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 2018


  1. 1) New Director
  2. 2) Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor
  3. 3) GHIL Seminars
  4. 4) Public Lectures
  5. 5) Conferences and Workshops
  6. 6) India Centre - GHIL
  7. 7) Calls for Papers
  8. 8) GHIL at the Historikertag in Münster, 26-28 September
  9. 9) Kolloquium
  10. 10) Postgraduate Students Conference
  11. 11) Scholarship Applications

1) New Director

Christina von Hodenberg took over as Director of the GHIL on 1 September 2018. Professor von Hodenberg specialises in the social and cultural history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe. From 2006 to 2018, she taught European History at Queen Mary University London.

2) 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 Johanna Gehmacher to the position of Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor 2018/19.
Her Inaugural Lecture, to be given on 27 November 2018 at the LSE, is entitled “Translating Feminism in National and Transnational Spaces. A Biographical Perspective on Women's Movements around 1900”.
More information is available on the GHIL website.

3) GHIL Seminars

New Approaches to the History of Knowledge
Lecture Series | Autumn Term 2018
This lecture series will explore new approaches to the history of knowledge from a wide geographical and thematic angle. Addressing knowledge production in contexts ranging from medieval European societies and colonial settings to the modern challenges of climate change and the digital humanities, the talks will exemplify how these methods can be applied in a variety of disciplines.
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.
13 November
Lauren Kassell (Cambridge)
Inscriptions, Digitization, and the Shape of Knowledge: Lessons from the Casebooks Project

Day by day, around 1600, a pair of English astrologer–physicians documented their consultations, filling 30,000 manuscript pages with cases. This is one of the largest surviving sets of private medical records in history. Reflecting on what it means to create a new archive out of an old archive, this talk focuses on the Casebooks Project, a tool for searching these records. It brings together approaches from the histories of science and medicine to the production of knowledge, both on paper and in xml, with broader questions about the history of record-keeping and the nature of scholarship in the twenty-first century.
20 November
Miles Ogborn (London)
The Great Map of Mankind: The Historical Geography of Early Modern Knowledge

This talk considers the history of knowledge as a geographical problem, suggesting that where knowledge was produced matters to how it was produced and to its contents and uses. Drawing on research on the English East India Company in India and on the slave societies of the British Caribbean—and focusing on modes of communication in speech, script, and print—the talk will demonstrate the different scales, and the different sorts of spaces, places, and networks that need to be taken into account to understand the history of knowledge about Europe and the world beyond it..
4 December
Nico Stehr (Friedrichshafen)
The Atmosphere of Democracy: Will Climate Change Trump Democratic Governance?

This talk focuses on what climate change discussions may call an ‘inconvenient democracy’. This refers to the huge gap that exists between the claims of scientific knowledge and good policy. The resulting sense of political futility leads to a disenchantment with democracy and the conclusion that the state, led by experts, should be a source of security for society in the face of extreme risk and danger from climate change. The talk argues that these gloomy views about the efficacy of democracy are mistaken.
11 December
Martin Kintzinger (Münster)
History of Knowledge in the Middle Ages: Discussions and Perspectives

Moving away from the institutional and legal history of schools and universities, research on the history of knowledge has recently undergone a fundamental change. Instead of focusing on the social history of learned scholars or the traditions and challenges of education, it has started to look at knowledge systems in dynamic processes of change within contemporary societies: the construction of a learned elite; the migration of ideas; and the reception of foreign knowledge through intercultural communication. This talk will argue that global aspects of medieval history will lead to a new definition of what defined knowledge in medieval European societies.
More information on seminars is available on the GHIL website.

4) Public Lectures

11 October (5.30pm)
Neil Gregor (Southampton)
German Orchestras, the Volksgemeinschaft, and the Persecution of the Jews, 1933–1945

GHIL in co-operation with the Modern German History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
This lecture examines the ways in which antisemitism manifested itself in German concert life during the Nazi era. Drawing on a wide variety of examples ranging from prestige civic institutions such as the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra to small provincial theatre orchestras, it examines how the social practice of the symphony concert became infected with the racist agendas of the National Socialist movement. It also notes, however, the presence of other social and political logics in operation in the concert hall, and argues that the underlying forms of bourgeois sociability centred on this space remained largely intact, providing a site on which forms of social distinction were maintained despite the social egalitarianism of the regime.
18 October (6.30pm)
Benjamin Ziemann (Sheffield)
History in the Active Voice: Rethinking the German Revolution 1918/1919

