German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2050
Fax: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2055 / 7404 5573


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Colonial and Global History

Research on imperial history and the history of colonialism has been an integral part of the work of the German Historical Institute London since its establishment in 1976. This research interest is due not least to the fact that London, as the former political centre of the British Empire, is one of the most important places for archival studies in this field. Current research at the Institute is engaged in wide-ranging theoretical and methodological debates on global history and post-colonial studies. Seven topics, arising from the Institute’s research on Africa, India, and the Middle East, figure prominently in the projects currently undertaken in the field of colonial and global history:

  • Trade and colonial regimes of regulation
  • Slavery and its abolition
  • Migration and the construction of subjectivities
  • Education, social change and the urban
  • Cultural heritage and the politics of the past
  • Science in imperial contexts
  • Circulation of artefacts and images

Since 2013, the institute has been an active part of the following international collaborative research projects on India: 1) the Transnational Research Group (TRG) on Poverty Reduction and Policy for the Poor in India, which ended in December 2017; 2) its successor project, Education and the Urban; 3) Extended Archives of Indian Labour (in collaboration with Centre for Modern Indian Studies Göttingen); 4) the module History as a Political Category of the MS Merian/ R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies: Metamorphosis of the Political (ICAS: MP), partners include universities and research centres in Germany, India and the UK; 5) Bilderfahrzeuge. Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology: a collaborative international research network.

Research Projects

Objects without Status between Middle Eastern Excavation Sites and Europe’s Museums (Mirjam Brusius)

Preserving India’s Past: Law, Bureaucracy and Historical Conservation in Colonial India 1904-1925 (Indra Sengupta)

Merchandise of Power: Arms Trade and Control between Europe and East Africa, 1850-1919 (Felix Brahm)

India Centre  (GHIL)

Selling History: Tourist Guides, Bazaar Histories, and the Politics of the Past (Indra Sengupta; subproject in module History as a Political Category of ICAS MP)

Past and Completed Projects
Archaeology, Nasser's Egypt and the Making of the Post-War Past
(William Carruthers)

'The Great Plan for Mass Education': Twentieth-Century Colonial and Postcolonial Experiments in Education (Valeska Huber)

Georg Wilhelm Schimper - In Abyssinia: Observations on Tigre – Online Edition (Andreas Gestrich and Dorothea McEwan)

Female Education and Social Mobility in Nineteenth-Century Sierra Leone (Silke Strickrodt)

Criticism of Colonialism from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century (Benedikt Stuchtey)

Related Conferences and Seminars

Related Projects of Scholarship Holders