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The Dance of the Tapuya: On the Cultural Coding of Skin Colour in the Early Modern Period
GHIL Lecture Spring 2021, 9 February 2021
Peter Burschel is Professor of Medieval and Early Modern Cultural History at the University of Göttingen and Director of the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel. Among his many publications is Die Erfindung der Reinheit: Eine andere Geschichte der frühen Neuzeit (2014).
This lecture will show how European perceptions of skin colour – rather than primarily of skin markings, as was the case in the Middle Ages – increasingly began to influence European perceptions of non-European ‘aliens’. Peter Burschel will argue that it was not until the sixteenth century that skin was seen as a ‘supra-individual’ distinguishing characteristic that made it possible to structure, classify, and, not least, to hierarchize intercultural encounters chromatically. This shows that the process was not merely about the perception of skin colour per se, but always also addressed the question of who was white, and who was not.
Originally scheduled for March 2020 and postponed due to Covid-19 lockdown.
Images mentioned in the Lecture
Please see here for the main images mentioned in this lecture: a series of double portraits by Albert Eckhout, now at the National Museum of Denmark.
Legal Role-Playing and Storytelling in Early Medieval Francia
GHIL Lecture Autumn 2020, 1 December 2020
Alice Rio is Professor of Medieval History at King’s College London. An enduring problem in early medieval history is what to make of the legal material, which is abundant relative to the total surviving evidence (legislation, acts of practice, models, old texts, new texts), and paints extremely contradictory pictures of contemporary legal practices both within and across legal genres. The lecture will try to show that this level of contradiction results from people calling on many different legal and cultural frameworks for representing their own actions, all of which were potentially valid provided that they could be sold successfully to one’s audience: what mattered was success in getting others to play along through scene-setting and role-play. Alice Rio has written two books on early medieval legal and legal-ish practices: Legal Practice and the Written Word in the Early Middle Ages: Frankish Formulae, c.500–1000 (2009); and Slavery After Rome, 500–1100 (2017).
An Empire of Shaming: Reading Nazi Germany through the Violence of Laughter
Gerda Henkel Foundation Visiting Professorship Lecture, 26 November 2020
Survivors of the Shoah have often described how the SS liked to define torturing practices during the genocide as ‘jokes’. The paper discusses the systematic presence of derisive laughter in Nazi Germany and analyzes its meanings as a way both to act out understandings of Germanness and to ‘justify’ violence.
The Gerda Henkel Foundation Visiting Professorship Lecture 2020, hosted by the German Historical Institute and London School of Economics and Political Science, was be held as an online event on Thursday, 26 November 2020.
The Crisis of the Meritocracy: How Popular Demand (not Politicians) Made Britain into a Mass Education Society
GHIL Annual Lecture, 6 November 2020
The 2020 Annual Lecture 'The Crisis of the Meritocracy' was given by Professor Peter Mandler, Cambridge, on Friday, 6 November 2020.
Inventing Reproductive Rights: Sex, Population, and Feminism in Europe, 1945–1980
Part of the summer seminar lecture series on Feminist Histories, 15 July 2020
Maud Anne Bracke is a historian of 20th-century European social, political, and gender history. A graduate of the European University Institute, Florence, she has published two monographs, three edited collections, and over 20 articles on feminism, gender and work, translation, ‘1968’, and European communism. She co-directs Glasgow’s Centre for Gender History and is a former editor of the journal Gender & History.
Her lecture presents an interpretation of the emergence, following the Second World War, of the notion of ‘reproductive rights’. Drawing on critical understandings of reproductive biopower, it focuses on the ways in which the introduction and legalisation of the contraceptive pill across Western Europe in the long 1960s produced new, gendered discourses on family planning, responsibility in reproduction, sexual morality and bodily autonomy. The lecture situates France and Western Europe in the transnational developments that enabled the emergence of reproductive rights discourse following the war. Bracke particularly considers two key moments in the genealogy of reproductive rights discourse in France, corresponding to two instances of legislative change and intense public debate. The first is family planning activism in the 1950s and 1960s, which was key in leading to the legalisation of contraception through the Loi Neuwirth of 1967. The second is the ‘new’ feminism that exploded onto the political scene in France in 1970, and crucially contributed to legal reform on abortion through the Loi Veil of 1975. She argues that the ‘invention’ of reproductive rights relied crucially on the introduction of new discourses and political practices by feminists of a reproductive subject – that is to say, an individual endowed with knowledge, agency, and rights – and that this reproductive subject was increasingly explicitly presented as a woman. At the same time, however, not all women became reproductive subjects to the same extent, as reproductive bodies continued to be hierarchised according to social class, race, migration status and ability.
