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 Sace E Elder

Sace E Elder

Professor, Graduate Coordinator

Office: 2542 - Coleman Hall
Phone: 217-581-6372
Email: seelder@eiu.edu

Frequently Taught Courses

  • Fall 2015: HIS 5400: Problems in Human Rights History
  • Summer 2017: History and Memory in the New Germany (Study Abroad in Berlin and Munich)
  • HIS 5430: Readings in Modern German History
  • HIS 4845: Women and Gender in Modern Europe (cross-listed with Women's Studies)
  • HIS 4775: The Nazi Past in German Film
  • HIS 3450: Modern Germany
  • HIS 3555: Modern World History
  • HIS 3415: World War I
  • HIS 2500: Historical Research and Writing
  • WST 2309: Women, Men, and Culture
  • HIS 1521: Human Rights in History


Ph. D., Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


My research focuses on the social and cultural history of violence and crime in late nineteenth and twentieth-century Germany. My current book project deals with the campaign against cruelty to children in Germany from the Wilhelmine to the Nazi periods. I am particularly interested in the ways in which child protectionists renegotiated the limits of acceptable violence (physische Gewalt) in German society, as well as challenged the legal and cultural terms of parental authority (elterliche Gewalt). This research has developed out of my first book project, Murder Scenes: Normality, Deviance, and Criminal Violence in Weimar Berlin (The University of Michigan Press, June 2010), which examines the role of murder in Weimar diagnoses of social crisis and urban modernity and demonstrates the interaction of the press, the police, and ordinary Berliners in creating a public culture of policing and surveillance.

Selected Publications

  • Murder Scenes: Normality, Deviance, and Criminal Violence in Weimar Berlin, Social History, Popular Culture, and Politics in Germany  (The University of Michigan Press, 2010).
  •  “A Right to Beat a Child? Corporal Punishment and the Law in Wilhelmine Germany” Central European History 47, no. 1 (March 2014): 54-75.
  • “’Prostitutes, Respectable Women, and Women from Outside:’ The Carl Grossmann Sexual Murder Case in Postwar Berlin,” in Crime and Criminal Justice in Modern Germany, ed. Richard Wetzell, (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2014).
  • “Murder, Denunciation, and Criminal Policing in Weimar Berlin,” Journal of Contemporary History 41, no. 3 (July 2006): 401-419.

Selected Conference Presentations

  • "A Just Measure of Pain: Corporal Punishment, Children’s Subjectivity, and the Limits of Acceptable Violence in Imperial and Weimar Germany," Zucht und Ordnung. Gewalt gegen Kinder in historischer Perspective, Akademie für poliitische Bildung, Tutzing, Germany, 13-15 November 2015.
  • “Identifying the Victim: The Criminalization of Child Abuse in Germany,” invited paper, “Crime as Construction,” Cultural History of Crime project, Nyborg on Funen, Denmark, October 8-9, 2015
  • “De-privatization of violence? Corporal Punishment in Weimar Germany,” German Studies Association Conference, Milkwaukee, WI, 4-7 October 2012
  • “Crime Against the Child: The Criminalization of Physical Abuse in Wilhelmine Germany,”  “Crime and Punishment in Modern Europe,” a conference held at the German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C., 10-11 March 2011

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