Anne Berg

Anne Berg

Assistant Professor of History

St. Leonard's Court, Room 130.2

Anne Berg studies the histories of waste and recycling, film and cities, racism and genocide. Trained as a historian of modern Germany and Europe, Anne increasingly ventures into more global terrain. Her research proceeds along a number of parallel tracks, connected by a sustained interest in the visual, the spatial and the material. Her first book, On Screen and Off: Cinema and the Making of Nazi Hamburg (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022) examines the processes by which local actors from welfare workers, cultural experts, to administrators transformed Hamburg into a Nazi city, using film and film discourse to articulate their ideas about how Nazism ought to work. Anne has published articles on the history of waste in Nazi Germany, the United States and South Africa. Currently, she is working on a book project that examines the disturbing connections between waste management and genocide in the Third Reich, entitled Empire of Rags and Bones: Waste and War in Nazi Germany. At Penn, Anne teaches courses on the history of National Socialism, world history, environmental history and the history of garbage.


Ph.D. University of Michigan

Courses Taught

Lecture courses:

Origins of Nazism: From Democracy to Race War and Genocide, 1918-1945.

Global Environmental History: From the Paleolithic to the Present (together with Prof. Marcy Norton)

Making the Modern World: A History of Policing


Wastes of War: A Century of Destruction

Extreme Heat: White Nationalism in the Age of Climate Change

Selected Publications

“Don’t Trash My Holocaust” AllegraLab: Anthropology for Radical Optimism (January 2022) Available at:

“A Rubbished World: White Supremacy’s Complicated Love Affair with Garbage” Journal of Genocide Research (July 2021) Available at:

“Waste’s Social Order: A Historical Perspective” in Opening the Bin: Perspectives on Waste from the Social Science and the Humanities edited by Richard Ek; Hervé Corvellec; Nils Johansson; Patrik Zapata; and Maria José Zapata Campos. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019. (forthcoming)

“Dump” 13 November 2017. Somatosphere. Available at:

“Waste Streams and Garbage Publics in Los Angeles and Detroit” Global Garbage: Urban Imaginaries of Excess, Waste, and Abandonment. London: Routledge, 2016.

“The Nazi Rag-pickers and Their Wine: The Politics of Waste and Recycling in Nazi Germany” Social History 40 4 (November 2015) 446-472.