German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

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



Prof Dr Christina von Hodenberg


+44 20 7309

Christina von Hodenberg took over as Director of the GHIL on 1 September 2018. Professor von Hodenberg specialises in the social and cultural history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Germany, Britain and the United States. From 2006 to 2018, she taught European History at Queen Mary University London.

Her first two monographs explored nineteenth-century Prussian history, specifically the role of Prussian judges during the revolution of 1848-49 and Germany’s most famous working-class protest, the 1844 revolt of Silesian weavers. She then moved to the contemporary history of media and political protest. Her survey of post-1945 political journalism in West Germany asked how authoritarian traditions of political culture were overcome. A comparative study on the impact of German, British and American television on the Sixties cultural revolution followed. Most recently, her account of late sixties protest in West Germany (‘Das andere Achtundsechzig’) has generated much discussion in academia and beyond.

She supervises postgraduate research students and postdoctoral scholars both at Queen Mary University and at the German Historical Institute. Enquiries by prospective applicants are welcome.

Research Project

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

A black and white photograph of St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken, Hamburg, 1965, featuring several older ladies and one younger man, all sitting on benches

Scholars tend to write the cultural history of post-war Germany and Britain from the perspective of youth, tracing epochal shifts to the protests and subcultures of the young generation. For the 1960s and 1970s, a period of affluence and value transformation, alleged conflicts between male educated youth and their authoritarian fathers often serve to explain political change. This project shifts the focus onto the complex roles of middle-aged and elderly people, and particularly onto ageing women. It explores the Sixties generation gap in new ways by focussing on how older people related to changing mores, the gendered subtext of contemporary clashes, the agency of women, and the intermediary position of the middle generation.

Research Project

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

Image of an office with several people working on stacks of the BOLSA audiotapes

Social data, i.e. the sources generated through state-sponsored data collection or social science research from the 1940s onwards, are a new challenge for contemporary historians. While they allow unique insights into the social history and experience of ordinary citizens, they come with strings attached. Social data often lack adequate documentation of the context within which they were collected. Their re-use may be restricted by data protection laws and ethical issues. They may never have been systematically archived or may come in formats that require additional skills and methodical ingenuity (such as old statistical software or video cassettes). Christina von Hodenberg has trialled the re-use of social data in her work on the “Bonn Longitudinal Study of Ageing”, a large-scale gerontological project conducted at the university of Bonn from 1964 to 1984. She co-leads the ‘Arbeitskreis Sozialdaten und Zeitgeschichte’ which tackles the challenges tied to the re-use of social data by historians.

Further projects

Christina von Hodenberg is also involved in the International Standing Working Group “Medialization and Empowerment”, the BOLSA (Bonn Longitudinal Study of Ageing) social data archive, and a module member of the media history module of the ICAS Meriankolleg “Metamorphoses of the Political”.

Research Interests

  • Ageing and the elderly in Germany and Britain after 1945
  • Political culture in 19th and 20th century Germany and Britain
  • Popular protest and revolutions
  • Generations in contemporary history
  • Research-generated social science data as historical sources
  • Digital humanities methods for historians
  • The history of journalism, mass media, television
  • Value change, sexuality, kinship and gender since 1960
  • Comparisons and transnational links between Germany, the UK and the US
  • Legal history and the role of lawyers
  • The history of concepts (Begriffsgeschichte)
  • Coming to terms with the Nazi past

Education and Academic Background


Director of the GHIL


Professor of European History, Queen Mary, University of London


Reader in European History, Queen Mary, University of London


Senior Lecturer in European History, Queen Mary, University of London


Habilitation for Modern and Contemporary History, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg


DAAD Visiting Assistant / Associate Professor of History, University of California at Berkeley


John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University


Assistant Professor of History, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg


PhD in Modern History, Universität Bielefeld


MA in Modern History, Eastern European History and German Literature, Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Fellowships, Grants and Scholarships


Principal Investigator for two EU Marie Curie-Fellowships; Co-PI for DFG grant on “Social data and contemporary history”


VolkswagenStiftung grant for Digitisation of Bonner Längsschnittstudie des Alterns, with Historisches Datenzentrum Sachsen-Anhalt,  Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg


Visiting Professor at Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg


Leibniz Summer Fellowship, Zentrum für Zeitgeschichtliche Forschung Potsdam


John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University


DAAD Visiting Professorship, The Canadian Centre for German and European Studies, Université de Montréal

Honours and Distinctions


Humboldt Research Award


First prize, "Das Historische Buch" (H-Soz-u-Kult) for the book ‘Konsens und Krise’, in category ‘media history'


