectives on a (De-) Colonial Project.” In Provincializing the United States: Colonialism, Decolonization, and (Post)Colonial Governance in Transnational Perspective, edited by Eva Bischoff, Norbert Finzsch, and Ursula Lehmkuhl. Universitätsverlag Winter, 2014.
  • “By Atlantic Telegraph: A Study on Weltcommunication in the Nineteenth Century.” In Medien & Zeit 25, no. 4 (2010): 40–54.