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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Public Lectures

European Leo Baeck Lecture Series

Public Lectures Series: Urban and Elegant: The Aesthetics of Living in the Modern European City

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.

3 October

Dagmar Ellerbrock (Dresden)
Trigger-Happy Germans? How to Explain the Transformation of German Gun Culture in the Twentieth Century

German gun culture in the nineteenth century was marked by widespread ownership and use of private firearms. By the end of the twentieth century German gun culture had become regulated and moralized. How can we account for this transformation? Are emotions important for understanding why the trigger-happy German has all but disappeared? And can other societies learn lessons from this in their efforts to regulate private handguns?

Dagmar Ellerbrock is Professor of Modern History at the University of Dresden. In her research she has specialized on the American occupation of Germany after 1945 and German gun culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is the author of Healing Democracy. Demokratie als Heilmittel: Gesundheit, Krankheit und Politik in der amerikani - schen Besatzungszone 1945–1949 (2004), and Deutsche Schießwut: Zur Transformation der deutschen Waffenkultur im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert (forthcoming 2018).

17 October

Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge)
Recycling the Sacred: Material Culture and Cultural Memory after the English Reformation

This paper examines medieval liturgical artefacts that survived the English Reformation by being converted to alternative religious and secular purposes. It explores the underlying theological assumptions that legitimized such acts of ‘recycling’—they offer new insights into how Protestantism reconfigured traditions of commemoration and patterns of remembrance. The paper also considers their role in resisting religious change, in preserving tangible traces of the Catholic past, and in perpetuating and complicating social and cultural memory.

Alexandra Walsham is Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity College. She has published widely on the religious and cultural history of early modern Britain. Her recent books include The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity and Memory in Early Modern Britain and Ireland (2011) and Catholic Reformation in Protestant Britain (2014).

14 November

Jan Eckel (Tübingen)
New Perspectives on the History of International Politics in the Twentieth Century

This lecture suggests a new chronology of international politics in the twentieth century. It will argue that the century was marked by a series of transformative moments, not just the second ‘thirty years war’ followed by the Cold War. In order to understand the crucial driving forces behind international relations, historians need to focus on the interplay between superpower antagonism, anti-imperial aspirations, post-colonial attempts to create a new world order, the deep splits within the Communist world, and the multiple forms of global governance.

Jan Eckel is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Tübingen. He is the author of the prize-winning book Die Ambivalenz des Guten: Menschenrechte in der internationalen Politik seit den 1940er Jahren (2014, forthcoming in English with OUP). He has also specialized in the history of German historiography and scholarship and is currently working on a book on international politics in the twentieth century.

5 December

Frances Andrews (St Andrews)
Medieval Europe through Monastic Eyes

As global history takes centre stage, the interconnectedness of high medieval Europe might seem to be a given. Yet the widely held belief that medieval men and women lived their lives with little awareness of the world beyond their village and its fields persists. Nor do modern historians easily associate European interconnectedness with professional religious, the monks, nuns, and friars. This talk opens up an alternative view, exploring the many chapter meetings to which they travelled, how those meetings worked, and what they made of them, picturing medieval Europe through monastic eyes.

Frances Andrews is Professor of Medieval History at the University of St Andrews. Her books include The Early Humiliati (1999), The Other Friars (2006), and several edited volumes, most recently, Doubting Christianity: The Church and Doubt, co-edited with Charlotte Methuen and Andrew Spicer (2016).

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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Previous Seminars

Public Lectures 2017

12 October

Ruth Mazo Karras (Minnesota)
Thou Art the Man: King David and Masculinity

Public Lecture

Professor Ruth Mazo Karras, Distinguished Teaching Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, will give a lecture entitled: “Thou Art the Man: King David and Masculinity”

Medieval societies took a variety of approaches to male sexual activity, but adultery - the appropriation by one man of sexual rights that belonged to another man - was not considered acceptable anywhere. Examination of one story common to Christian, Jewish, and Muslim cultures, that of David and Bathsheba, allows us to see the different ways of deploying shared ideas about men's sex drive and how it contributes to ideals of manhood.

This lecture forms part of the Medieval History Seminar which takes place at the GHIL from 12 – 14 October.

If you would like to attend the public lecture, please register with Carole Sterckx sterckx(ghi) by 10 October.

30 November

Norman Domeier (Stuttgart)
The Secret Cooperation between Associated Press and Nazi Germany, 1942–1945

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

New archival evidence reveals the existence of a secret German–American cooperation between Associated Press (AP) and the Bureau Laux, an agency of the SS and the German Foreign Office, during the war years 1942 to 1945. With the permission of the Roosevelt administration, AP and the Bureau Laux exchanged approximately 40,000 photographs by diplomatic pouch via Lisbon and Stockholm on a daily basis until spring 1945. In Berlin, the AP photos were presented to Hitler and the highest Nazi leadership every day. They were then used by the German press for anti-American and anti-Semitic propaganda. Conversely, thousands of Nazi photos received by AP New York were printed in the American and international press. This presentation sheds light on what was probably the only channel of communication between these enemies during the Second World War.

Norman Domeier is Assistant Professor of Modern European History at the University of Stuttgart, on leave until March 2018 to take up a Lise Meitner Fellowship in the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna. The English edition of his Ph.D. thesis, The Eulenburg Affair: A Cultural History of Politics in the German Empire, was published in 2015. His second book / Habilitation is on ‘The Foreign Journalists in Nazi Germany, 1932–1946’.

Download flyer   (PDF file)

If not otherwise stated, lectures are held 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 lectures.

Previous Public Lectures

European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2016-17

The Legacy of the Left and Israel: 1967-2017

This season´s topic intends to discuss the complicated and multi-layered relationship of the European Left with Zionism and the State of Israel. We will examine this broad subject from a historical perspective and will shed light on the different debates in various European countries.

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Urban and Elegant: The Aesthetics of Living in the Modern European City

Public Lecture Series

Organised and introduced by Dr Anna Ananieva, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at Queen Mary University of London.

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