German Historical Institute London
The German Historical Institute London enables and furthers humanities research across borders. As an intermediary between German scholars and scholars from Britain, Ireland, and the Commonwealth, we support German scholars working on British history, joint German-British projects, and British scholars teaching and researching German history and culture. Our staff specializes in British and Irish history from medieval to modern times, Anglo-German and European relations, and colonial and global history. As an independent academic institution with a research library, the GHIL is part of the Max Weber Stiftung – Foundation German Humanities Institutes Abroad.
10 March (5.30pm)
GHIL Joint Lecture
Svenja Goltermann (Zurich)
Perceptions of Interpersonal Violence: A History of the Present
16 March (3.30pm)
Bertille James (Munich)
Europe and China in the Age of Globalisation (1978–1992)
18 March (6.30pm)
European Leo Baeck Lecture Series London
Jan-Christopher Horak (Los Angeles)
Helmar Lerski between the Diaspora and a Jewish Homeland
Early modern British history
The German Historical Institute London is seeking to employ at the earliest opportunity, but no later than 1 September 2021, one Research Fellow (postdoc) in the field of early modern British history. This is a fixed-term position (3 years with the option to extend for a further 3 years) for the purpose of completing a German postdoc qualification (e.g. Habilitation).
Closing Date: 19 March 2021
Part-time (24 hrs/week), permanent
The German Historical Institute London is seeking to employ at the earliest opportunity one part-time receptionist (24 hours per week) on a permanent basis.
Closing date: 21/03/2021
Colonial or global history of the British Empire or Commonwealth
For its ‘Colonial and Global History’ research cluster, the German Historical Institute London is seeking to employ, starting on 1 September 2021, one full-time Research Fellow (postdoc) in the field of colonial or global history of the British Empire or Commonwealth. This is a fixed-term position (3 years with the option to extend for a further 3 years) for the purpose of completing a German postdoc qualification (e.g. Habilitation).
Closing Date: 31 March 2021
Volume 42 (2020), No. 2
Words Matter: Our Thoughts on Language, Pseudo-Science, and ‘Race’
German Historical Institute London Bulletin, vol. 42 (2020), no. 2, 3–8
The Short and the Long Twentieth Century: German and European Perspectives
German Historical Institute London Bulletin, vol. 42 (2020), no. 2, 9-24
Geschichtsschreibung in der Emigration
Deutschsprachige Historikerinnen und Historiker in Großbritannien
Veröffentlichungen des Deutschen Historischen Instituts London. Bd. 84
Berlin: De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2020
Cross-Cutting Research Theme
Histories of Kinship and Gender
The categories of kinship and gender are powerful indicators of social place, but also social binding agents. How are individuals and groups assigned a social place? How are social hierarchies and differences, or support networks, created by the production of kinship and gender identities? Attention will be paid to the role of experts and knowledge, to practices ‘from below’, and the negotiation and strengthening of norms by situative performances. This will involve a dialogue with new methods and theories from other disciplines such as ethnography and gender studies. Both gender and kinship are here understood as multi-relational, in the sense of intersectionality.
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.
23 February 2021
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
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