German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

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

URI: www.ghil.ac.uk

 

GHIL Blog

 
 

There is a lot going on at the German Historical Institute, both within and without the walls of our beautiful building on London’s Bloomsbury Square. With this blog, we want to share with you insights into ongoing research projects, reflections on current debates in our fields, notes from scholarship holders, and reports on events and publications. If you would like to be notified about future posts, you can sign up for our RSS feed. You can browse all of our posts, past and present, in the dropdown menus or go straight to the blog.


 
 

28 July 2022

Blogpost

Marcus Meer

Conference Report: Workshop on Medieval Germany, 6 May 2022

After many months of online-only conferences, one of the first in-person events to take place at the GHIL saw thirteen scholars gather at the beginning of May 2022 for a densely packed day of discussion dedicated to medieval history. What united participants at this workshop—and its previous iterations—was their special interest in the German-speaking lands of the Middle Ages. Encouragingly, the list of participants’ home institutions shows that this interest is far from restricted to scholars based in Germany...

Category: Events


14 July 2022

Blogpost

Lukas Herde

‘Enjoy your bodies!’: Writing the History of Sexuality in Later Life through 1980s British Television

At 15:45 on 11 February 1986, Channel 4’s programme for the elderly Years Ahead turned to sex. This special Valentine’s Day edition conceded that society was oblivious to intimate desire in later life. And yet, change was on the horizon. Marjorie Proops, co-host of that episode, stated that ‘attitudes are changing’, and so Years Ahead set out to guide even more seniors towards ‘sexual freedom’ …

Category: Research, Scholarships


23 June 2022

Blogpost

Christian Schuster

British Migrants in the Kingdom of Saxony and Saxons in London, c.1850–1914

It may seem counter-intuitive that, three months after the outbreak of the First World War, British people were allowed to walk completely free through the streets of Dresden. But a look at the history of the British community in Saxony shows that there had been a special relationship between British migrants and the Saxon locals long before this conflict…

Category: Research, Scholarships


9 June 2022

Blogpost

Oscar Broughton

Translating Guild Socialism: The Case of Eva Schumann (1889–1967)

In 1920, Eva Schumann wrote from her home in Dresden to the offices of the National Guilds League in London offering her services as a translator. Her intention was to help popularise the political program of Guild Socialism in Germany, which she believed shared parallels with other socialist ideas already popular in her homeland...

Category: Research, Scholarships


31 May 2022

Blogpost

Maximilian Priebe

Conceptual History as a Philosophical Methodology: The Case of Hans Blumenberg’s Metaphorology

In a first blog post, I suggested that the figure of Hans Blumenberg can help us to understand one of the major differences between the ‘Cambridge School’ of intellectual history and Begriffsgeschichte, or conceptual history. This difference, I argued, is a disciplinary one: whereas Cambridge School intellectual history operates mainly in the fields of the historiography of political thought and contemporary political theory, conceptual historians intervene in a wider array of discourses and make more diverse use of historical insights...

Category: Research


26 May 2022

Blogpost

Maximilian Priebe

What Is, and To What End Do We Study, Intellectual History?: A Comparison of Two Approaches: The ‘Cambridge School’ and ‘Conceptual History’

From 2–4 June 2022, the German Association for British Studies will host its annual conference under the title of ‘From Cambridge to Bielefeld—and Back? British and Continental Approaches to Intellectual History’. Two specific—and local—schools of thought and their respective groups of thinkers are thus at the heart of the conference…

Category: Research


5 May 2022

Blogpost

Marie Cabadi

Women’s Centres and their Newsletters: Feminist Spaces and Print Cultures in Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom

From about 1969 onwards, women’s centres had proliferated in towns and cities of various sizes—first in the United States, then across the globe, including in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and France. Also called ‘women’s houses’ outside of English-speaking regions, they were places of feminist activism and sociability, aiming to provide services to local women and to participate in the growth of the women’s movement. Usually women-only, they regularly became focal points of local feminist scenes...

Category: ISWG, Research


21 April 2022

Blogpost

Chantal Bsdurrek

A Brotherhood of Soldiers? Concepts of Comradeship 1914–1938

Whether we watch movies, read novels, play video games, look at paintings, or listen to podcasts about the First World War, we encounter expressions of what we consider to be the comradeship of the trenches. The idea of the soldiers holding fast together through all hardships, living together, and loving each other like brothers, even dying for one another, has become a central part of the collective memory of the ‘Great War’...

