Robert L. Nelson is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. His revised Cambridge dissertation appeared in 2011 as German Soldier Newspapers of the First World War (CUP). The German "colonial" depiction of the "natives" of the Occupied East in that study spawned Nelson’s second major project. Publications on this colonial theme include: Germans, Poland, and Colonial Expansion to the East: 1850 through the Present, ed., Robert L. Nelson (Palgrave, 2009); "From Manitoba to the Memel: Max Sering, Inner Colonization, and the German East", Social History 35 (2010); "The Baltics as Colonial Playground: Germany in the East, 1914-1918", Journal of Baltic Studies 42 (2011); and "Utopias of Open Space: Forced Population Transfer Fantasies During the First World War", in Jochen Böhler, Wlodzimierz Borodziej, and Joachim von Puttkamer, eds., Legacies of Violence: Eastern Europe's First World War (de Gruyter, 2014). He spent 2012-13 as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Free University of Berlin.
Professor Nelson is currently completing a manuscript on Germany’s "colonial" history in East Central Europe, 1880s to 1945. Evolving directly from this project, he is simultaneously working on a global comparative study of the phenomenon of "inner colonization," and how agrarian settlement experts around the world analyzed each others’ work in order to more successfully settle farmers within the borderlands of their respective countries. An unrelated project, being conducted with Chris Waters (Law, University of Windsor), is a legal history of the targeting of civilians, from the Thirty Years’ War to today. Finally, Nelson is developing an academic interest in a certain, rather important "material of history": food.