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 2019


  1. 1) Library News
  2. 2) Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor
  3. 3) GHIL Seminars
  4. 4) Public Lectures
  5. 5) Conferences and Workshops
  6. 6) India Research Programme - GHIL
  7. 7) Kolloquium
  8. 8) Postgraduate Students Conference
  9. 9) Scholarship Applications
  10. 10) Vacancies

1) Library News

Extended Opening Hours: we are pleased to announce that from now on the GHIL Library will be open every weekday evening.
Monday to Friday
Opening hours 9.30am to 9.00pm
Service hours 9.30am to 5.00pm

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 Ulrich Herbert to the position of Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor 2019/20.
He will give his Inaugural Lecture on 10 December 2019 at the German Historical Institute. Title TBA.
More information is available on the GHIL website.

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.
15 October (5.30pm)
F. Benjamin Schenk (Basle); comment by Andy Willimott (London)
‘Hubs of Global Migration’: Organizing Transcontinental Flows of People in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries

Scholars have long treated the history of the trans-Atlantic migration to the Americas and the trans-Ural movement of peasant colonists within the Russian Empire at the end of the nineteenth century separately. In fact, the two processes were interconnected and had a number of striking similarities. One common feature was modern reception and transit camps for immigrants and migrants, which emerged almost simultaneously at various locations along global migration routes. These ‘hubs of global migration’ became important laboratories of migration management in the modern age.
29 October (5.30pm)
Sarah Stockwell (London)
‘Losing an empire, winning friends’? Sandhurst, Military Assistance, and British Decolonization

In the 1950s and 1960s British institutions delivered a variety of forms of technical and military assistance to emergent Commonwealth states. As a result, the ‘end’ of empire saw large numbers of Britons still working in the public services of newly independent countries and a great influx of students from former colonies to train and study in Britain, including at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where British authorities struggled to cope with the high demand for places. This lecture explores what the history of Commonwealth and foreign cadets at post-war Sandhurst tells us about Britain’s management and experience of decolonization.
5 November (5.30pm)
Jochen Johrendt (Wuppertal)
Prester John and his Letter between Intellectual Joke and Contemporary Criticism

In his History of the Two Cities (written about 1157), Otto of Freising reports on a ‘Prester John’, allegedly a descendant of the three Wise Men, who rules in India, and defeats the armies of Muslim rulers. A few years later, the priest king John supposedly addressed a letter to the Byzantine emperor, describing his own kingdom as ideal: a realm of abundance, health, wondrous people, truth, and faith. But why did contemporaries invent this letter, which some Crusaders, in particular, believed to be genuine?
19 November (5.30pm)
Mark Knights (Warwick)
Corruption and the Invention of Public Office in Britain and its Empire, 1600–1850

The talk will explore several case studies that allow us to chart shifts in attitudes to office-holding, from the idea that an office was a piece of personal property or duty owed to a monarch towards office as a public, disinterested, and accountable responsibility. The examples of Samuel Pepys, Lord Chancellor Macclesfield, Charles Bembridge, and Sir Edward Colebrooke will be used to explore debates over the blurred boundary between gifts and bribes, the sale of office, breach of trust, what constituted a public official, and over how far a universal set of standards should apply across Britain’s empire.
More information on seminars is available on the GHIL website.

4) Public Lectures

10 October (6pm)
Simon MacLean (St Andrews)
The Carolingian Origins of the Medieval Castle

The castle is perhaps the most recognisable feature of the Western European landscape in the Middle Ages, dominating medieval social and political order from the eleventh century onwards. The origins of the castle are generally assigned to the ninth and tenth centuries, beginning with defensive fortifications established against the Vikings. In this paper I argue that there are problems with this origin story by re-evaluating some of the key sources and assumptions on which it rests. This argument has broader implications for how we think about the significance of fortifications in the last years of the Carolingian Empire; and the evolution of the castle between the ninth and twelfth centuries.
Attendance is free, but seats are limited. If you would like to attend the public lecture, please register with Carole Sterckx sterckx(ghi) by 8 October 2019.
13 November (5.30pm)
Ulrike Jureit (Hamburg)
Chronicle of an Announced Death: Affiliation, Violence, and the Appropriation of Urban Space in Provincial Germany, 1934

GHIL in co-operation with the Faculty of History, University of Oxford
On 25 March 1934 the Jewish population of the small town of Gunzenhausen in central Franconia experienced one of the first pogroms, in which two Jews lost their lives. The lecture reconstructs the spatial appropriation of this urban space and analyses the interdependence of space, violence, and collective belonging. In Gunzenhausen the spatial appropriation was extremely violent. The pogrom proved to be a revolutionary moment of commitment to a way of life that, although it had been following a racial concept of social order for some time, still had to reach agreement on binding forms of social exclusion and racial community-building.
More information is available on the GHIL website.

