German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

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

URI: www.ghil.co.uk

 

GHIL Research

List of Projects

 
 

Stephan Bruhn

Heavenly Hierarchies and Profane Prestige: Imagining and Shaping Social Order in Post-Roman England and the Frankish World
c.400–850

The project explores the perception and (re)negotiation of status and social order in post-Roman western Europe by comparatively analysing the definition and implementation of hierarchies in the Frankish World and Anglo-Saxon England. It focuses on the records of church councils and synods, regarding these assemblies as crucial for the development of new societal models in an age of transition.

History of Social Structures, Practices, and Experience

Marcus Meer

Censoring, Defacing, and Erasing Visual Matters in the European City
1300–1500

In the cities of late medieval Europe, practices of censoring, defacing, and erasing visual matters served both townspeople and their noble antagonists as powerful means of communication. In the socio-political conflicts that affected and divided urban societies, these practices supported and challenged powerful individuals, political institutions, social hierarchies, and urban spaces alike.

History of Social Structures, Practices, and Experience

Bernhard Hollick

The Mythographic Sermon in Late Medieval England: Classicism, Discourse, and Clerical Identity
1330–1450

In Oxford, St Albans, and other intellectual centres of late medieval England, a classicizing literature flourished, including a substantial body of sermons using mythic imagery. The project will study the development of this mythographic style of preaching and consider it in a larger context of social and intellectual changes at the end of the Middle Ages.

Individual project funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Dipanwita Donde

Migration of Images, Texts, Ideas, and Objects from Timurid Central Asia to Mughal India
16th–18th centuries

The project examines meanings, intentions, and ideas concealed in Mughal paintings that point to transcultural encounters between central Asia and Mughal India. These hidden riddles reveal a rich archive of historical, political, social and cultural memory, woven into a distinct pictorial tapestry, for constructing a legitimate dynastic identity for Mughal emperors in India.

BMBF-funded third party project: Bilderfahrzeuge: Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology

Collaborative Project

The Prize Papers Project
Cataloguing – Digitization – Presentation

The papers from the High Court of Admiralty Prize Court collection (1664–1817) at the National Archives, Kew consist of documents and objects from ships that were legally taken as prizes in maritime warfare. The lawfulness of the capture had to be confirmed by the Court, who retained the papers. This collection, together with the corresponding process files, has been preserved largely untouched and unsorted as the only surviving collection of its kind in Europe. The aim of the project is the complete digitization of the Prize Papers, including the preservation of the collection’s material dimension, the initial and in-depth cataloguing, the creation of research-oriented metadata, and finally the presentation of the digital copies and the metadata in an open-access research database.

University of Oldenburg in cooperation with the National Archives, Kew and the GHIL

Michael Schaich

Webs of Information
Scribal News and News Cultures around 1700

Why would a well-educated man or woman subscribe, at great cost, to a hand-written newsletter when cheaper newspapers were already easily available? This project investigates the so far largely hidden sphere of scribal news in a world dominated by the printing press, and follows the flows of information that ran between Britain and the Continent in the years around 1700.

History of Politics and the Political

Hannes Ziegler

‘The Vigilant and the Negligent’
British Coastal Administrations in the 18th Century

The project explores the history of 18th-century British coastal administration from the angle of administrative and political history in a cultural perspective. It focuses on the various administrative units that were charged with guarding and watching the coasts and aims to integrate the findings with the historiography of state-formation in 18th-century Britain.

History of Politics and the Political

Collaborative Project

Pauper Letters and Petitions for Poor Relief in Germany and Great Britain, 1770–1914
Andreas Gestrich (University of Trier) and Steven King (University of Leicester)

Pauper letters and applications for relief contain sometimes rudimentary but often extensive information on the applicants’ material situation, their family circumstances, and their relationships with their home parish, or specific officials or friends from whom they expect support. This project proposes to collect and edit a substantial online corpus of these narratives.

History of Social Structures, Practices, and Experience

Markus Mößlang

British Envoys to Germany
(1816–1897)

The editorial project presents a comprehensive selection of diplomatic reports written for the Foreign Office by British envoys to the German States in the 19th century, covering the period from the Vienna Congress in 1815 to the dissolution of the German Confederation (Deutscher Bund) in 1866, the North German Confederation (1867–1870), and from the foundation of the German Kaiserreich in 1871 to 1897.

History of Politics and the Political

Felix Brahm

Merchandise of Power
Arms Trade and Control between Europe and East Africa, 1850–1919

This research project studies the extensive East African firearms trade between the middle of the 19th century and the First World War. It analyses the global networks of this commerce and assesses the social and ecological implications of firearms usage in different local contexts. It also analyses pre-colonial and colonial arms control and sheds light on the origins of international arms trade regulation.

Colonial and Global History

Mirjam Brusius

The Spaces of Photography
Colonial and Global History

This project explores not only the actual photographs, but also their detachment from their original archival context, their circulation on the art market, and their display across different types of museums and institutions. This is done in order to determine the disciplinary framework for studying early photographic specimens, whether scientific, industrial, or colonial.

Colonial and Global History

Mirjam Brusius

Empire, Heritage, and the Decolonization Debate

This project gives a transregional perspective on museums, collecting, and fieldwork as an imperial enterprise incorporating the British Empire, France, and Prussia. It shows how emerging survey methods and disciplines such as archaeology were instrumentalized in political, orientalist and racial discourse in the increasingly contested landscape of the Ottoman Empire.