Category: Research, Scholarships


5 April 2022

Blogpost

Martin Christ

Recording the Dead in Early Modern London and Munich

Recording the names of the dead has a long tradition in human societies. Lists of the dead come in many different forms: as a call to remember the dead, as a reminder of some kind of sacrifice or traumatic event, or as a means to keep track of mortality patterns....

Category: Research, Scholarships


22 March 2022

Blogpost

Michael Schaich

New Publication on Manuscript Newsletters around 1700

The new volume Scribal News in Politics and Parliament 1660–1760, which has just been published as a special issue of the journal Parliamentary History, gathers twelve essays by scholars from Britain, Europe, and North America on the role of scribal news in reporting about parliament and politics in Britain between 1660 and 1760. The volume grew out of a one-day conference held between the History of Parliament and the German Historical Institute London...

Category: Publications


24 February 2022

Blogpost

Kassandra Hammel

Conference Report: The History of Medialization and Empowerment: The Intersection of Women’s Rights Activism and the Media, 20–21 January 2022

The third and final meeting of the International Standing Working Group on Medialization and Empowerment was held virtually on January 20 and 21, 2022. At the end of a three-year project, looking at the interconnections, contingencies, and dependencies of women’s rights and the media throughout the long-twentieth century, the conference explored the role of the media in shaping and constituting discussions of gender roles and women’s rights globally...

Category: Events, ISWG, Research


17 February 2022

Blogpost

Cristina Sasse

Directories and the Legibility of Urban Spaces, 1760–1830

Between 1760 and 1830, town directories became a popular medium for the representation of English urban landscapes. Their main feature was a list of local tradespeople and ‘notable’ inhabitants along with their occupations and places of residence. Often, descriptions of the town, its history, and other information on transport links, amenities, and sights were added, thus combining classic elements of the guidebook with the directory...

Category: Publications


1 February 2022

Blogpost

Anita Klingler

Talking about Political Violence in Interwar Britain and Germany

As its title suggests, the thesis examines political violence and how it was spoken about in public forums (parliament and the press) in interwar Britain and Germany. In doing so, it focuses particularly on reconstructing how certain acts of political violence were either justified or condemned in public language, and what this language tells us about the identities and self-images constructed through it in both countries. The project started out, however, as something quite different....

Category: Prizes, Research


20 January 2022

Blogpost

Anne M. Valk

Imagining a Transnational and Transhistorical Movement Against Violence

As a college student in the U.S. in the 1980s, I first became aware of Take Back the Night. In countless cities, towns, and campuses across the U.S., feminist organizations coordinated these annual events to protest violence against women. Participants—typically women (and often intentionally and exclusively women)—gathered for night-time marches and rallies...

Category: ISWG, Research


11 January 2022

Blogpost

Vicente Pons Martí

Perspectives on Political Parties in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Since the emergence of the first nation states in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, political parties have become one of the most important and influential actors in Western political systems. It is hard to imagine a functioning Western democracy without the presence of political parties, yet they have always been accompanied by criticism and rejection...

Category: Research, Scholarships


 
 

Previous blogposts

2021

9 December 2021

Blogpost

Joseph Cronin

The Future of Holocaust Studies in Light of the ‘Catechism Debate’: Reflections from an Observer

This post has been adapted from a talk by Joseph Cronin, a former Researcher at the GHIL and now a lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, delivered at the Holocaust Research Institute’s New Directions in Holocaust Studies workshop, which was held at Senate House London on 4 November 2021. [...] The talk was prompted by and reflected on Joseph’s perceptions of the ‘German Catechism’ debate that took place in the summer of 2021.

Category: Dialogue


18 November 2021

Blogpost

Jane Freeland

The Politics of Photography: An Interview with Mary-Ann Kennedy

In the run-up to the launch of the GHIL’s online exhibition ‘Forms, Voices, Networks: Feminism and the Media‘ on 23 November, 2021 at 1pm GMT, we chatted with artist and activist Mary Ann Kennedy. Kennedy is a founding member of the Photography Workshop (Edinburgh)/Portfolio Gallery and the WildFires network for women who work in and with photography in Scotland. She is currently the Programme Leader for the BA(Hons) Photography degree at Edinburgh Napier University...

Category: Events, Research, ISWG


11 November 2021

Blogpost

Marcus Meer

Conference Report: The Twelfth Medieval History Seminar, 30 September–2 October 2021

Now in its twelfth iteration, the biennial Medieval History Seminar (MHS) has become an established platform for postgraduate students to present and discuss ongoing research projects on the Middle Ages with distinguished medievalists as well as their peers. It has also become a cherished tradition of the German Historical Institute London...