This lecture will open an international conference, sponsored by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, on the German Revolution – a historical turning point at which, following the catastrophe of the Great War, soldiers and civilians rose up to overthrow the German Empire’s political and military leadership. The approaching centenary offers a timely occasion to re-evaluate its contested history and memory by focussing on the socio-cultural realm of expectations, experiences and responses.
There is a limited number of places available for this lecture which must be booked in advance. Please email Carole Sterckx by 16 October 2018 to secure your place:
21 November (5.30pm)
Jakob Vogel (Paris)
Through Humboldt’s Glasses? Latin America in European History of the Early Nineteenth Century

GHIL in co-operation with the Faculty of History, University of Oxford
Apart from Alexander von Humboldt’s voyages in the Spanish Empire and to the United States between 1799 and 1804, Latin America is rarely mentioned in the general narratives about nineteenth-century European history. But the political and cultural interactions between Europe and the Latin American world were much more important and diverse in the early nineteenth century than the standard narrative suggests. The lecture explores the ways in which the myth of Alexander von Humboldt as the ‘ideal’ German traveller focused attention on specific elements of a broader history of Latin American–European relations that were increasingly neglected by general European historiography.
More information is available on the GHIL website.

5) Conferences and Workshops

18-20 October
Living the German Revolution: Expectations, Experiences, Responses

Conveners: Christopher Dillon (King’s College London), Christina von Hodenberg (GHIL), Steven Schouten (University of Amsterdam), Kim Wünschmann (LMU München)
Venue: German Historical Institute London
15-17 November
The Global Knowledge of Economic Inequality

Convened by Felix Römer, GHIL
Venue: German Historical Institute London
More information is available on the GHIL website.

6) India Centre - GHIL

Workshops and Conferences
9-10 October
Negotiating History Education in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings

Workshop of Module TM1 History as a Political Category. Organised by Eleni Christodoulou (GEI Braunschweig)
Venue: Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), New Delhi
12-14 November
Interrogating Marginality: Education and the Urban

Workshop and masterclass for young scholars organised by the project Education and the Urban
Venue: National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore
Max Weber Lecture Series
Pauline Lipman: Title TBA
12 November at NIAS Bangalore
16 November at India International Centre, New Delhi
New Publication
TRG Poverty & Education Working Paper Series, No. 11
A.R. Venkachalapathy, From Pulavar to Professor: Politics and the Professionalization of Tamil Pandits
More information is available on the GHIL website.

7) Calls for Papers

“From the Ruins of Preservation”. A symposium on rethinking heritage through counter-archives
11-12 July 2019
Venue: German Historical Institute London
Closing date: 1 November 2018
Workshop on Medieval Germany
17 May 2019
Venue: German Historical Institute London
Closing date: 14 January 2019
More information is available on the GHIL website.

8) GHIL at the Historikertag in Münster, 26-28 September

Felix Brahm: Invektivität im kolonialen Afrika (Panel: Divided by Denigration? Invectives and the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion from Antiquity to the Present; 27 September 2018, 9am-11am)
Felix Römer: The Politics of Measurement: Inequality Knowledge in Great Britain and the Western World (Panel: The Global Knowledge of Divided Societies. The Measurement of Economic Inequality in Europe and the World since 1945; 28 September, 9am-12am)
Christina von Hodenberg: Der Don Karlos-Komplex der 68er. Familiäre Generationen und die Revolte (Panel: A Society at Breaking Point: Alternative Perspectives on the West German ‘1968’; 28 September, 11am–1pm)
More information can be found on the Historikertag website:

9) 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.
23 October (5pm)
Justus Nipperdey (Saarbrücken)

Early Modernity – Periodization and the Emergence of the Modern World in British Historiography
30 October (5pm)
Anne Göpel (Hildesheim)

Gab es eine konservativ-revolutionäre Jugendbewegung? Britische und deutsche Jugendbünde zwischen den Kriegen
6 November (5pm)
Agnes Piekacz (Bielefeld)

The Colonists’ Old Clothes. Altkleiderhandel im British Empire, ca. 1850-1910
13 November (2.30pm)
Katharina Simon (Marburg)

Friedensprozesse und Konfliktlösungsstrategien im sozialen Nahraum des frühneuzeitlichen Englands

10) Postgraduate Students Conference

The German Historical Institute London will hold its 23rd postgraduate students conference on 10-11 January 2019. 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 2018.
More information is available on the GHIL website.

11) Scholarship Applications

The closing date for scholarship applications for January to June 2019 is 30 September 2018.
More information is available on the GHIL website.