Jane Whittle and Laura Schwartz
Understanding Women and Work from the Early Modern Era to the Present: A Round Table
Part of the summer seminar lecture series on Feminist Histories, 8 July 2020
Jane Whittle is Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Exeter. She currently holds an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council on ‘Forms of Labour: Gender, Freedom, and Experience of Work in the Pre-Industrial Economy’. She has published widely on the history of work, consumption, property rights, and the household economy in England from 1300 to 1750.
Laura Schwartz is Reader in Modern British History at the University of Warwick. Her most recent book Feminism and the Servant Problem: Class and Domestic Labour in the Women's Suffrage Movement was published with Cambridge University Press in 2019. Having previously worked on the history of British feminism, she is now moving more definitively into labour history and is in the early stages of developing a collaborative project entitled '"Ordinary" Working-Class People? Brexit Britain and the "New" Labour History', which aims to critically interrogate the contemporary political mobilization of a 'white' male working class and to consider alternative and more heterogeneous histories of class in Britain.
This round table brings together two experts in the field of women’s work to discuss how ideas of work and gender have changed across the centuries. Alongside considering what women’s work is, it will explore how women’s work has been defined and valued in the past and within historical scholarship.
Internationalist Waves and Feminist Waves in Italy, Yugoslavia, and Cuba from the 1950s to 1970s
Part of the summer seminar lecture series on Feminist Histories, 1 July 2020
Chiara Bonfiglioli is a Lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies at University College Cork, where she also coordinates the one-year interdisciplinary Masters in Women’s Studies. She is the author of Women and Industry in the Balkans: The Rise and Fall of the Yugoslav Textile Sector (I.B. Tauris, 2019).
Her lecture focuses on women’s internationalism in Italy, Yugoslavia, and Cuba, and on the gendered imaginaries of citizenship that circulated among the generation of women active within Cold-War mass organizations in the 1950s and 1960s. It will also consider how this ‘internationalist wave’ engaged with second-wave feminism in the 1960s and 1970s, a time characterized by the overlapping of different generational paradigms of women’s and feminist activism: that of 'emancipation', based on women’s socio-economic rights and institutional reform, and that of 'liberation', based on gender, sexuality, and grassroots activism. These generational paradigms were both national and transnational, and were shaped by the global development of left-wing parties and movements, and of women’s and feminist movements worldwide.
GHIL Joint Lectures
Margaret MacMillan (Toronto/Oxford)
Total War and European Society
British German Association in collaboration with the GHIL, 14 October 2020.
Watch the event video at the BGA website.
Margaret MacMillan is a Professor of History at the University of Toronto and emeritus Professor of International History at the University of Oxford. She is the author of The War that Ended Peace (2014); The Uses and Abuses of History (2008); and the international bestsellers Seize the Hour: When Nixon Met Mao (2006) and Peacemakers: The Paris Conference 1919 and its Attempt to End the War (2001), which won the 2002 Samuel Johnson Prize.
European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2019-20
Paul Herzberg: Acting Jewish: Perception and Reality (Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2019–20: Acting Jewish: Between Identity and Attire)
Adi Heyman: The Big Cover-Up: Modest Fashion (Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2019–20: Acting Jewish: Between Identity and Attire)
Kerry Wallach: ‘Coming Out’ as Jewish in Weimar Germany (Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2019–20: Acting Jewish: Between Identity and Attire)
Cosmopolitanism in a Global Perspective
Annual Lecture, 8 November 2019
Read related publication (PDF).
