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


calendar & information

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  1. 1) Library News
  2. 2) GHIL Seminars
  3. 3) Public Lecture
  4. 4) European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2014
  5. 5) Conferences and Workshops
  6. 6) Special Event
  7. 7) Kolloquium
  8. 8) Prize of the German Historical Institute London
  9. 9) GHIL Bulletin, May 2014

1) Library News

Please note that there will be no late openings in August. During this time the library will close at 5pm on Thursdays.

2) GHIL Seminars

Inspired by a new strand of scholarship, the German Historical Institute London will mark this year’s centenary with a series of lectures that revolve around the auditory dimensions of the First World War. In order to highlight the experience and the impact of sound in history from various angles, the lecture series will take a broad approach, including perspectives from military history, media history, the history of music and the history of collective memory. The lectures will explore what the acoustics of the Great War meant for the soldiers on the battlefield and how they influenced public remembrance, popular media and the arts. The lecture series will thus probe the place of sound both in contemporary experience and the aftermath of the war.
Seminars are held at 5.30 p.m. in the Seminar Room of the German Historical Institute. Guided tours of the Library are available before each seminar at 4 p.m.
24 June (5.30pm)
Reflections of War Sounds in German Concert Halls

Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, composers in the belligerent countries began to comment on the hostilities in their works. A variety of war noises and their musical representation served as semantic symbols to express their views on the war. They did not rely primarily on the sounds of the battlefield, however, but mostly on other war-related acoustic signals, like anthems, patriotic chorales, military music and marching songs. As the war progressed, more and more tones of sorrow, grievance and denunciation entered the music. After 1918, sarcastically distorted military music and noises from military life were used to express criticism of the unprecedented carnage. The lecture will investigate the aims underlying the German composers' treatment of the sounds of war in their work. It will analyse techniques applied and discuss why the sounds of the battlefield were incorporated only to a limited degree.
15 July (5.30pm)
War, Impression, Sound and Memory. British Music and the First World War

The First World War occurred at a critical juncture in Britain’s musical history. It led to mass casualties among younger talent, whose cohort had been enjoying a new, more highly respected status as composers and performers, and further marginalized the declining influence of the Victorian pedagogues. The war’s end helped define a musical aftermath of cathartic memory from which the country’s musical institutions had to rebuild. Against this backdrop, British composers not only adopted a new cultural nationalism, but also attempted, in different ways, to represent the sights and sounds of the war in their works. The lecture will analyse how the guns of the Somme, the evocations of the dreadnought battleships, the spectre of mechanized warfare and the sounds of military signals were incorporated into British music of the time.

3) Public Lecture

8 July (5.30pm)
Textbook Controversies and the Demand for a Past: The Public Lives of Indian History

This lecture is organised by the TRG Poverty and Education at the GHI London
Venue: German Historical Institute London
The thriving public life of history in India is in inverse proportion to the dwindling interest in and development of academic history across India today. Recent debates and discussions about school textbooks allow us to return to the troubled relationship between these worlds of history writing, which will be critical to a meaningful response to the challenges faced by academic history, in schools and beyond.

4) European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2014

This season’s topic examines how the experience of the First World War reshaped Jewish history and culture and challenged perceptions of Jewish identity in the UK, Palestine, Germany and Eastern Europe.
3 July (6.30pm)
The Great War and Jewish Memory

The Great War shattered Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi’s celebrated distinction between history and memory in Jewish cultural life. Jay Winter argues that Jewish history and Jewish memory collided between 1914 and 1918 in ways which transformed both and created a new category he terms ‘historical remembrance’. The war unleashed both, centripetal forces, moving Jews to the core of their societies and centrifugal forces, dispersing huge populations of Jews in Eastern Europe and Russia, creating terrifying violence, the appearance of which was a precondition for the Holocaust 25 years later.
The lectures will be held at the German Historical Institute London. Admission is free.
More information is available on the GHIL website.

