German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
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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.

10 February

David d’Avray (London)
Medieval and Early Modern Catholicism: How Different were They?

The paper focuses on the implications of the Congregazione del Concilio, which was responsible for implementing the decrees of the Council of Trent and, in practice, for most other high-level non-dogmatic religious decision-making for centuries after the Council. It will explore the relation between the kind of law generated by the Congregazione del Concilio’s decisions and the Canon Law derived from the Middle Ages, and whether the relation between hierarchy and condensed symbolism that characterized the medieval church continued unchanged in the early modern period.

David d’Avray is Professor of Medieval History at UCL. He has written on the history of mendicant, memorial, and marriage preaching; on the social influence of marriage symbolism; and on the history and sociology of rationality in its Weberian sense. His most recent book is Dissolving Royal Marriages: A Documentary History (2014).

17 February

Harriet Rudolph (Regensburg)
Entangled Objects? The Material Culture of Cross-Cultural Negotiations: Habsburg–Ottoman Diplomacy (1527–1648)

The lecture examines the various forms, functions, and semantics of objects in diplomatic interaction between representatives of the Habsburg Empire and the Ottoman Empire. It applies the methods of Material Culture Studies to the fields of diplomacy, foreign policy, and international law. The lecture thus aims at a more profound understanding of individual political processes of negotiation between these two empires in peace and war.

Harriet Rudolph is Professor of Early Modern History at Regensburg University. She specializes in European political cultures, the history of diplomacy, and material cultures. Her publications include Eine gelinde Regierungsart. Peinliche Strafjustiz im geistlichen Territorium: Das Hochstift Osnabrück, 1716–1803 (2001); and Das Reich als Ereignis: Formen und Funktionen der Herrschaftsinszenierung bei Kaiserauftritten, 1558–1618 (2011).

3 March

Alexander Nützenadel (Berlin)
Capitalism from Below: Urban Real Estate Markets and Homeownership in Europe around 1900

The lecture explores the dynamics of urban real estate markets in Europe around 1900, a period characterized by brisk urbanization and the emergence of novel financial instruments. It will argue that ordinary people learned the rules and dynamics of modern capitalism through homeownership. By analysing real estate markets, we can understand the history of capitalism from below.

Alexander Nützenadel is Professor of Social and Economic History at the Humboldt University, Berlin. His general area of research is the social and economic history of Europe since the late eighteenth century. More recently, his research has focused on the role of clientelism and corruption in modern societies, urban real estate markets, and the history of globalization in the twentieth century. He is the author of Stunde der Ökonomen: Wissenschaft, Experten kultur und Politik in der Bundesrepublik 1949–74 (2005).

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 list of Seminars Spring 2015 (PDF file)

Previous Seminars

Public Lectures

4 February

Frank Bösch (Potsdam)
Fault Lines of Modernity: Global Effects of Regional Events at the End of the 1970s

GHIL in co-operation with the Faculty of History, University of Oxford

In 1979 many global events contested the basic beliefs of modernity: religious mass movements challenged authoritarian regimes (as in Iran, Poland, and Nicaragua); nuclear accidents or political decisions led to mass protests and fears (as after Harrisburg, Nato Double-Track, Soviets in Afghanistan); spectacular changes of government led to new economic models (as in China and Britain); and the perception of history changed after the TV event ‘Holocaust’. Such events had a regional background and were apparently contingent and disconnected. However, they immediately had a global impact and interacted as fault lines of modernity. The lecture analyses their transnational impact from a German perspective and suggests a different approach to writing global contemporary history.

Frank Bösch is Professor of Twentieth-Century European History at the University of Potsdam and Director of the Centre for Contemporary History (ZZF). He is the author of Mass Media and Historical Change: Germany in International Perspective, 1400–2000 (forthcoming, 2015); a history of the Christian Democratic Party in West Germany; and a monograph on political scandals in Germany and Britain, 1880 to 1914. Currently he is writing a book on global events and transformations of the late 1970s. in

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12 March

Uffa Jensen (Berlin)
Did Freud Really Invent Psychoanalysis? A Global History in Berlin, London, and Calcutta 1910–1940

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

The lecture discusses the transnational history of psychoanalysis by examining therapeutic practices in Berlin, London, and Calcutta. By situating the major protagonists in a wider therapeutic culture, complex issues of the diffusion of knowledge and practices emerge. Studying a non-Western setting like Calcutta challenges many assumptions about the history of psychoanalysis, among them Freud’s pivotal role in it.

Uffa Jensen is a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. He is currently writing a global history of psychoanalysis from the perspective of the history of emotions. His publications include Das Selbst zwischen Anpassung und Befreiung: Psychowissen und Politik im 20. Jahrhundert, edited with Maik Tändler (2012); and Rationalisierungen des Gefühls: Zum Verhältnis von Wissenschaft und Emotionen 1880–1930, edited with Daniel Morat (2008).

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Previous Public Lectures