Subhadra Das, Clémentine Deliss, Tristram Hunt, and Alice Procter
Cosmopolitanism in a Global Perspective from Collected to Contested: The Future of Museums after the Repatriation Debate
Part of the Contested Histories Seminar Series, 25 June 2019. Chaired by Mirjam Brusius.
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 panelwill discuss what decolonization in the museum might actually mean. How do recent debates fit into the bigger picture of engaging with uncomfortable collecting histories? And how could embracing these histories enable marginal and multiple voices to have a say?
Eleni Christodoulou and Neeladri Bhattacharya
Who Owns Public History? Two Talks on History Textbooks in Conflicted Societies.
Part of the Contested Histories Seminar Series, 18 June 2019. Chaired by Nandini Manjrekar.
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, Braunschweig, will embrace ‘educational anxieties’ by offering a frame-work for analysing securitization dynamics that success-fully 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, class, region, and nation, play out on the site of history textbooks in India. Chaired by Nandini Manjrekar, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
Avril Alba, Yasmin Khan, and Tom Lawson
Multidirectional Memory? National Holocaust Memorials and (Post-)Colonial Legacies
Part of the Contested Histories seminar series, 11 June 2019. Chaired by Tamar Garb.
Listen at UCL Arts and Social Science Soundcloud, 1:18 h
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 betweenscholars 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.
Leo Baeck Institute Lecture Series, 2018-19
|04/04/2019||Nathan Abrams: Treyf Jews? Jewish Gangsters in McMafia and Peaky Blinders (Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2018–19)||Available here|
|14/02/2019||Richard I. Cohen: Moses Mendelssohn – The German-Jewish Icon of Modernity (1780s–2019) (Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2018–19)||Available here|
|24/01/2019||Cilly Kugelmann: Jewish Museums between Self-Assertion and Self-Defence (Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2018–19)||Available here|
|06/12/2018||Ruth Oren: ‘Coming back to History’: The Jewish Image in Landscape Photographs of ‘Eretz-Israel’, 1898–1961 (Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2018–19)||Available here|
Hobbes’s Leviathan: Picturing the State
Annual Lecture, 9 November 2018
54 min, 37.9 M
Images mentioned in Lecture
(Source: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)
Timothy Garton Ash
German and European Unification: Harmony or Dissonance?
|Annual lecture on contemporary German history 2018, 24 April 2018|
51 min, 58 MB
In co-operation with the German Embassy London.
Leo Baeck Institute Lecture Series, 2017-18
|12/04/2018||Martin Doerry: Lifting a Taboo: The story of a Holocaust Victim which has Never been Told Before (European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2017–18)||Available here|
|08/03/2018||Atina Grossmann: Trauma, Privilege and Adventure in the ‘Orient’: A Refugee Family Archive (European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2017–18)||Available here|
|01/03/2018||Thomas Harding: 'You’re doing what?' - My Family’s Response to my Trying to Save the House Stolen by the Nazis (European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2017–18)||Available here|
|07/12/2017||Lisa Appignanesi: Losing the Dead: Before and After (European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2017–18)||Available here|
Arnd Bauerkämper:National Security and Humanity: The Internment of Civilian 'Enemy Aliens' during the First World War (Gerda Henkel Visiting Professorship Lecture 2017, 86 min, 74 MB)
Dominik Geppert: National Expectations and Transnational Infrastructure: The Media, Global News Coverage, and International Relations in the Age of High Imperialism (Gerda Henkel Visiting Professorship Lecture 2016, 54 min, 55 MB)
David Cannadine: Rewriting the British 19th Century (Seminar Lecture, part of the seminar series 'Narrating the 19th Century: New Approaches', 65 min, 40.9 MB)
Johannes Paulmann: How Close is the 19th Century? Contemporary Reflections on a History of Europe (Seminar Lecture, part of the seminar series 'Narrating the 19th Century: New Approaches', 51 min, 34.4 MB)