Colonial and Global History

Jenny Pleinen

The Political Economy of Government Redistribution in Britain
1870–1955

By applying an approach of fiscal sociology to redistributive policies, the project provides new perspectives on the relationship between the state, capitalism, and society in Britain since 1850. It examines how tax policies, tariffs, government expenditure, and regulations were decided upon, what knowledge influenced the debates, and what effects these state interventions had on social inequality.

History of Social Structures, Practices, and Experience

Indra Sengupta

Preserving India’s Past
Law, Bureaucracy and Historical Conservation in Colonial India 1904–1925

Taking the 1904 Ancient Monuments Preservation Act as a point of entry, this project examines the relationship between colonial law, its implementation by colonial bureaucracy, and the ‘making’ of historic monuments in India under British rule. The study focuses on Hindu religious structures. It looks beyond policy-making and analyses the many ways in which Indians exercised agency when faced with state power ‘on site’.

Colonial and Global History

Robert Rahman Raman

From Girangaon to ‘Mini Pakistan’
The Precarious Place of Working Muslims in 20th-Century Bombay

The project explores the transformation of localities in Bombay from 'working-class neighbourhoods' with many Muslim inhabitants in the early decades of 20th century into 'Muslim neighbourhoods' (or 'Mini-Pakistan') in public discourse and in the changing politics of Bombay in the years following India’s independence. The study is based on Girangaon, the erstwhile mill district of the city.

India Research Programme

Research Group

Education and the Urban in India since the 19th Century

Focusing on major Indian cities, the research group examines the relation between education and the urban as a category in Indian society, which has undergone rapid and complex processes of urbanisation in the seven decades since independence from colonial rule in 1947. The project is conducted by Principal Investigators from Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi), the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai) and the National Institute of Advance Studies (Bengaluru) along with the Head of the IRP.

History of Social Structures, Practices, and Experience

Debarati Bagchi

Education Hubs and the Changing Urban Landscape in the Delhi National Capital Region (NCR)
1949–2009

My project explores the complex connections between higher education institutions and the history of urbanization in post-colonial India. In order to understand the relationship between land, the rental economy and university neighbourhood relations, I focus on two sites in the Delhi National Capital Region in the context of higher education policy between the University Commission of 1948 and the National Knowledge Commission of 2007.

India Research Programme

Sina Steglich

Nomadism as a Discursive Figure of (Post)Modernity

Modernity and mobility are ambivalently intertwined, whereby nomadism can be understood as a focal point of modernity’s self-conception as modernity. Nomadism was excluded from the European/Western concept of modernity until it was rediscovered by postmodern thinkers and intellectuals. Against this backdrop, it is proposed that nomadism be identified as a prominent discursive figure of (post)modernity that calls for a continued reflection on sociality. 

History of Politics and the Political

ICAS

History as a Political Category
ICAS: 'Metamorphosis of the Political'

M.S. Merian – R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies

History of Politics and the Political

Jane Freeland and Christina von Hodenberg

Medialization and Empowerment
International Standing Working Group

The International Standing Working Group on Medialization and Empowerment explores the connections between the mass media and the proliferation of women’s rights and feminist movements in the long 20th century. Drawing on the histories of media, feminism and gender, the group examines how the media has shaped women’s rights.

History of Social Structures, Practices, and Experience

Christina von Hodenberg

Ageing and 'Doing Gender' in the Era of Value Change

To what extent did old people, especially ageing women, play an active part in the processes of value change that transformed West Germany and Britain from the 1960s to the 1980s? Contemporary historians have often pointed to student protests and generational conflict between fathers and sons to explain cultural change. In contrast, this project explores the gendered subtext of value conflicts and the agency of women and the elderly.

History of Social Structures, Practices, and Experience

Christina von Hodenberg

Writing Contemporary History with Social Data: Plans for a Digital Infrastructure

Historians working on the second half of the 20th century are confronted with new types of sources: so-called social data. These are the remains of state-sponsored data collection or social science research projects, and include tax data, polls, psychological interviews and participant observations. Such data can appear in obsolete formats such as punchcards or magnetic tapes, and may be found in retired researchers’ attics rather than in archives. The GHIL has teamed up with external partners to tackle the challenges tied to the re-use of social data by historians.

History of Social Structures, Practices, and Experience

Indra Sengupta

Selling History: Tourist Guides, Bazaar Histories, and the Politics of the Past in India the late 20th and early 21st Centuries

This project examines historical tourist guidebooks and locally produced historical tracts that circulate around historical/heritage sites in Murshidabad in eastern India. The aim is to understand the mutually constitutive relationship between popular regional ideas of the past and the changing political sphere in India since the late decades of the previous century.

Colonial and Global History

Collaborative Project

Bilderfahrzeuge
Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology

‘Bilderfahrzeuge’, literally meaning image vehicles, is a term coined by the German art historian Aby Warburg (1866-1929). It refers to a concept that was of the utmost importance for Warburg, since his work sought to trace lines of continuity linking Antiquity with the Renaissance – lines that he felt materialised out of ‘Bildwanderung’, the migration of images.

BMBF-funded third party project: Bilderfahrzeuge: Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology