German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: Tel. +44-(0)20-7309 2050

URI: www.ghil.ac.uk

 

Special event

 
 

Passing on the Microphone: Unfurling German History

Instagram Live Event Series

Special event

Ongoing series

What is German history today, and where might it be going? This is the topic that will be debated regularly, and from many different angles, in our new Instagram Live series. Each speaker will select their successor and become the next interviewer.

Venue: Instagram on our account @ghi_london

What is German history today, and where might it be going? The borders of German history as a field have become more porous and inclusive, looking at the global entanglement of the German lands from medieval to modern times. Colonial history has taken centre stage. Victim groups of Germany’s various violent pasts have long asked for recognition; these previously neglected histories are now increasingly being studied and heard. Queer and gender historians are not simply filling gaps but questioning the categories and methods of German history, as well as challenging the erasures of minoritized communities. The war in Ukraine raises new questions about Germany’s involvement in Europe’s east and its political consequences today, revealing blind spots in public knowledge about the Holocaust. Long-established ruptures have proven to be continuities on the pre- and post-1945 timeline as historians pay more attention to the history of race, racism, and antisemitism. As a result of these new histories, German memory culture is also undergoing a radical shift as an increasingly diverse society demands new forms of commemoration. We will take some of these topics as a starting point, yet we do not want to assume universality. Each of our interviewees will select and interview another expert—a model that will be continued in this new Instagram Live series. The outcome of this long-term debate is open, as historians and other people entering the conversation will reflect not simply on the past, but where the debate might go in the future.

 

Event No. 1: Brusius and Florvil

Mirjam S. Brusius interviews Tiffany N. Florvil

17 October 2023 (12.30pm UK time)

Tiffany N. Florvil is an associate professor of history at the University of New Mexico. She is a 20th century cultural historian of Germany whose work focuses on African/Black diasporic communities, internationalism, race, gender, and sexuality. Her work centers on Black Germans and their creation of new intellectual, cultural, and political practices. Florvil is currently a Joy Foundation Fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute where she is working on a manuscript about the life of May Ayim, among the most important Black German thinkers and writers of her generation.

She is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and essays and three books, most recently, Black Germany-Schwarz, deutsch, feministisch-die Geschichte einer Bewegung (Ch. Links Verlag, 2023), a German translation, and Mobilizing Black Germany: Afro-German Women and the Making of a Transnational Movement (University of Illinois Press, 2020), which won the Waterloo Centre for German Studies 2020 Book Prize, among other honors. She has received support from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the American Academy in Berlin, and others.

Mirjam S. Brusius is a cultural historian based at the GHIL with a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge and an MA from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She works on the movement of visual and material culture between Europe, Asia, and Africa: from ancient artefacts entering Western museums, to photography moving into the Islamicate world. She is also a public historian, curator, and heritage consultant.

She has written books on the photography pioneer W. H. F. Talbot (Fotografie und museales Wissen: William Henry Fox Talbot, das Altertum und die Absenz der Fotografie, 2015; William Henry Fox Talbot: Beyond Photography, 2013). Her current interest in archaeological finds in transit informs her book Objects without Status (under contract with Oxford University Press). She is also writing a popular book on the overlooked fact that the majority of museum collections are held out of sight, a follow-up to Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales from the Crypt (2018). She recently edited a special issue of the GHIL Bulletin on the future of German memory culture and co-authored an article on how photographic archives help shape ideas of ‘heritage’. She is regular contributor to important newspapers and media in Germany and the UK. Her research has been funded by the British Academy, the Fulbright Commission, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In 2022, she won the prestigious Dan David Prize.

Event No. 2: Florvil and Poutrus

Tiffany N. Florvil interviews Patrice G. Poutrus

11 March 2024 (2.30pm UK time)

The historian Dr Patrice G. Poutrus has published extensively on the economic and social history of the GDR, migration and flight in both German states during the Cold War, memories of the end of the GDR, and the political upheaval and transformation in East Germany. For several years, he was a research fellow at the (Centre for Contemporary History) in Potsdam and at the University of Erfurt. He was also Senior Fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, and held the Professorship for Contemporary History at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg as well as the Professorship for Comparative Cultural and Social Anthropology of Late Modern Societies at the Europa-Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder. Recently, he was a guest professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies at the Technische Universität Berlin. He is currently a research fellow at the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies at Osnabrück University, working on the project ‘Einwanderungsarchiv Hannover’, which involves the conception and implementation of an ‘immigration archive’ with a focus on the city’s history of migration.

Tiffany N. Florvil is an associate professor of history at the University of New Mexico. She is a 20th century cultural historian of Germany whose work focuses on African/Black diasporic communities, internationalism, race, gender, and sexuality. Her work centers on Black Germans and their creation of new intellectual, cultural, and political practices. Florvil is currently a Joy Foundation Fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute where she is working on a manuscript about the life of May Ayim, among the most important Black German thinkers and writers of her generation.