Willibald Steinmetz: Writing a History of 19th-Century Europe: Challenges, Conundrums, Complexities (Seminar Lecture, part of the seminar series 'Narrating the 19th Century: New Approaches', 50 min, 32.5 MB)
Richard J. Evans: Writing the History of 19th-Century Europe (Seminar Lecture, part of the seminar series 'Narrating the 19th Century: New Approaches', 52 min, 36 MB)
Lutz Raphael: Life Cycle and Industrial Work: West German and West European Patterns in Times of Globalization (1975–2005) (Gerda Henkel Visiting Professorship Lecture 2015, 59 min, 38 MB)
Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger: Are There Different Cultures of Decision-Making in History? (Annual Lecture 2015, 54 min, 22.7 MB)
Inge Weber-Newth: Home Ties: Objects in Migrants' Lives. (Lecture to mark the public opening of the exhibition 'Things We Keep' at the GHIL, 28 min, 10.9 MB)
Dan Diner: Rites of Reserve: The German–Israeli Encounter in Luxembourg, 1952 (Keynote Lecture to the German History Society Annual Conference 2015, 56 min, 23.1 MB)
Panel Discussion: Max Weber’s work and its Relation to Historical Writing (In commemoration of Max Weber’s 150th anniversary, the German Historical Institute hosted a discussion with three Weber experts, British historians David d’Avray and Peter Ghosh and German historian Joachim Radkau, on Max Weber’s work and its relation to historical writing. Chair: Andreas Gestrich. 113 min, 64.2 MB)
Miles Taylor: Empire and the Turn to Collectivism in British Social Policy, c.1860–1914 (Annual Lecture 2014, 57 min, 23.6 MB)
Roundtable Debate: 1914: What Historians Don’t Know about the Causes of the First World War (Speakers: Speakers: Margaret MacMillan, Annika Mombauer, Sönke Neitzel, John Röhl; Chair: Mark Hewitson. 131 min, 76.9 MB)
Kenneth Dyson: Germany, the Euro Crisis and the Future of Europe (10th Annual Lecture on Contemporary German History, German Historical Institute London, 105 min, 44.6 MB)
Dorothee Wierling: Coffee Worlds: Global Players and Local Actors in 20th-Century Germany (Coffee, one of the most important global commodities since the late 19th century, has connected very different physical, social, and symbolic worlds. Dorothee Wierling focuses on one group of actors, the coffee merchants, as agents of globalisation. The talk will explore the economic, social, and political frameworks in which those merchants acted. Gerda Henkel Visiting Professorship Lecture 2013, 60 min, 24.7 MB)
Public Panel Debate: The Nazi Seizure of Power in 1933 and its Significance, 80 Years On (Speakers: Professor Mary Fulbrook, Neil Gregor, Anthony McElligott, Maiken Umbach; moderators: Chris Szejnmann, Benjamin Ziemann. 55 min, 22.7 MB)
Jane Caplan: ‘Jetzt Judenfrei’: Writing Tourism in Nazi-Occupied Poland (Annual Lecture 2012, 52 min, 21.3 MB)
Andreas Rödder: From Kaiser Wilhelm to Chancellor Merkel: The German Question on the European Stage (The lecture follows the twisted story of Germany in Europe since the late 19th century. In particular, it analyses the connection between German reunification and the decision to introduce the Euro in order to highlight the current 'German question' from a historical perspective. Gerda Henkel Visiting Professorship Lecture 2012. 91 min, 41.7 MB)
Ute Daniel: Goebbels, War, and Propaganda: The Media Logic of the 'Third Reich' (The notorious speech of the German Minister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, in the Sportpalast on 18 February 1943 has been extensively studied by historians. In this lecture, it is analyzed in a slightly different way: as an example that illustrates problems Goebbels had with the media logic of the 'Third Reich'. Gerda Henkel Visiting Professorship Lecture 2011. 57 min, 24.3 MB)
Round-Table Discussion: The Insiders’ Views of the Fischer Controversy (This round-table discussion was a special event accompanying the international conference 'The Fischer Controversy 50 Years On' which took place on 13–15 October 2011 at the German Historical Institute London. The panellists discuss the insiders' view on Fritz Fischer’s seminal work Griff nach der Weltmacht (English title: Germany's Aims in the First World War), which was published 50 years ago. 90 min, 41.6 MB)