Category: Events


28 October 2021

Blogpost

Alexandria Ruble

Sustaining ‘Information for Women’: The Informationsdienst für Frauenfragen, the American Military Occupation, and Women’s Politics in West Germany, 1951–1990

‘The Women’s Affairs unit…is based on the recognition of the fact that German women are in a decisive position either to promote or retard the development of Germany as a democratic state.’ This statement appeared as part of a 1949 report by the Women’s Affairs branch of the Office of Military Government, United States (OMGUS).

Category: Research, ISWG


28 September 2021

Blogpost

Maissan Hassan

‘Doing Well, Don’t Worry’: Exhibiting Archives as a Feminist Practice

In 2014, my colleagues at the Cairo-based Women and Memory Forum (WMF) and I decided to establish a women’s museum in Egypt. I was motivated by two things. The first was the absence of feminist narratives in museums in Egypt and across the Arab region...

Category: ISWG, Research


15 September 2021

Blogpost

Sabrina Mittermeier

#IchBinHanna: What next?

Since around the middle of June 2021, academics in Germany have been posting reports of their experiences and criticisms of the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (WissZeitVG) or German Law on Fixed-Term Contracts in Higher Education and Research1 under the Twitter hashtag #IchBinHanna...

Category: Dialogue, Race, History, Academia


31 August 2021

Blogpost

Jane Freeland

Understanding Social Change through the Digital Humanities

How has the mass media supported, enabled or challenged women’s emancipation? How have feminists used the media to promote women’s issues and rights? How have these messages been interpreted by the public? And how has this changed since the emergence of the mass press in the late nineteenth century?

Category: Research, ISWG


28 July 2021

Blogpost

Charlotta Salmi

Framing Women’s Rights in Nepali Street Art

If you walk down the streets of Kathmandu, you can’t fail to notice its vibrant street art scene. When I first visited the city in 2018, I was taken aback by the juxtaposition of heritage buildings and slick urban iconography that defined the capital and its environs...

Category: ISWG, Research


13 July 2021

Blogpost

Julian Katz

Intervention on Behalf of Foreign Subjects during the Anglo-Spanish War, 1585–1604

It is fitting that my dissertation on the idea of intervention and protection of foreign subjects during the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604) has been published in the GHIL’s series, as it touches on one of the most researched periods of English history: the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and the Anglo-Spanish War...

Category: Publications, Research


1 July 2021

Blogpost

Rike Szill

Prophecies and (Hi)Stories: Telling the Conquest of Constantinople in 1453

From a Euro-Mediterranean perspective, the conquest of Constantinople led by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1453 not only marked the end of the Byzantine empire that had lasted more than a millennium, but also the end of the European Middle Ages. Rightly considered a ‘moment of great historical significance’ by both contemporaries and modern researchers...

Category: Research, Scholarships


17 June 2021

Blogpost

Johanna Gehmacher

The Production of Historical Feminisms, Part Two: Transnational Strategies and the Feminist ‘We’

International networks played an essential role in the development of feminist movements in the nineteenth century. since the 1880s, regular international women’s conferences spurred a strong transnational dynamic. Reports on the development of the women’s movement in the delegates’ own countries published in conference proceedings were a key part of these meetings...

Category: ISWG, Research


8 June 2021

Blogpost

Dorothea McEwan

Ethiopia Illustrated: Manuscripts and Painting in Ethiopia – Examples from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century

The newly published anthology Ethiopia Illustrated: Church Paintings, Maps and Drawings is a result of my appointment as Associate Fellow of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences in 2017. The suggestion was aired to publish a volume with my research articles on Ethiopian manuscripts and paintings, which had previously appeared in a variety of journals...

Category: Publications, Research


27 May 2021

Blogpost

Johanna Gehmacher

The Production of Historical Feminisms, Part One: Historical Awareness and Political Activism

In the early 1970s, a slim pink book designated as the first issue in a series titled Frauen(raub)druck (Women’s (Bootleg) Print) became a best-seller in the burgeoning women’s movement in German-speaking countries. To categorise the influential publication is, however, a challenging task for more than one reason...

Category: ISWG, Research


06 May 2021

Blogpost

Paul Labelle

Britten’s Virtual Mystery

In 1964 the first of composer Benjamin Britten and writer William Plomer’s ‘Church Parables’ – Curlew River – was premiered at the Aldeburgh Festival in St. Bartholomew’s Church in Orford. Britten had been working on the project off and on with his librettist Plomer following Britten’s encounter with Noh theatre during a visit to Japan in 1955...

