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) New Working Group 'Medialization and Empowerment'
  2. 2) New Staff
  3. 3) GHIL Seminars
  4. 4) Public Lectures
  5. 5) Conferences and Workshops
  6. 6) Call for Papers
  7. 7) Summer School
  8. 8) India Centre Event
  9. 9) Exhibition
  10. 10) Kolloquium
  11. 11) Prize of the German Historical Institute London
  12. 12) New Publications
  13. 13) GHIL Bulletin, May 2019

1) New Working Group 'Medialization and Empowerment'

A new research group on feminism and medialization has taken up its work at the German Historical Institute. It will explore the correlations between women’s emancipation movements and the rise of mass media during the long 20th century with a deliberately global and transnational approach. Different disciplines such as media studies, political and social history, gender studies and sociology will be brought into dialogue, focussing on examples from 20th century Britain, Germany, India and beyond. The International Standing Working Group (ISWG) will run until 2022 and will be coordinated by historian of feminism Dr Jane Freeland from 1 July 2019. The first workshops, bringing together doctoral, postdoctoral and senior researchers, will take place at the GHIL on 21-23 November 2019 and 7-8 February 2020. Partners include the Max Weber foundation branch office in New Delhi, the GHIs in Washington, Rome and Beirut, and the London School of Economics. More information will be available on the GHIL website shortly.

2) New Staff

The GHIL welcomes its new colleagues Stephan Bruhn (Medieval History) and Jenny Pleinen (Modern History).

3) GHIL Seminars

Seminars are held at 5.30 p.m. in the Seminar Room of the German Historical Institute (unless indicated otherwise). Guided tours of the Library are available before each seminar at 4.30 p.m.
Contested Histories
Seminar Series | Summer Term 2019
The silenced social challenges of regime change, the teaching of history during local conflicts, Holocaust remembrance in post-colonial societies, the transatlantic slave trade, and imperial collecting in museums — the topics covered in this series will explore histories that, even if not always contested at the time, have become so in recent years. Speakers will debate how these difficult histories around the globe are embraced, remembered, but also very often kept under wraps.
7 May (5.30pm)
Slavery's Past and Present: Challenges to Academic Research and Museum Work in Germany and Britain

How can museums and historians reappraise traumatic and partly hidden histories such as slavery, and offer opportunities to enable dialogue about events that society finds uncomfortable? Historian Rebekka von Mallinckrodt, University of Bremen, will first address the little explored topic of trafficked people and related legal concepts in the Holy Roman Empire, a state not usually associated with slaves. Although on the margins of the transatlantic slave trade, eighteenth-century Germany was deeply involved in it. Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, will then argue that museums of slavery should not only become platforms for dialogue on decolonizing the past and collection practices, but also develop new ways of power-sharing with publics and communities. The talks will be followed by a commentary by historian Catherine Hall, UCL. Chaired by Felix Brahm, GHIL.
11 June (5.30pm)
Multidirectional Memory?: National Holocaust Memorials and (Post-)Colonial Legacies
Venue and Collaborator: Institute of Advanced Studies, Common Ground (G11), Wilkins Building (South Wing), Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

How do colonial history, the Second World War, and the Holocaust intersect? As Britain embarks on the creation of a National Holocaust Memorial, calls have been made for a memorial to and a museum of Britain’s historical involvement in slavery, its colonial past, and their legacies. Meanwhile, scholarship such as Michael Rothberg’s Multidirectional Memory has argued that Holocaust remembrance also has the potential to open up routes for commemorating other contested national pasts. This panel will enable a dialogue between scholars of the Holocaust, colonialism, and the British Empire to reflect on national and transnational legacies. With Avril Alba, Sydney, Yasmin Khan, Oxford, and Tom Lawson, Northumbria. Chaired by Tamar Garb, IAS London.
Please register for this event on the IAS website.
18 June (5.30pm)
Who owns Public History?: Two Talks on History Textbooks in Conflicted Societies

Who owns public history and on what grounds? How does the historian relate to public debates? Across spatial and temporal conflict contexts, debates about the content and role of history textbooks are sensitive, highly political, and often notable for their interminability. Developing a theoretical approach, political scientist Eleni Christodoulou, Georg Eckert Institute, Brunswick, will embrace ‘educational anxieties’ by offering a framework for analysing securitization dynamics that successfully resist and prevent textbook revisions as part of peace-building processes in Cyprus and Lebanon. Neeladri Bhattacharya, former Chief Adviser of the National Council for Education Research and Training in India, will then explore how contested claims of caste and class, region and nation, are played out on the site of history textbooks in India. Chaired by Nandini Manjrekar, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
25 June (5.30pm)
From Collected to Contested: The Future of Museums after the Repatriation Debate

