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

URI: https://www.ghil.ac.uk

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Seminars

Public Lectures

European Leo Baeck Lecture Series


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.

Capital ‒ 150 Years on: Karl Marx and the Social Sciences Today

Lecture Series | Spring Term 2018

150 years after the publication of Capital, this interdisciplinary lecture series will probe how Marx’s thinking still resonates in today’s social sciences. Four distinguished scholars will discuss their readings of Marx and their views of his significance for current and future historiography, economics, sociology, and social philosophy.

6 February

Mike Savage (London)
Karl Marx and the Twenty-First Century Analysis of Social Class

The much discussed growth of top incomes and wealth across many nations has led to a new interest in whether Marx’s emphasis on the prime class divide between bourgeois and proletarian has renewed relevance today. This lecture will review the critical arguments of economists such as Piketty, Stiglitz, and Milanovic to consider whether we can usefully detect a ‘global capitalist class’. It will further consider how we can use Marx’s concept of accumulation to give analytical insights into the nature of contemporary class formation.

Mike Savage is Martin White Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, where he is Co-Director of the International Inequalities Institute. He has long-standing interests in the analysis of social class, and his co-authored book, Social Class in the 21st Century (2015), which draws on his research on the BBC’s Great British Class Survey, has been a best-seller.

27 February

Christoph Henning (Erfurt)
Marx’s Critical Theory and its Absence in Contemporary Social Philosophy

Karl Marx started his career as a philosopher, and philosophical topics remain visible even in Capital. Twentiethcentury philosophers such as Sartre, Adorno, and Negri were often inspired by Marx, but in the twenty-first century there is not much ‘Marxism’ left in social philosophy, even in the midst of an intensified debate about capitalism. This lecture will suggest some reasons for this disappearance, such as the ‘normative’ misreadings of the later Frankfurt School. It will also present an alternative reading of Marx’s philosophy, reconstructing his work as a Critical Theory that is still impressive as a social philosophy of contemporary society.

Christoph Henning is Junior Fellow for Philosophy at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at Erfurt University. His research interests lie in social, cultural, and political philosophy, critical theory, and the history of thought. His books include Philosophy after Marx: 100 Years of Misreadings and the Normative Turn in Political Philosophy (2015), Theorien der Entfremdung zur Einführung (2015), and Marx und die Folgen (2017).

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.

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Public Lectures 2018

31 January
(5.30pm)

Daniel Speich Chassé (Lucerne)
The ‘Third World’ as an Effect of the Social Sciences

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

The lecture will analyse the history of the term ‘third world’ since the early 1950s. The guiding question is how a plural world full of economic differences turned into the orderly fiction of nation-states—ranked according to their GDP. What is the cost of quantification in global political communication?

Daniel Speich Chassé is Professor of Global History at the University of Lucerne. His research interests lie in economic history, global history, the history of knowledge, environmental history, Swiss history, and modern African history. His publications include Die Erfindung des Bruttosozialprodukts: Globale Ungleichheit in der Wissensgeschichte der Ökonomie (2013) and (co-edited with Alexander Nützenadel) Global Inequality after 2011 (2011).

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15 March
(5.30pm)

Neil Gregor (Southampton)
German Orchestras, the Volksgemeinschaft, and the Persecution of the Jews, 1933–1945

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

This lecture examines the ways in which antisemitism manifested itself in German concert life during the Nazi era. Drawing on a wide variety of examples ranging from prestige civic institutions such as the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra to small provincial theatre orchestras, it examines how the social practice of the symphony concert became inflected with the racist agendas of the National Socialist movement. It also notes, however, the presence of other social and political logics in operation in the concert hall, and argues that the underlying forms of bourgeois sociability centred on this space remained largely intact, providing a site on which forms of social distinction were maintained despite the social egalitarianism of the regime.

Neil Gregor is Professor of Modern European History at the University of Southampton. He has published widely on twentieth-century German history, including Daimler-Benz in the Third Reich (1998) and Haunted City: Nuremberg and the Nazi Past (2008), both of which won the Fraenkel Prize for Contemporary History. He is currently completing a book on the symphony concert in Nazi Germany.

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European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2017-18

The Difficulties of Writing Family History

This season’s topic intends to discuss the challenges which arise when writing a European-Jewish family history set in the historically and politically charged period of the late 19th to the mid-20th century. What scholarly problems does a writer encounter, what emotional difficulties does an author face – especially in terms of allowing the public access to one’s own personal history, and how can these challenges be dealt with?

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