German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: Tel. +44-(0)20-7309 2050



Summer School


Britain, the British Empire and Migration

20th Summer School

25–28 July 2023

Venue: German Historical Institute London

Migration has always been a part of human history and is a central feature of the modern world. In fact, the world which we inhabit today is unimaginable without large-scale movements of populations, groups, and communities across the globe. Contemporary rhetoric on migration tends to focus exclusively on migration into Britain and immigration is a politically volatile subject in current public discourse in most European nations. However, historically in the case of Britain and the British Empire, migration also meant emigration from Britain into what are described as settler colonies. Like other contemporary European empires, the British Empire was made possible by large-scale migration and became a platform for migrant populations across the world.   This summer school will engage with British and imperial inward and outward migration from the nineteenth century until today.

Our tutors, the eminent scholars Marjory Harper (Professor in History, University of Aberdeen) and Gurminder K. Bhambra (Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies in International Relations, University of Sussex) will discuss key questions related to migration such as causes and experiences of emigration as well as questions of citizenship and the history of migration as a fundamental link between national and imperial history.   Finally, the course will explore how migration in the context of Britain’s imperial past has shaped, and continues to shape, modern Britain. Topic-related excursions in London are planned.

The summer school is a part of the on-going collaboration between the German Historical Institute London and the Ludwigs-Maximilian University, Munich. The course convenors are Professor Tanja Buehrer (LMU Munich) and Dr Indra Sengupta (GHI London).

The course will take place at the German Historical Institute London on 25-28 July 2023. It is aimed at advanced BA or MA students of history, English or other related subjects at all German universities. An interest in the history of the British Empire and the history of migration in the modern world is desirable.

Please note: Selected participants will be expected to attend all the classes. The course language is English and participants will be required to study the mandatory readings (around 15 chapter/article length pieces) to prepare for the classes. The readings will be sent out a few weeks ahead of the course.

The course is open to students from all German universities. However, a separate selection process applies to students from the LMU who should directly contact the convener Professor Buehrer. 

Please apply in writing by 7 March with the following documents:

  • A cover letter of 1-2 pages explaining why you wish to take part in the summer school;
  • A brief letter of recommendation from your supervisor;
  • A list of courses you have attended and exams you have taken

The organisers will bear the cost of accommodation in London and sandwich lunch will be provided on the days of the summer school. It may be possible to make a small contribution towards the cost of travel to the UK. Unfortunately, we are unable to cover any other costs. We strongly advise successful applicants to book their trip to London as soon as possible, in order to avail of the best prices.

Please send us your application as a single PDF file and by email only to:

Dr Indra Sengupta 

Summer School (Download information as PDF file)

Summer School 2023 Programme (PDF file)