European museums have recently come under increasing pressure to repatriate objects from colonial times. But where do we go from here? Does repatriation naturally entail ‘decolonizing the museum’, or might it even prevent museums from doing just that? This panel will discuss what decolonization in the museum might actually mean. How do recent debates fit into the bigger picture of engaging with uncomfortable collecting histories? How could embracing these histories enable marginal and multiple voices to have a say? With Subhadra Das, Curator, UCL, Clémentine Deliss, Curator and Author, Tristram Hunt, Director, V&A, and Alice Procter, Tour Guide and Art Historian. Chaired by Mirjam Brusius, GHIL.
3 July (7pm)
Closing Event ‘Zingster Strasse 25’
Venue and Collaborator: Goethe Institute London, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2PH

To address the urgent need for living space in the 1950s the GDR government introduced new housing projects based on prefabricated concrete slabs, the so-called Plattenbau. Erected on the outskirts of East Berlin, Zingster Straße 25 in Neu-Hohenschönhausen was one of them and it was completed in 1987. Three decades later the artist Sonya Schönberger visits some of the tenants. Who is still around, and who has moved in since? Her interviews, read by performers Johanna Malchow and Ingo Tomi, tell not just personal stories of daily life in the GDR, but also bear witness to the regime change of 1989, and the often challenging and still under-debated aftermath of social change in a unified Germany. The performance is introduced by Christina von Hodenberg, Director, GHIL.
More information on seminars is available on the GHIL website.

4) Public Lectures

9 May (5.15pm for 5.45pm)
Martin Mulsow (Erfurt/Gotha)
Die Illuminaten, Schiller und die Anfänge des Kantianismus

English Goethe Society lecture
In the years after 1784, the centre of the Order of Illuminati, which had been founded by Adam Weishaupt in Bavaria, moved to Central Germany. Now this secret society was active in Gotha, Weimar, and somewhat later in Jena, no longer working against reigning princes, but, at least in Gotha, together with them. The lecture will focus on the small Illuminati group in Jena, which met from 1785 to 1788. It consisted mainly of law students, whose meetings we can reconstruct on the basis of unpublished protocols and lecture scripts. The remarkable thing about this group is that it was closely bound up with the beginning reception of the work of Immanuel Kant and paved the way for its broad impact in the thought of Friedrich Schiller and German Idealism.
Open to the general public. No registration necessary. Please note that the lecture will be delivered in German.

21 May (5.30pm)
Thomas Mergel (Berlin)
Modern Revolutions: The History of a Mimesis

The idea of the modern revolution rests on the idea that all individual revolutions are part of one great and all-embracing movement and this is why, in the nineteenth-century, ‘the’ revolution became singular. Marx’s philosophy of history is pivotal in this respect. The lecture conceptualizes the idea of a ‘script’ of the revolution, and discusses how the history of the modern revolution can be grasped as the history of a tradition and, in practical terms, as the history of a constant mimesis. It also pursues the problem of how, in the course of the twentieth century, this script began to fade, as revolutions resembled the Marxian concept less and less, so that today we again speak of a plurality of revolutions.
6 June (5.30pm)
Maren Möhring (Leipzig)
Travelling around the World: Mass Entertainment in the ‘Haus Vaterland’ in Berlin

Annual Lecture of the German History Society. GHIL in co-operation with the Modern German History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
In 1928 a consortium headed by the internationally renowned wine merchant Kempinksi opened a huge entertainment complex at the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. It consisted not only of a cinema and ballroom, but also of several themed restaurants—among them a Spanish bodega, a Japanese tea room, a Wild West bar, and a Viennese wine tavern. ‘Haus Vaterland’, despite its patriotic name, promised to assemble ‘the world under one roof’ and in this sense borrowed from the World’s Fair imaginaries. Investigating how ‘the world’ was arranged and performed in one of the most prominent places of public entertainment in Weimar Germany can help us better to understand how knowledge and imaginations about ‘the world’ were produced, circulated, and experienced, and how they shaped modern mass entertainment.
More information is available on the GHIL website.

5) Conferences and Workshops

17 May
Workshop on Medieval Germany

Organised by the German Historical Institute London in co-operation with the German Historical Institute Washington and the German History Society.
Conveners: Len Scales (Durham University) and Cornelia Linde (GHIL)
Venue: German Historical Institute London
30-31 May
Advertising and Marketing in the Early Modern World (1400-1800)

Workshop jointly organized by the German Historical Institute London, the Institute of Advanced Study at University College London, and the University of Tübingen
Conveners: Christina Brauner (Tübingen) in cooperation with Michael Schaich (GHIL)
Venue: German Historical Institute London
11-12 July
From the Ruins of Preservation: A Symposium on Rethinking Heritage Through Counter-Archives

Co-organized by Rodney Harrison (AHRC Heritage Priority Area Leadership Fellow/Professor of Heritage Studies at the UCL Institute of Archaeology) and Mirjam Brusius (Research Fellow in Colonial and Global History) German Historical Institute of London.
Venue: German Historical Institute London
More information is available on the GHIL website.

