Melanie Arndt

Membership:  2012

Member Bio

Melanie Arndt is a twentieth-century historian interested in disasters as transnational processes and their social impacts. For the last four years she has been the director of the international research project Politics and Society after Chernobyl: Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania, and Germany funded by the German Volkswagen Foundation at the Center for Contemporary History, Potsdam. She has taught environmental history and historical disaster research at the Humboldt University Berlin, the Potsdam University, and the European Humanities University Vilnius/Minsk in Lithuania.
After working in Minsk, Belarus from 1996 to 1997, Arndt studied political science, East European studies, and history at the Potsdam University, the Free University Berlin, and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, London. She received her PhD from the Humboldt University Berlin in 2008 with a dissertation on the health policies in divided Berlin, 1948–1961.


  • (Ed.) “Memories, Commemorations, and Representations of Chernobyl.” Special issue: Anthropology of East Europe Review 30, no. 1 (2012).
  • (Ed.) “Debatte ‘Zeitgeschichten der Umwelt’” [Debate “Contemporary Histories of the Environment”]. Zeithistorische Forschungen/Studies in Contemporary History 9 (2012).
  • Tschernobyl: Auswirkungen des Reaktorunfalls auf die Bundesrepublik und die DDR [Chernobyl. Impacts of the Nuclear Accident on the Federal Republic and the GDR]. Erfurt: Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Thüringen / Berlin: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2011.
  • “From Nuclear to Human Security? Prerequisites and Motives for the German Chernobyl Commitment in Belarus.”Historical Social Research 35, no. 4 (2010): 289–308.
  • Gesundheitspolitik im geteilten Berlin 1948-1961 [Health Policy in Divided Berlin, 1948-1961]. Reihe Zeithistorische Studien 43. Köln Böhlau, 2009.