Friedrich Cain, Dr.

University assistant, post-doc

Friedrich Cain is a university assistant (post-doc) at the Chair of Historical Transregional Studies. His research focuses on the history of science, especially political epistemology. He deals with questions of the organization and utilization of knowledge, precarious knowledge systems, and a praxeology of truth. Another focus is the history of East Central and Eastern Europe.

After interdisciplinary studies in Halle/Saale, Bremen, and Kraków (BA), as well as in Constance and Berkeley, CA, (MA), he completed his doctorate in Constance on the history of clandestine research by Polish scientists under German occupation during World War II.  

He is currently working on a project about science research in the 1970s and 1980s that examines research practices, epistemic-political constellations, and the international networks of a wide range of specialized task groups. The project aims to reconstruct the history of this scientific research conducted at institutions in both German states, but also from the Soviet Union, People's Republic of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Great Britain, and others. Parallel to and partly in confrontation with post-structuralist initiatives, these research practices set out to put social and governmental development on stable scientific foundations.

Friedrich Cain is an editorial member of the online platform History of Science in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe ( / and co-organizer of the pre- and postdoctoral workshops Central, Eastern and Southeastern European Histories of Science and the Humanities [FC1].

Selected Publications

-       Wissen im Untergrund. Praxis und Politik klandestiner Forschung im besetzten Polen (1939–1945), Tübingen: 2021.

-       „On Racism and Scholarship. Stanisław Ossowski Between Science Studies and So­cio­logy“, in: Antoni Sułek (ed.), Spotkania z Ossowskim, Warszawa: 2020, pp. 100–131.

-       A New Culture of Truth? On the Transformation of Political Epistemologies since the 1960s in Central and Eastern Europe (= Stan Rzeczy / State of Affairs 17, 2019 [2020]), guest editorship: Friedrich Cain, Dietlind Hüchtker, Bernhard Kleeberg and Jan Surman. (

-       The Past and Present of Political Epistemologies of (Eastern) Europe, (= guest section in: Historyka. Studia Metodologiczne 49, 2019), ed. by . Friedrich Cain, Bernhard Kleeberg and Jan Surman (

-       „The Occupied City as a Sociological Laboratory. Developing and Applying Social Psychology in Warsaw 1939–1945“, in: Journal for Urban History 43/4, 2017, pp. 587–601 .

-       „Moderne errichten. Über Experimente in der Stadt Warschau, ca. 1918-1927“, in: Sylwia Werner / Bernd Stiegler (eds.) Laboratorien der Moderne. Orte und Räume des Wissens in Zentraleuropa, München: 2016, pp. 253–288.

-       „Pisać biografię pojęcia. O dwóch próbach analizy twórczości z dwudziestolecia międzywojennego“ [Biographies of Concepts. Two Studies on Creativity in the Interwar Period], in: Stan Rzeczy / State of Affairs 10, 2016, pp. 374–395 (


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