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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GHIL NEWSLETTER September 2013


  1. 1) Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor
  2. 2) GHIL Seminars
  3. 3) Public Lectures
  4. 4) Conferences and Workshops
  5. 5) Special Event
  6. 6) Kolloquium
  7. 7) Scholarship Applications

1) Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor

The German Historical Institute London (GHIL), the International History Department of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and the Gerda Henkel Foundation in Düsseldorf have appointed historian Dorothee Wierling to the position of Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor 2013/14.

Her Inaugural Lecture, to be given on 22 October 2013 at the GHIL, is entitled “Coffee Worlds: Global Players and Local Actors in 20th-Century Germany”.

2) GHIL Seminars

Seminars are held at 5.30 p.m. in the Seminar Room of the German Historical Institute. Tea is served from 5 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.
15 October (5.30pm)
The Real American Empire

This seminar reassesses American imperial history from 1783 to 1945 and traces its aftermath up to the invasion of Iraq. It will argue that the conventional label of an ‘American empire’ describing the USA during the era of superpower dominance after 1945 is a misnomer: the real ‘American empire’ was acquired in 1898 and dismantled after the Second World War.
12 November (5.30pm)
Twentieth-Century German History Revisited: Historiography and Personal Experience from an Anglo-German Perspective

This seminar reconsiders Germany’s history in the twentieth century, seen in parallel with Britain’s from a contemporary Anglo-German perspective. It relates findings from personal experience of life in Germany from the 1950s to the 1970s as well as insights from private memoirs and interviews to the existing historiographical knowledge of the diverging paths of the two countries.
19 November (5.30pm)
Lost in Translation or the Production of Silence: Colonial Scandals in the German Empire

This seminar discusses a colonial scandal which occurred in the German colony of Togo and attracted considerable attention in Imperial Germany. It analyses the social, economic, and political background to the events in Togo as well as the coverage in Germany, focusing on what was left out in the reporting and how silence can bear significance.
26 November (5.30pm)
Beyond Exclusivism: On the Three Rings, the Three Impostors, and the Discourse of Multiplicity during the Middle Ages

Are monotheistic religions intolerant by nature? This question has been widely discussed with special attention to historical events such as the Crusades, the Inquisition, and jihad between 600 and 1500. This seminar discusses religious diversity during the Middle Ages, reassessing the well-known stories of the three rings and the three impostors.

3) Public Lectures

Public Lectures

2 October (6.30pm)
Cosmopolitanism and the Jews

Leo Baeck Institute Lecture
The newest buzzword for globalization is cosmopolitanism. As with many such reuses of older concepts, cosmopolitanism has a complex history, specifically in the German-speaking lands. It is this history and its relationship to the history of German Jewry from the Enlightenment to the Holocaust that will be examined — in a global and perhaps even cosmopolitan manner.
10 October (6pm)
Percy Ernst Schramm goes to the movies: some aspects of medieval modernity

Attendance by prior registration only: please contact Carole Sterckx by 7 October (
6 November (5.30pm)
Bringing the Dead Back In: Mapping Military Casualties of the Great War on Civil Society

GHIL in co-operation with the Faculty of History, University of Oxford
How did the carnage of the First World War imprint society? Modern historiography has looked at the death and dying of soldiers from military, social, and cultural perspectives. Surprisingly, however, few attempts have been made systematically to analyse the social profile of ‘fallen’ soldiers and the consequences of their death within the context of civil society. The lecture draws on a research project based at the University of Osnabrück which collects complete sets of personal data of soldiers who lost their lives during the First World War for selected urban and rural areas, and projects their death onto their last known address before enlistment. This approach allows for a detailed reconstruction of the war’s impact on German society, facilitating comparative analysis across time, space, and various frames of reference. Data from Aachen and Osnabrück shows differences in the distribution of casualties in military and civil contexts, variations in regional patterns, and discrepancies between national narratives and local experience.

4) Conferences and Workshops

10-12 October
Medieval History Seminar
Venue: German Historical Institute London
17-18 October
Swan Songs? Reconsidering the Death of Industrial Britain (ca. 1970-1990)
Venue: German Historical Institute London
28-30 October 2013
The World During the First World War: Perceptions, Experiences, and Consequences
Herrenhausen Symposium
Venue: Herrenhausen Palace, Herrenhäuser Straße 4A, 30419 Hannover, Germany
15 November
Eleventh Workshop on Early Modern German History
Venue: German Historical Institute London
28-30 November
Writing the Lives of the Poor
Venue: German Historical Institute London

5) Special Event

11 November (5.15pm)
The Suez Canal and World History

A Roundtable on Valeska Huber, Channelling Mobilities: Migration and Globalisation in the Suez Canal Region and Beyond 1869-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
Venue: Montague Room, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

6) Kolloquium

The research seminar in German language offers an opportunity for the GHIL’s scholarship-holders to present and discuss their research projects. It can also serve as a general forum for British and German PhD-students and post-docs to discuss their work in progress.
24 September (5pm)

Engagement für die "Dritte Welt". Die Entwicklungs-NGOs War on Want und Christian Aid und ihre emotionalen Praktiken in der britischen Gesellschaft, 1965-1990
8 October (3pm)

Psychologie im Ersten Weltkrieg. Deutschland und Großbritannien im Vergleich
Intelligenz im Kalten Krieg. Zur Geschichte einer sozialen Unterscheidung
15 October (2.30pm)

Die Produktion eines Pharmakons. Eine Kartographie der Kala-Azar und der Antimonialien
22 October (2.30pm)

Shifting Patterns of Unrest – The Jute Mill Belt of Bengal between the late 1920s and the late 1940s
29 October (3pm)

Nuremberg and the Rural Nobility in the Fifteenth Century
Bilder und ihre Orte - Das Garterbuch des Herolds Thomas Wriothesley
5 November (5pm)

Sozial- und Kulturgeschichte des kollektiven Wirtschaftens in Westeuropa in den 1970er und 1980er Jahren
12 November (2.30pm)

Schuld – Recht – Gerechtigkeit: Begnadigungspraktiken in der Moderne
19 November (2.30pm)

Zwischenstaatliche Tribunale. Formen völkerrechtlicher Konfliktlösung (1794-1930)
26 November (2.30pm)

Konfrontation und Interaktion. Staatsbesuche zwischen Nationalsozialismus und Faschismus 1931-1944

7) Scholarship Applications

Deadline for scholarship applications for 2014 is 30 September 2013.