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 2016


  1. 1) Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor
  2. 2) GHIL Seminars
  3. 3) Public Lecture
  4. 4) Conferences and Workshops
  5. 5) Call for Papers
  6. 6) Kolloquium
  7. 7) Postgraduate Students' Conference
  8. 8) Scholarship Applications
  9. 9) New Publication

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 Dominik Geppert, Professor of modern and contemporary history at the University of Bonn, to the position of Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor 2016/17. Professor Geppert will join the staff of the GHIL from 1 October.

2) GHIL Seminars

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 4.30 p.m.
25 October
Mathew Thomson (Warwick)
The Closest Thing to a Religion? a Cultural History of the NHS

Britain’s National Health Service has been described as the closest thing the British people have to a religion. But the cultural history of the institution has attracted surprisingly little attention. This lecture examines the cultural representation and meaning of the NHS since its foundation in 1948. Was the NHS really the closest thing to a religion? If so, how and when did this come about? And what are the implications of a cultural history of the NHS for how we think about the history of the NHS itself and for our understanding of post-war British history?
8 November
Vanessa Harding (London)
Wealth and Inequality in Early Modern London

The economic and demographic expansion of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century London increased the numbers of both super-rich and very poor, and also encouraged the emergence of a professional and commercial ‘middling sort’. It is less easy to assess the size of the gap between rich and poor and whether and how much it was changing. This talk will investigate some of the sources for measuring and mapping wealth and inequality and will explore the changing relations between the rich and the comfortably-off and their poorer neighbours.
22 November
Harald Fischer-Tiné (Zurich)
‘Keep them pure, fit, and brotherly!’: The Indian YMCA’s ‘Army Work’ in the Great War (1914–1920)

The outbreak of the First World War was hailed by American YMCA secretaries working in India as presenting ‘overwhelming opportunities’ to enlarge the association’s activities and boost its general popularity. This lecture takes stock of the wide spectrum of the Y’s activities, and it addresses the question of the underlying objectives and wider impact of the Y’s humanitarian ‘war work’ schemes.
More information on seminars is available on the GHIL website.

3) Public Lecture

19 October (5.30pm)
Miriam Rürup (Hamburg)
Imagining Remigration and Return: The Experience of Statelessness and the Idea of Universal Belonging in Postwar Germany

After 1945 the situation of a huge group of displaced persons was uncertain. Roughly 10,000 out of 280,000 displaced persons living in Germany in 1948 were stateless. Until a law confirming their legal status as homeless foreigners was passed in the FRG in April 1951, these DPs were defined as homeless, stateless foreigners under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. While the ‘right to have a nationality’ was part of the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, the question of how to deal with stateless people remained unresolved. Different and partly contradictory concepts of how to overcome statelessness competed in the early postwar era. This lecture will explore these concepts, which included practices of forced repatriation in the early postwar months, the Zionist idea of a return to the ‘homeland’, and notions of universal belonging such as World Citizenship.
More information is available on the GHIL website.

4) Conferences and Workshops

29-30 September
The Allied Occupation of Germany Revisited: New Research on the Western Zones of Occupation, 1945-1949
Conveners: Dr Christopher Knowles (King’s College London), Dr Camilo Erlichman (Edinburgh/Cologne) German Historical Institute, London
Venue: German Historical Institute London
10-11 November
Pop Nostalgia: The Uses of the Past in Popular Culture
Joint Workshop with the BSSH South Sport and Leisure History Network
Venue: German Historical Institute London
More information is available on the GHIL website.

5) Call for Papers

Moralising Commerce in a Globalising World – Multidisciplinary approaches to a history of economic conscience, 1600-1900
22-24 June 2017
Venue: German Historical Institute London
Closing date: 15 November 2016
The Long End of the First World War. Ruptures, Continuities and Memories
8-10 May 2017
Venue: Herrenhausen Palace, Herrenhäuser Straße 4A, 30419 Hannover, Germany
Closing date: 1 November 2016
More information is available on the GHIL website.

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.
27 September (3pm)
Manuel Geist (Freiburg)

An den Schnittstellen der Macht. Französische und britische Russlandexperten und die Beziehungen zu Russland 1890-1924
John Carter Wood (Mainz)
Christliche Intellektuelle in Großbritannien und die europäischen Krisen der 1930er und 1940er Jahre
25 October (2.30pm)
Philipp Vogler (Karlsruhe)

Entwicklung und Einsatz militärischer Luftbildphotographie in Deutschland (1918-1945)
8 November (2.30pm)
Alexandra Esche (TU Berlin)

Under a Cloak of Civility: Bourgeois Answers to the ‘Jewish Question’ in London and Berlin (1890-1914)
22 November (2.30pm)
Robert Raman (Göttingen)

From Girangaon to ‘Mini Pakistan’: The Precarious Place of Working Muslims in Twentieth Century Bombay

7) Postgraduate Students' Conference

The German Historical Institute London will hold its 21th postgraduate students' conference on 12-13 January 2017. Its intention is to give postgraduate research students in the UK and Ireland working on German history an opportunity to present their work-in-progress, and to discuss it with other students working in the same field.
Closing date for applications is 30 November 2016.
More information is available on the GHIL website.

8) Scholarship Applications

Deadline for scholarship applications for 2017 is 30 September 2016.
More information is available on the GHI website.

9) New Publication

Markus Mösslang and Helen Whatmore (eds.):, British Envoys to the Kaiserreich, 1871-1897. Volume I: 1871-1883 (Camden Fifth Series, 51)
      Cambridge: Cambridge University Press for the Royal Historical Society in association with the German Historical Institute London, 2016.
Volume I of British Envoys to the Kaiserreich, the follow up series of British Envoys to Germany, presents official diplomatic reports from the British embassy at Berlin (German Empire) and from the diplomatic missions in Darmstadt, Dresden, Stuttgart, and Munich during the years 1871 to 1883. The volume is an open access volume and can be freely shared and used under the terms of a Creative Commons licence.
More information on the British Envoys series is available here.