German Historical Institute London

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Public Lectures 2015

4 February
(5.30pm)

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.

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11 June
(5.30pm)

Sven Reichardt (Constance)
German Counterculture in the 1970s and 1980s

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

Terms such as ‘Ganzheitlichkeit’ (holism) and ‘Selbstverwirklichung’ (self-realization) were typical expressions of the counterculture of the 1970s and 1980s. The lecture gives some insights into discourses, social communication, and everyday life within the countercultural milieux of the German left.

Sven Reichardt is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Constance. His publications include Faschistische Kampfbünde: Gewalt und Gemeinschaft im italienischen Squadrismus und in der deutschen SA (2nd edn. 2009); Authentizität und Gemeinschaft: Linksalternatives Leben in den siebziger und frühen achtziger Jahren (2nd edn. 2014). He is currently working on a book on global fascism.

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3 September
(6pm)

Dan Diner (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
'Rites of Reserve: The German-Israeli Encounter in Luxemburg 1952'

Keynote Lecture to the German History Society Annual Conference 2015

The lecture presents, using historical-anthropological 'thick description', the diplomatic scene in Luxemburg on 10 September 1952 at the point when the treaty on restitution was signed between Germany and Israel. It interprets this short scene as an originating act of German-Jewish rapprochement after 1945. At the same time, this public act crystallized a collective transformation of Jews after the Holocaust, involving the exorcising of everything that was German.

Dan Diner is Professor of Modern History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is Principal Investigator of the ERC-Advanced Grant Project Judging Histories – Experience, Representation, and Judgment of World War II in an Age of Globalization. From 1999 to 2014 he served as well as Director of the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University. He has published numerous books on the history of the twentieth century, the Middle East and German History, especially the history of National Socialism and the Holocaust, as well as Jewish History. Among his numerous publications are Beyond the Conceivable. Studies on Germany, Nazism and the Holocaust (University of California Press, 2000) and Cataclysms. A History of the Twentieth Century from Europe’s Edge (The University of Wisconsin Press, 2008 [1999]). Professor Diner also co-founded and co-edited from 1988-1998 the journal History & Memory: Studies in Representation of the Past. His most recent publication is Rituelle Distanz. Israels deutsche Frage (DVA, 2015).

10 December
(5.30pm)

Klaus Weinhauer (Bielefeld)
The Return of the ‘Many-Headed Hydra’? Protest, Social Movements, and Violence in the Phase of Global Upheaval (c.1916–23)

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

The years between 1916 and 1923 saw multiple and overlapping upheavals around the globe. Labour historians have studied the strikes and social movements while other historians have discussed the revolutionary, social, and consumer protests of this phase. However, we still lack globally orientated integrative studies of these important years. Starting from a social and cultural historical translocal perspective, the lecture will suggest a space-sensitive re-interpretation of this phase, focused on the struggle about local order in a phase of global change.

Klaus Weinhauer is Professor of Modern History at Bielefeld University. He recently co-edited Germany 1916–23: A Revolution in Context (2015), and a special journal issue on terrorism, gender, and history (2014). Currently he is working on two books. One is about urban violence in the USA and Latin America during the twentieth century, and the other analyses the phase of global upheaval between c.1916 and 1923.

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