Category: Research, Scholarships


27 April 2021

Blogpost

Kirsten Kamphuis

Not your Average National Hero: Scattered Archives and the Women of the Indonesian Anticolonial Movement

In her captivating autobiographical novel Buiten het gareel [Out of Line], the Indonesian author Suwarsih Djojopuspito painted a vivid image of her experiences as an activist teacher during the last few years of Dutch rule in Indonesia. The book, published in Dutch in 1940, tells the story of Sulastri, an idealistic young teacher who runs a non-governmental school for Indonesian children together with her husband, Sugondo...

Category: ISWG, Research


13 April 2021

Blogpost

Manuel Kohlert

Vicarious Observation: Conveying Pleasure and Sensory Experience in Eighteenth-Century British Periodicals

The time I spent perusing the British Library’s early modern treasures – thanks to a scholarship from the German Historical Institute London – left me with much to think about for my current research project on the body and pleasure in eighteenth and early nineteenth-century periodicals...

Category: Research, Scholarships


30 March 2021

Blogpost

Jennifer L. Rodgers

The Spaces Between: Interstitial Archives and Childbirth Activism in 1970s West Germany and the United States

Most people who know me will tell you that I enjoy fewer things more than foraging in archives. I have been an archive rat since my days as a researcher on a national historical commission. My love of unusual nuggets (an asbestos sample), dust-encrusted fingers, and the tangible vestiges of previous researchers (documents bedecked in cigarette burns), is even becoming a monograph...

Category: ISWG, Research


16 March 2021

Blogpost

Birte Meinschien

Historiography in Emigration: German Historians in Great Britain after 1933

It is doubly fitting that my book on German-speaking historians who emigrated to Britain after 1933 has now been published in the GHIL’s book series. As the holder of a GHIL scholarship, I had the pleasure to be based at the Institute during two archival research trips to London...

Category: Publications


4 March 2021

Blogpost

Matthias Büttner

Days of Betrayal: Violations of Trust and Loyalty in Late Medieval England

Tensions have been running high in what, by any reckoning, has been a challenging year: a raging pandemic, social instability, and political unrest. And amidst all this, battle cries are heard from every corner of the political spectrum that threaten to exacerbate the situation: Plotters! Betrayers! Traitors! — the world is full of them if you believe what is written in the comment sections of media outlets.

Category: Research, Scholarships


23 February 2021

Blogpost

D-M Withers

Knowledge Trouble: Practice, Theory and Anxiety in late 1970s Feminist Movements

The British Women’s Liberation Movement (WLM) of the late 1970s was marked by intense anxiety and discussion about the status of ‘theory’. At their last national conference held in Birmingham in 1978, the WLM buckled under the weight of a decade of collectively generated, epistemic and ideological complexity, cut across by social divisions of race, sexuality and class...

Category: ISWG, Research


10 February 2021

Blogpost

Morgan Golf-French

Beyond Heroes and Villains: Reassessing Racism in the German Enlightenment

In post-1945 German culture the Enlightenment has generally been a source of celebration. Since at least the publication of Dialektik der Aufklärung (1947), however, intellectuals have considered the possibility that Enlightenment philosophy may have contributed to twentieth-century totalitarianism.

Category: Race, History, and Academia, Research


28 January 2021

Blogpost

Jane Freeland et al.

Conference Report: ‘Archiving, Recording and Representing Feminism: The Global History of Women’s Emancipation in the Twentieth Century’

The second meeting of the International Standing Working Group on Medialization and Empowerment was held virtually between December 10 and 12, 2020.

Category: Events, ISWG


20 January 2021

Blogpost

Marcus Meer

Broken Symbols: Display and Destruction during the Attack on the Capitol

Almost two weeks later, recordings and photographs of the attack on the Capitol are still making newspaper headlines, flicker across screens, and fill the feeds on social media.

Category: Research


14 January 2021

Blogpost

Pierre Sfendules

An Ancient Church Father and his Victorian Audience: Christian von Bunsen’s...

As nineteenth-century Europe faced the challenges of advancing modernity and its shattering consequences for the religious mind, a lost treatise by an ancient Church Father, the Philosophoumena, was rediscovered in the dusty library of Mount Athos...

Category: Research


6 January 2021

Blogpost

Nuriani Hamdan et al.

"Who remains?" (Part 1): Before we even start our research…

It is tedious and exhausting to identify and name mechanisms of disadvantage. To remember those anecdotes that keep coming back, although you don’t want to remember. Memories that eventually become part of your own narrative about yourself, although you might want it to be different. ...

Category: Race, History, and Academia


2020