German Historical Institute London

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London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2050
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Seminars and Lectures

The GHIL regularly holds seminars and lectures on topics of general interest to British and German historians. Seminars are held Tuesdays at 5.30pm during term time. Seminar papers are normally presented in English; knowledge of the German language is not necessary for participation.


Seminar Series | Summer Term 2015

As the digital humanities continue to boom, historians are discovering the potential of big data, computational techniques and corpus-driven methods for opening up new avenues of research.

The GHIL seminar series in the summer term 2015 will explore the possibilities and limitations of these new approaches at the intersection of historiography and linguistics. Scholars from both disciplines will present their research and ideas. They will discuss not only their methodology, but also its application in empirical case studies, covering a broad range of themes from medieval to contemporary history.

2 June

Naomi Tadmor (Lancaster)
The Settlement of the Poor and the Rise of the Form in Eighteenth-Century England

As computational linguistics shows, the concept of 'settlement' developed in England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in direct relation to the administration of the poor laws. This paper will examine the relationship between the law, civil society, and print culture, exploring how the legislation concerning the settlement of the poor, enacted in England since the seventeenth century, gave rise to an administrative system where settlement certificates and forms were increasingly employed.

Naomi Tadmor is Professor of History at Lancaster University. She is the author of Family and Friends in Eighteenth-Century England: Household, Kinship, and Patronage (2001), and The Social Universe of the English Bible: Scripture, Society and Culture in Early Modern England (2010), and co-editor of The Practice and Representation of Reading in England (1996).

23 June

Gregor Rohmann (Frankfurt a.M.)
Conceptualizing ‘Contagion’ before the Black Death. An Approach to Political Language in the Middle Ages

The lecture discusses the methodology and findings of the research project ‘Political Language in the Middle Ages. Semantic Approaches’ at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. It will present the digital tools developed by the project team for the analysis of semantic structures in medieval Latin sources based on the methodology of corpus linguistics. The lecture will focus on the concept of ‘contagion’ as a case study to demonstrate how these tools can help us to understand how semantic change evolved in general, and especially how people conceptualized power, social conflicts, and group relations in times before politics as a social subsystem emerged.

Gregor Rohmann teaches Medieval History at the University of Frankfurt a.M. and was the project manager of the research project mentioned above. His books include Tanzwut. Kosmos, Kirche und Mensch in der Bedeutungsgeschichte eines spätmittelalterlichen Krankheitskonzepts (2013); and Das Ehrenbuch der Fugger. Darstellung – Kommentar – Transkription (2004).

Seminars are held at 5.30 p.m. in the Seminar Room of the German Historical Institute.
Tea is served from 5.00 p.m. in the Common Room, and wine is available after the seminars.

Guided tours of the Library are available before each seminar at 4.30 p.m.

Download the flyer of Digital History  (PDF file)

Previous Seminars

Public Lectures

11 June

Sven Reichardt (Constance)
German Counterculture in the 1970s and 1980s

GHIL in co-operation with the Seminar in Modern German History, Institute of Historical Research, University of London

Terms such as ‘Ganzheitlichkeit’ (holism) and ‘Selbstverwirklichung’ (self-realization) were typical expressions of the counterculture of the 1970s and 1980s. The lecture gives some insights into discourses, social communication, and everyday life within the countercultural milieux of the German left.

Sven Reichardt is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Constance. His publications include Faschistische Kampfbünde: Gewalt und Gemeinschaft im italienischen Squadrismus und in der deutschen SA (2nd edn. 2009); Authentizität und Gemeinschaft: Linksalternatives Leben in den siebziger und frühen achtziger Jahren (2nd edn. 2014). He is currently working on a book on global fascism.

Download flyer (PDF file)

Previous Public Lectures