She is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and essays and three books, most recently, Black Germany-Schwarz, deutsch, feministisch-die Geschichte einer Bewegung (Ch. Links Verlag, 2023), a German translation, and Mobilizing Black Germany: Afro-German Women and the Making of a Transnational Movement (University of Illinois Press, 2020), which won the Waterloo Centre for German Studies 2020 Book Prize, among other honors. She has received support from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the American Academy in Berlin, and others.

Event No. 3: Poutrus and Alexopoulou

Patrice G. Poutrus interviews Maria Alexopoulou

26 April 2024 (1.30pm UK time)

Dr Maria Alexopoulou is a principal investigator at the Research Institute for Social Cohesionat the Center for Research on Antisemitism, at the Technische Universität Berlin and an unaffiliated lecturer at the Chair for Contemporary History at the University of Mannheim. She studied history and philosophy at Heidelberg University and holds a PhD in modern history from the Free Universität Berlin. Her main fields of research are the history of migration, the history of racism, and contemporary German and US history. Her habilitation ‘Rassistisches Wissen in der Transformation der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in eine Einwanderungsgesellschaft 1940–1990’ [Racist Knowledge in the Transformation of the Federal Republic of Germany into an Immigration Society 1940–1990] will be published in autumn 2024 by Wallstein Verlag.

Select publications:
Deutschland und die Migration: Geschichte einer Einwanderungsgesellschaft wider Willen (Ditzingen, 2020).
‘Ignoring Racism in the History of the German Immigration Society: Some Reflections on Comparison as an Epistemic Practice’, Journal for the History of Knowledge, 2/1 (2021), 1–13 (Read here)
‘Non-Citizens Protests in Germany since the 1980s’, Moving the Social, 66 (2021), 63 –87 (Read here)

The historian Dr Patrice G. Poutrus has published extensively on the economic and social history of the GDR, migration and flight in both German states during the Cold War, memories of the end of the GDR, and the political upheaval and transformation in East Germany. For several years, he was a research fellow at the (Centre for Contemporary History) in Potsdam and at the University of Erfurt. He was also Senior Fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, and held the Professorship for Contemporary History at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg as well as the Professorship for Comparative Cultural and Social Anthropology of Late Modern Societies at the Europa-Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder. Recently, he was a guest professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies at the Technische Universität Berlin. He is currently a research fellow at the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies at Osnabrück University, working on the project ‘Einwanderungsarchiv Hannover’, which involves the conception and implementation of an ‘immigration archive’ with a focus on the city’s history of migration.

 

Event No. 4: Alexopoulou and El-Tayeb

Maria Alexopoulou interviews Fatima El-Tayeb

date tba

Fatima El-Tayeb is Professor of Ethnicity, Race & Migration and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. She was previously a member of the departments of Literature and Ethnic Studies and director of Critical Gender Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She received an MA in American Studies and Modern European History and a PhD in History from the University of Hamburg, Germany. Her research interests include Black Europe, comparative diaspora studies, queer of color critique, critical Muslim studies, decolonial theory, transnational feminisms, visual culture studies, race and technology, and critical European studies. Her publications deconstruct structural racism in “colorblind” Europe and center strategies of resistance among racialized communities, especially those that politicize culture through an intersectional, queer practice.

She is the author of three books - Schwarze Deutsche. ‘Rasse’ und nationale Identität 1890 – 1933 (2001), European Others: Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe (2011) and Undeutsch. Die Konstruktion des Anderen in der postmigrantischen Gesellschaft (2016) - and numerous articles on the interactions of race, gender, sexuality, religion and nation.

Dr Maria Alexopoulou is a principal investigator at the Research Institute for Social Cohesionat the Center for Research on Antisemitism, at the Technische Universität Berlin and an unaffiliated lecturer at the Chair for Contemporary History at the University of Mannheim. She studied history and philosophy at Heidelberg University and holds a PhD in modern history from the Free Universität Berlin. Her main fields of research are the history of migration, the history of racism, and contemporary German and US history. Her habilitation ‘Rassistisches Wissen in der Transformation der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in eine Einwanderungsgesellschaft 1940–1990’ [Racist Knowledge in the Transformation of the Federal Republic of Germany into an Immigration Society 1940–1990] will be published in autumn 2024 by Wallstein Verlag.

Select publications:
Deutschland und die Migration: Geschichte einer Einwanderungsgesellschaft wider Willen (Ditzingen, 2020).
‘Ignoring Racism in the History of the German Immigration Society: Some Reflections on Comparison as an Epistemic Practice’, Journal for the History of Knowledge, 2/1 (2021), 1–13 (Read here)
‘Non-Citizens Protests in Germany since the 1980s’, Moving the Social, 66 (2021), 63 –87 (Read here)