Christoph Cornelißen: Disgust with the 45ers? Post-War German Historiography in a Generational Perspective (Keynote opening lecture given on 8 September 2011 as part of the German History Society Annual General Meeting 2011 (8–10 September 2011). 91 min, 41.7 MB)
Plenary forum: Empires and Colonies (Three outstanding scholars in the field – Frederick Cooper, John Darwin, and Regina Grafe – discuss various, possibly contradicting approaches to imperial and colonial history. Chaired by Peer Vries. 51 min, 24.4 MB)
Peter Hayes: The German Foreign Office and Nazism: Image and Reality after 1945 (8th Annual Lecture on Contemporary German History, German Embassy London, 74 min, 58 MB)
GHIL-Debates: Public History (Franziska Augstein, Kathleen Burk, Justin Champion, Peter Mandler, and Benedikt Stuchtey discuss the contested field of public history, its strengths, shortcomings, and developments, and the place of history in public life in general. 142 min, 97.8 MB)
Sir Ian Kershaw: Volksgemeinschaft: Potential and Limitations of the Concept (Keynote lecture at the international conference 'German Society in the Nazi Era: 'Volksgemeinschaft' between Ideological Projection and Social Practice', co-organized by the German Historical Institute London and the Institut für Zeitgeschichte München-Berlin, 25 to 27 March 2010, 50 min. 45.6 MB)
Richard J. Evans: British and Germans: Perceptions and Misperceptions since the Second World War (7th Annual Lecture on Contemporary German History, German Embassy London, 74 min, 67.7 MB)
Hartmut Kaelble: The 1970s in Europe: A Period of Promise or Disillusionment? (Annual Lecture 2009, 59 min, 54.1 MB)
Leo Baeck Institute Lecture Series
Arno Paucker: Scholar and Friend (A memorial event in honour of the Leo Baeck Institute’s esteemed, longstanding former director Dr Arnold Paucker OBE)
Panel Discussion: The Legacy of the Left and Israel: 1967–2017 (With Nick Cohen, David Feldman, Christina Späti and Peter Ullrich. European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2016–17)
Michel Dreyfus: The Two Lefts in France: Divisions over Zionism and Israel (European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2016–17)
Christina Späti: The German-Speaking Left and Israel: Legacies and Developments since 1948 (European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2016–17)
Brian Klug: Denouncing Israel: Anti-Colonialism or Antisemitism on the British Left? (European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2016–17)
Wendy Pullan: In the Shadow of the Wall: Icon and Identity in Jerusalem’s Separation Barrier (European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2015–16)
Yfaat Weiss: Political Sovereignty and Cultural Property: The Mount Scopus Enclave in Jerusalem (European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2015–16)
Thabet Abu Rass: Land, Power, and Resistance in Israel: The Case of the Bedouins of the Negev (European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2015–16)
Gunnar Lehmann: Past and Politics in the Archaeology of Israel (European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2015–16)
Jay Winter: The Great War and Jewish Memory (European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2014)
Roz Currie: Curating the Jewish Experience of the First World War (European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2014)
Sander Gilman: Cosmopolitanism and the Jews. (The newest buzzword for globalization is cosmopolitanism. As with many such reuses of older concepts, cosmopolitanism has a complex history, specifically in the German-speaking lands. It is this history and its relationship to the history of German Jewry from the Enlightenment to the Holocaust that will be examined – in a global and perhaps even cosmopolitan manner. Leo Baeck Institute Lecture, 43 min, 39.2 MB)
Brian Klug: Dealing with Difference: Jews, Muslims, and the British Left Today (European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2013, 59 min, 53.5 MB)
David Fraser: ‘Quite Contrary to the Principles of British Justice’: The Jews of the Channel Islands 1940–1945 (European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London, 2013, 46 min, 42 MB)