German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

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





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 October 2021


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.’1 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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