Cornelia Aust

Cornelia Aust

Dr. Cornelia Aust
Jewish History /

Early modern European history
Polish history
Economic history
Material culture


Buber Fellow: 2011 to 2013

A research associate (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) at Bielefeld University, Germany.

Current Projects: 

currently working on a project on Jewish dress and outward appearance and its perceptions by Christians and Jews in early modern German speaking lands and Poland.

Curriculum Vitae 

Fellowships and Grants 

  • International Dissertation Field Research Fellowship (IDRF) of the Social Sciences Research Council (SSRC), 2006-2007

  • Louis Apfelbaum and Hortense Braunstein Apfelbaum Fellowship at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, Philadelphia, 2008-2009


  • October 2018 to current: lecturer/researcher (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) at Bielefeld University

  • April 2013 - September 2018: research associate (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) at Leibniz Institute of European History, Mainz

  • September 2010 - March 2013: Postdoctoral Fellow at the Martin Buber Society of Fellows, Jerusalem

  • 2004-2010 PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

  • 2003-2004 Warsaw University

  • 2000-2003 Freie Universität Berlin (MA)

  • March 1999-July 2000 Hebrew University Jerusalem

  • 1996-1999 Leipzig University



  • The Jewish Economic Elite. Making Modern Europe. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2018.

Chapters in books     

  • "Transfer of Credit, Mercantile Mobility, and Language among Jewish Merchants in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Central and East Central Europe," in: Stefania Gialdroni et al. (eds.), Migrating Words, Migrating Merchants, Migrating Law. Trading Routes and the Development of Commercial Law. Leiden: Brill, 2019, 232-259.

  • "Merchants, Army Suppliers, Bankers. Transnational Connections and the Rise of Warsaw's Jewish Mercantile Elite (1770-1820)," in: Glenn Dynner, François Guesnet (eds.), Warsaw. The Jewish Metropolis. Essays in Honor of the 75th Birthday of Professor Antony Polonsky. Leiden: Brill, 2015, 42-69.

  • "Daily Business or an Affair of Consequence? Credit, Reputation, and Bankruptcy among Jewish Merchants in Eighteenth-Century Central Europe," in: Rebecca Kobrin, Adam Teller (eds.), Purchasing Power. The Economics of Jewish History. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015, 71-90.

  • "Narrative jüdischer Wirtschaftsgeschichte in Osteuropa," in: François Guesnet (ed.), Zwischen Graetz und Dubnow. Jüdische Historiographie in Ostmitteleuropa im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. Leipzig: Leipziger Akademische Verlagsanstalt, 2009, 177-201.

Special journal issues

  • The Jewish Body. Central Europe, 20 (2020, forthcoming).

  • with Denise Klein and Thomas Weller. Dress and Cultural Difference in Early Modern Europe. European History Yearbook 20 (2019).

Peer-reviewed articles

  • "From Noble Dress to Jewish Attire. Jewish Appearances in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire." European History Yearbook 20 (2019), 90-112.

  • Jewish Mobility in the Eighteenth Century: Familial Networks of Ashkeanzic Merchants across Europe." European History Yearbook 16 (2015), 15-32.

  • "Between Amsterdam and Warsaw. Commercial Networks of the Ashkeanzic Mercantile Elite in Central Europe." Jewish History 27,1 (2013), 41-71.


  • “Lavish Dress and Luxurious Lives: Court Jews on the Margins of Jewish Society?”, Konferenz: 50th Annual AJS Conference, Boston, December 17, 2018.

  • “From Noble Dress to Jewish Attire: Jewish Appearances in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the German Speaking Lands”, Conference: Clothes Make the (Wo)man: Dress and Cultural Difference in Early Modern Europe, IEG Mainz, October 26-28, 2017.

  • “Jewish Practices at Fairs, Courts, and Notaries. Was there a Jewish ‘Space’ in Christian Places?« Conference: ‘Space’ as a Category in the Research of the History of Jews in Poland, DHI/ Museum Polin, Warsaw, September 11-12, 2017.

  • “What Clothes Make a Jews? Perception and Self-Perception through the Lens of Jewish Sumptuary Laws”, World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, August 7, 2017.

  • “Looking Jewish? Dress as a Marker of Difference”, Workshop: Jewish History and Culture in the Early Modern World. New Perspectives in Research, Exhibitions and Digitalization, Simon-Dubnow-Institute Leipzig, June 19-20, 2017.

  • “Covering the Female Jewish Body. Dress and Dress Regulations in Early Modern Ashkenas”, Workshop: Identifying, Narrating, Regulating, Covering, Healing the Jewish Body: (Eastern) Ashkenas in the Early Modern Period, UCL London, April 25, 2017.

  • “From mamran to wisselbrief: Ashkenazi Merchants in Central European Commerce”, 4th Conference: Migrating Words, Migrating Merchants: Migrating Law. The Making of Commercial Law, Frankfurt a.M., September 19-21, 2016.

  • “Commercial Cosmopolitans? The Eighteenth-Century Jewish Mercantile Elite between Warsaw and Amsterdam”, Conference: Jews, Commerce, and Culture, University of Antwerp,  June 20-22, 2010.

  • “Polish Jews and Their Transnational Commercial Networks”, Conference: Between Coexistence and Divorce. 25 Years of Research on the History and Culture of Polish Jewry and Polish-Jewish Relations, Hebrew University Jerusalem, March 17-19, 2009.