Robert Bentley

University of Richmond Graduate Receives Humboldt German Chancellor Fellowship to Research History in Berlin

Student Scholars

History Major Robert Bentley is First UR Student; One of 5 in U.S. to Receive this Award

May 23, 2024

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Robert Bentley, a recent graduate of the University of Richmond, has received a Humboldt German Chancellor Fellowship to research the history of German youth cultures abroad in Berlin. Bentley is the first UR student to receive this fellowship, awarded to 5 scholars in the U.S. and 25 scholars internationally in 2024.

This competitive fellowship, an initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, is awarded to recent university graduates across the world who are pursuing research with significant societal impact in Germany.

Bentley, who majored in history with a minor in German studies, will live in Berlin and continue archival research he began during his time at UR, on the youth cultures of punks and skinheads in East, West, and reunified Germany during the 1980s and 1990s. He’s particularly interested in punk efforts to combat right-wing extremism during this period.

“As we see an uptick in right-wing extremism both in the U.S. and in Germany, it is crucial to understand and learn from previous efforts used to combat the rise of neo-Nazism in order to stymie its return,” said Bentley.  

“Robert is a highly motivated, dedicated, and talented scholar of German and European history, who has emerged as a leader in our history community at UR,” said history professor Michelle Kahn, Bentley’s faculty advisor. “Receiving this Fellowship is a testament to his commitment to historical research that will have a lasting public impact.”

Bentley also recently received the David C. Evans Award for Outstanding Scholarship.