Dissertation prize, Westfälisch-Lippische Universitätsgesellschaft, for ‘Die Partei der Unparteiischen’

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Editorial Board (Schriftleitung), Journal of Modern European History (external link)
  • Editorial Board, German History (external link)
  • Chair of Advisory Council, Zentrum für Zeitgeschichtliche Forschung Potsdam (external link)
  • Advisory Council, Institute for Historical Research, London (2010-2014)
  • Board member, German History Society (2006-2011; 2018-)
  • Co-convener, Modern German History Seminar, Institute for Historical Research, London (2006-2015)
  • Board member, Leo Baeck Institute
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Member of Verband Deutscher Historiker und Historikerinnen



Monographs and Edited Volumes

Das andere Achtundsechzig: Gesellschaftsgeschichte einer Revolte (external link) [The other 1968: Social History of a Revolt] (München, 2018)

Television's Moment: Sitcom Audiences and the Sixties Cultural Revolution (external link) (New York, 2015)

Konsens und Krise: Eine Geschichte der westdeutschen Medienöffentlichkeit, 1945 bis 1973 (external link) [Consensus and Crisis: Mass Media and the Public Sphere in West Germany, 1945-1973] (Göttingen, 2006)

(co-editor, with Detlef Siegfried, and contributor), Wo ’1968’ liegt: Reform und Revolte in der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik (external link) [1968 in West Germany: Reform and Rebellion in the History of the Federal Republic], (Göttingen, 2006)

Aufstand der Weber: Die Revolte von 1844 und ihr Aufstieg zum Mythos (external link) [The Silesian Weavers’ Revolt in 1844: Myth and Reality] (Bonn, 1997)

Die Partei der Unparteiischen: Der Liberalismus der preußischen Richterschaft, 1815-1848/49 (external link) [The Impartial Party: Prussian Judges and Liberalism, 1815-1848/49], Kritische Studien zur Geschichtswissenschaft 113 (Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996)

Articles and Chapters


‘Zur Generation der 45er. Stärken und Schwächen eines Deutungsmusters‘, Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, 4-5 (2020) []

‘Writing Women's Agency into the History of the Federal Republic: “1968,” Historians, and Gender’, Central European History, 52(1) (2019), 87-106 []

‘Gesellschaftsgeschichtliche Perspektiven auf das westdeutsche 'Achtundsechzig'’, Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, 38/39 (2018), 31-36 []

‘Square-Eyed Farmers and Gloomy Ethnographers. The Advent of Television in the West German Village’, Journal of Contemporary History, 51 (2016), 839-865 []

‘Expeditionen in den Methodendschungel: Herausforderungen der Zeitgeschichtsforschung im Fernsehzeitalter’, Journal of Modern European History, 10 (2012), 24-48 []

‘Ekel Alfred und die Kulturrevolution: Unterhaltungsfernsehen als Sprachrohr der 68er-Bewegung?’, Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht, 62 (2011), 557–572

‘Mass Media and the Generation of Conflict: West Germany’s Long Sixties and the Formation of a Critical Public Sphere’, Contemporary European History, 15, 3 (2006), 367-395 []

‘Of German Fräuleins, Nazi Werewolves, and Iraqi Insurgents: The American Fascination with Hitler’s Last Foray’, Central European History, 41, 1 (2008), 71-92 []

(together with Philipp Gassert),  ‘Media: Government versus Market’, in Kiran Klaus Patel and Christof Mauch (eds.), The United States and Germany during the Twentieth Century: Competition and Convergence (Cambridge, 2010), 227-244 []

‘The Protest of Silesian Weavers in 1844: Household Strategies and Moral Concepts’, in Jan Kok (ed.), Rebellious Families: Household Strategies and Collective Action in the 19th and 20th Centuries, International Studies in Social History, vol 3 (Oxford and Providence, 2002), 39-56

‘Politische Generationen und massenmediale Öffentlichkeit: Das Beispiel der Fünfundvierziger in der Bundesrepublik’, in Ulrike Jureit and Michael Wildt (eds.), Generationen: Zur Relevanz eines sozialwissenschaftlichen Grundbegriffs (Hamburg, 2005), 266-294

‘Der Fluch des Geldsacks: Der Aufstieg des Industriellen als Herausforderung bürgerlicher Werte’, in Manfred Hettling and Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann (eds.), Der bürgerliche Wertehimmel: Innenansichten des 19. Jahrhunderts (Göttingen, 2000), 79-104

‘Mit dem Rotstift gegen die soziale Frage: Die preußische Pressezensur und der schlesische Weberaufstand 1844’, Forschungen zur Brandenburgischen und Preußischen Geschichte, NF 9 (1999), 91-122