About Carolyn

Carolyn Taratko was a postdoctoral Research Associate and Lecturer at the Chair of Global History, University of Erfurt, and a Co-Investigator in the Research Unit on Voluntariness from 2020 to 2023. Her research interests include the history of knowledge, modern German history, and the colonial and postcolonial history of West Africa. She received her PhD in History from Vanderbilt University in 2019 with a dissertation on Feeding Germany after undertaking research in Germany, the United States, and Namibia.

Research Field

Global History

History of Africa


University of Erfurt

Department of History

Carolyn Taratko

Carolyn Taratko

Co-Investigator (Gobal History)

Related Content

Voluntariness in Recent and Global History – Upcoming Talk

The current work in progress of our historical subprojects explores voluntariness in local historical contexts, in negotiations surrounding migration, in postcolonial settings as well as in different time periods or world regions. In the upcoming summer term, team members will discuss their crucial questions with experts from the respective fields of research.

Programm Konferenz in Graz

Conference on Solidarity and Volutnariness in Graz

On September 12 and 13, 2023, two co-investigators from the research unit will be speaking at the conference “Solidarity and Voluntarism in State-Socialist Societies” at the University of Graz, Austria. For a panel on Friday Carolyn Taratko and Elena M. E. Kiesel will be presenting aspects of their research projects on voluntariness in Ghana and the GDR.

Voluntariness, Positive Action, and Neo-Colonialism

By Carolyn Taratko

On April 7, 1960, African leaders from across the continent converged on Accra to attend the conference on “Positive Action for Peace and Security in Africa.” In the shadow of the Sharpeville Massacre and French…

Voluntariness Up For Debate – Lecture and Workshop with Sandrine Kott

On June 20, 2022, our teams of the subprojects “Voluntariness and Decolonization” and “Voluntariness and Dictatorship” – Carolyn, Iris, Elena and Christiane – welcome Swiss historian Sandrine Kott (University of Geneva) for a workshop and evening lecture at the Forschungskolleg Transkulturelle Studien in Gotha.

Other Volunteers

Anne Greule

Affiliated Member Research Unit since 2023

Pia Herzan

Member Research Unit from 2020 to 2024