5) Conferences and Workshops

10-12 October
Medieval History Seminar

Organised by the German Historical Institute London and the German Historical Institute Washington, D.C. Conveners: Paul Freedman (Yale), Bernhard Jussen (Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main), Simon MacLean (St Andrews), Ruth Mazo Karras (Trinity College Dublin), Len Scales (Durham University), and Dorothea Weltecke (Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main).
Venue: German Historical Institute London
9-13 December
100 Histories of 100 Worlds in one Object

Concept and Convenor: Mirjam Brusius, GHIL; Organiser: Forum Transregional Studies with the Max Weber Foundation in co-operation with the GHI London; UCL (Alice Stevenson, Subhadra Das); and the University of the West Indies, Mona (James Robertson); Funds: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany
Venue: University of the West Indies - Mona, Kingston (Jamaica)
More information is available on the GHIL website.

6) India Research Programme - GHIL

Call for Papers
Global History – Challenges and Opportunities.
16-21 February 2020, New Delhi
A winter school on global history for PhD and early career scholars in Germany and India. Organised jointly by the Heidelberg Centre of Transcultural Studies, the India Branch Office of the Max Weber Stiftung and the German Historical Institute London.
Conveners: Debarati Bagchi, Felix Brahm, Pablo Holwitt, Monica Juneja and Indra Sengupta
Closing date: 11 October 2019. Apply now!
Max Weber Lecture Series
Ute Frevert: The Politics of Humiliation: Historical Trajectories
22 November 2019, 4.00 pm, Auditorium of Jadunath Museum and Resource Centre, 10 Lake Terrace, Kolkata
25 November 2019, 6.30 pm, Goethe Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan Auditorium, New Delhi
New Publication
Research Group: Education and the Urban in India - Working Paper Series 2019/3
Farah Farooqi: Understanding Life and Education in an Urban 'Ghetto': Shafiq Memorial and Bara Hindu Rao, Delhi.   [Open Access]
More information is available on the GHIL website.

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.
1 October (3.30pm)
Karoline Künzel (Kiel)

Sinn- und Bewältigungskonzepte im Umgang mit Vergänglichkeit in lateinischen Jenseitsreiseberichten des 12. Jahrhunderts
8 October (3.30pm)
Luise Elsäßer (Florenz)

Disappearing Markets: Britain’s Transition from Equine to Motorised Power, c. 1870-1950s
15 October (2.30pm)
Kristoffer Kerl (Köln)

Politiken des Rausches. Psychedelische Drogen, Sexualität und Musik in westlichen Alternativkulturen in den USA, Großbritannien und der BRD, 1960er bis 1980er Jahre
22 October (3.30pm)
Friederike Pfister (Bochum)

'Foreign Knowledge' - The Latin-Christian Perception of Astrology (12th-15th c.)
5 November (2.30pm)
Stephen Foose (Marburg)

Travelling Passports: The Imperial and National in movement between England and Jamaica, 1948-1975
12 November (3.30pm)
Suzanne Foxley (Oldenburg)

SurPRIZEing Events - Prize law as an American means of judicial independence from Britain? c.1780-1815
26 November (3.30pm)
Andrew Wells (Leipzig)

Free Spaces? Liberty and the City in the British Atlantic World, 1660-1760
3 December (3.30pm)
Camille Buat (Göttingen)

A Floating Population? Labour Migration, Regional States and the Making of Citizenship in Post-Colonial India

8) Postgraduate Students Conference

The German Historical Institute London will hold its 24th postgraduate research students conference from 9-10 January 2020. 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: 29 November 2019.
More information is available on the GHIL website.

9) Scholarship Applications

The closing date for scholarship applications for January to June 2020 is 30 September 2019.
More information is available on the GHIL website.

10) Vacancies

Wissenschaftliche/n Mitarbeiter (w/m/d) (2. Qualifizierungsphase) für den Bereich der britischen Geschichte des 19. und/oder 20. Jahrhunderts.
Closing date for applications: 30 September 2019
Assistant Librarian (Cataloguer/Reader Services/IT).
Full-time (40 hours per week), fixed-term post.
Closing date for applications: 17 October 2019
More information is available on the GHIL website.