6) Call for Papers

Global Royal Families: Concepts, Cultures, and Networks of International Monarchy, 1800-2020
16-18 January 2020
Conveners: Falko Schnicke (German Historical Institute London), Robert Aldrich (University of Sydney) and Cindy McCreery (University of Sydney)
Closing date: 25 May 2019
More information is available on the GHIL website.

7) Summer School

3–6 September
16th Summer School in British History: The History of the British Empire. New Perspectives
Conveners/Organisers: Historisches Seminar der Ludwig-Maxiliams-Universität München; German Historical Institute London
Venue: German Historical Institute London
More information is available on the GHIL website.

8) India Centre Event

26 June (5pm)
Panel on Marginality and the Urban: Linkages and Intersections

Venue: German Historical Institute London
More information is available on the GHIL website.

9) Exhibition

Black Germany
An Exhibition by Robbie Aitken, Sheffield Hallam University. Based on ground-breaking research, the exhibition Black Germany employs a number of biographies, accompanied by photographic images, in order to look at the largely forgotten development of a Black Diaspora in Germany from the 1880s up to 1945.
14 May - 11 June 2019 at the German Historical Institute London.
Opening hours: Mo, Tue, Wed, Fri: 10am – 5pm; Thursday: 10am – 8pm
Opening Event on 14 May 2019, 5:30pm
Venue: German Historical Institute London
With talks by historian Robbie Aitken (Sheffield), on “Making the Visible the Invisible – Black Germany in the Age of Empire”, and poet, dramaturge and editor Philipp Khabo Koepsell (Berlin), on “Afro-Deutschland – The Making of an Activist Movement“.
More information is available on the GHIL website.

10) 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.
14 May (3pm)
Claudia Berger (Essen)

Die ‚Zwischenzeit‘ der Kapkolonie 1902-1910: Politische Imaginationen, Taktiken und Strategien im Transformationszeitraum
21 May (3pm)
Liza Weber (Brighton)

Documenta and its Double: Germany's Myth of Modernism in Memory and Provenance, From "Degenerate" to Documenta (1937-1955)
18 June (3pm)
Riley Linebaugh (Gießen)

Stolen Archives: The Struggle Between Kenya and Great Britain over the Records of Empire
More information is available on the GHIL website.


11) 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 or the history of the British Empire (submitted to a German university), Anglo-German relations, or an Anglo-German comparative topic.
Submission deadline for this year's prize: 31 July 2019
More information is available on the GHIL website.

12) New Publications

Markus Mösslang (ed.), British Envoys to the Kaiserreich, 1871-1897, Volume II: 1884-1897 (Camden Fifth Series, 56). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press for the Royal Historical Society in Association with the German Historical Institute London, 2019.
The volume is an open access volume and can be freely shared and used under the terms of a Creative Commons licence. More information is available on the GHIL website.
Anasua Chatterjee: Exclusion, Urbanity and Education: A Case Study of a Muslim Neighbourhood in Kolkata, in: Education and the Urban in India - Working Paper Series 2019/1.
More information is available on the GHIL website.

13) GHIL Bulletin, May 2019

The May issue of the Bulletin of the German Historical Institute London is now available online.
German Historical Institute London Bulletin  Volume XLI, No. 1 (May 2019)

German-German Entangled History

  • How to Write the History of a Divided Nation: Germany, 1945–1990 (Stefan Creuzberger, Dominik Geppert, and Dierk Hoffmann)
  • Medialization in Opposing Systems: Approaching a Media History of Divided Germany (Christoph Classen)
  • Learning from the Dictatorship? Sport in Divided and Unified Germany (Jutta Braun)
  • Between the Blocs: The Two German States in International Politics, 1955–1990 (Franz-Josef Meiers)

Review Article

  • Weimar to Cold War: New Books on Twentieth-Century German Intellectual History (Emily A. Steinhauer)

Book Reviews

  • Jesse Spohnholz, The Convent of Wesel: The Event that Never Was and the Invention of Tradition (Wolf-Friedrich Schäufele)
  • Douglas Moggach and Gareth Stedman Jones (eds.), The 1848 Revolutions and European Political Thought (Christos Aliprantis)
  • Volkhard Wehner, The German-Speaking Community of Victoria between 1850 and 1830: Origins, Progress and Decline (Panikos Panayi)
  • James Retallack, Red Saxony: Election Battles and the Spectre of Democracy in Germany, 1860–1918 (Stefan Berger)
  • Birthe Kundrus, ‘Dieser Krieg ist der große Rassenkrieg’: Krieg und Holocaust in Europa (Neil Gregor)
  • Astrid Zajdband, German Rabbis in British Exile: From ‘Heimat’ into the Unknown (Martina Niedhammer)

Conference Reports

  • Movable Goods and Immovable Property: Gender, Law, and Material Culture in Early Modern Europe (1450–1850) (James Krull and Karoline Müller)
  • Living the German Revolution: Expectations, Experiences, Responses (Marius S. Ostrowski)