5) Conferences and Workshops

19-20 June
Remembering (Post)Colonial Violence: Silence, Suffering & Reconciliation
Venue: German Historical Institute London
14-18 July
12th Summer School in British History: 1066 – The Norman Conquest
Venue: Historisches Seminar der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
10 October
“Only doing my Duty.” Defining Perpetrators in Relation to State Sanctioned Violence
Venue: German Historical Institute London

6) Special Event

18 June (6pm)
Roundtable Debate
1914: What Historians Don’t Know about the Causes of the First World War

In cooperation with University College London and the Arts and Humanities Research Council
Chair: Mark Hewitson (UCL)
Speakers: Margaret MacMillan (Oxford)
Annika Mombauer (Open University)
Sönke Neitzel (LSE)
John Röhl (Sussex)

7) 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 June (2.30pm)

Die Elektrokrampftherapie und ihr Apparat zwischen 1938 und 1950

8) Prize of the German Historical Institute London

The Prize of the German Historical Institute London is awarded annually for an outstanding Ph.D. thesis on German history (submitted to a British or Irish university), British history (submitted to a German university), Anglo-German relations, or an Anglo-German comparative topic.
Submission deadline for this year's prize: 31 July 2014
More information on seminars is available on the GHIL website.

9) GHIL Bulletin, May 2014

The May issue of the Bulletin of the German Historical Institute London is now available online.

German Historical Institute London Bulletin  Volume XXXVI, No. 1 (May 2014)



  • Prussia and the Holy Roman Empire 1700–40 (Peter H. Wilson)

Review Article

  • How to Domesticate the History of a King: Reflections on the ‘Friederisiko’ Project (Eckhart Hellmuth)

Book Reviews

  • Katrin Beyer, Witz und Ironie in der politischen Kultur Englands im Hochmittelalter: Interaktionen und Imaginationen (Stephen Mossman)
  • John R. Davis, Stefan Manz, and Margrit Schulte Beerbühl (eds.), Transnational Networks: German Migrants in the British Empire, 1670–1914 (Angela Schwarz)
  • Avi Lifschitz, Language and Enlightenment: The Berlin Debates of the Eighteenth Century (Iwan-Michelangelo d’Aprile)
  • Oliver Zimmer, Remaking the Rhythms of Life: German Communities in the Age of the Nation-State (Friedrich Lenger)
  • Perry Myers, German Visions of India, 1871–1918: Commandeering the Holy Ganges during the Kaiserreich (Douglas T. McGetchin)
  • David S. Bird, Nazi Dreamtime: Australian Enthusiasts for Hitler’s Germany ; Andrew Francis, ‘To Be Truly British We Must Be Anti-German’: New Zealand, Enemy Aliens and the Great War Experience, 1914–1919 (Daniel Marc Segesser)
  • Benjamin Ziemann, Contested Commemorations: Republican War Veterans and Weimar Political Culture (Christoph Nübel)
  • Moritz Föllmer, Individuality and Modernity in Berlin: Self and Society from Weimar to the Wall (Joseph Ben Prestel)
  • Jost Hermand, Culture in Dark Times: Nazi Fascism, Inner Emigration, and Exile (Anselm Heinrich)
  • Steve Hochstadt, Exodus to Shanghai: Stories of Escape from the Third Reich ; Bei Gao, Shanghai Sanctuary: Chinese and Japanese Policy toward European Jewish Refugees during World War II (Thoralf Klein)
  • Christoph Laucht, Elemental Germans: Klaus Fuchs, Rudolf Peierls and the Making of British Nuclear Culture 1939–59 (Dieter Hoffmann)
  • Anne Fuchs, After the Dresden Bombing: Pathways of Memory, 1945 to the Present (Jörg Arnold)
  • Mike Dennis and Jonathan Grix, Sport under Communism: Behind the East German ‘Miracle’ (Uta Balbier)

Conference Reports

  • Cooperation and Empire (Tamara Braun)
  • Magna Carta 1215: History and Myth (Christopher Kast)
  • Medieval History Seminar (Matthew Champion and Julia Crispin)
  • Swan Songs? Reconsidering the Death of Industrial Britain (ca. 1970–90) (Jörg Arnold)
  • The World During the First World War: Perceptions, Experiences, and Consequences (Larissa Schmid)
  • Eleventh Workshop on Early Modern Central European History (Martin Christ)
  • The Consumer on the Home Front: Second World War Civilian Consumption in Comparative Perspective (Jan Logemann)

Library News

  • Recent Acquisitions