German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2050
Fax: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2055 / 7404 5573


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Postgraduate Students Conference

The German Historical Institute London held its 21st postgraduate students conference on 12-13 January 2017. Its intention was to give postgraduate research students in the UK and Ireland working on German history an opportunity to present their work-in-progress, and to discuss it with other students working in the same field. The Institute also introduced the participants to its role as a research centre for German history in London and to the facilities it offers (conference and lecture programme, library etc.) as well as to the Institute's Research Fellows.

In selecting students to give a presentation, preference was given to those in their second or third year who had already spent a period of research in Germany. Fifteen projects in all were introduced in plenary sessions chaired by the GHIL research fellows. Papers were devoted to the Thirty Years War, the late eighteenth century, Imperial Germany, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, and the history of the GDR. The majority of papers concentrated on the twentieth century, but there were a substantial number of presentations on earlier periods as well. Participants gave a short summary of their work containing general ideas, leading questions, sources, initial findings, and this was followed by a discussion.

As well as discussing their subjects and methodologies, the participants exchanged information about practical difficulties such as how to locate sources, and finding one's way around German archives. On the morning of the first day, Dr Dorothea McEwan, the former archivist of the Warburg Institute, gavet a course on German handwriting. Attended by most participants the palaeography course was welcomed as a very valuable introduction to the study of old manuscripts and records. The German Historical Institute can also offer support by facilitating contact with German archives and providing letters of introduction which may be necessary for students to gain access to archives or specific source collections.

The coffee and lunch breaks offered ample opportunity for informal contact and networking. On Thursday evening all participants were invited to a reception to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of this event which has become the Institute’s traditional academic start to the new year.

Next year's postgraduate students conference, which is open to all postgraduate students enrolled at a British or Irish university, will take place from Thursday 11 to Friday 12 January 2018. If you are interested in attending, please register with the Secretary (email: abellamy(ghi) before 30 November 2017 and include the following details:

  • full contact details (including email address and telephone number),
  • the exact title of your project,
  • the date you started your project,
  • the name, address, email address and phone number of your university and supervisor,
  • confirmation whether you have undertaken research in Germany.

Please note that all 2nd and 3rd year students are encouraged to present a paper on their PhD project. Applicants will be contacted as soon as possible.

On the morning of Thursday 11 January 2018 a course on paleography to read German handwriting is planned. If you are interested in taking part in the Thursday morning course, please confirm your attendance in your registration.

Please note that accommodation and/or travel reimbursement claims can only be considered for those eligible and who attend the entire event.

Archived Conference Programmes

These archived conference programmes are available as PDF files:

21st Postgraduate Students Conference, 7-8 January 2017
20th Postgraduate Students Conference, 7-8 January 2016

19th Postgraduate Students Conference, 8-9 January 2015
18th Postgraduate Students Conference, 9-10 January 2014
17th Postgraduate Students Conference, 10-11 January 2013
16th Postgraduate Students Conference, 12-13 January 2012
15th Postgraduate Students Conference, 13-14 January 2011
14th Postgraduate Students Conference, 14-16 January 2010
13th Postgraduate Students Conference, 15-17 January 2009
12th Postgraduate Students Conference, 10-12 January 2008
11th Postgraduate Students Conference, 11-13 January 2007