October 21, 2016

GHI West: GHI Washington will open branch office at UC Berkeley in 2017

Partners of the GHI have long pointed out how much historical research in Germany and North America would profit from a GHI presence on North America’s West Coast. The GHI’s new director has now launched such an initiative. In December 2015, with support from David Sabean and Swen Steinberg at UCLA, Simone Lässig organized a workshop in Los Angeles, at which colleagues teaching on the West Coast discussed possible forms of cooperation with GHI academic staff and representatives of several German foundations. Following this meeting, talks with potential cooperation partners quickly led to a successful outcome: With the approval of the Stiftungsrat of the Max Weber Foundation, the GHI Washington will be opening a new branch office (Abteilung) at the University of California at Berkeley in cooperation with UC Berkeley’s Institute of European Studies. The official opening of “GHI West” is planned for the fall of 2017.

Although the new branch will start small, it will offer the GHI unprecedented opportunities to engage with the broad range of innovative research in North America and to expand its cooperation with colleagues in the Western United States and Canada; not least in the area of digital history. GHI West will facilitate the organization of joint conferences, seminars for junior scholars, and lecture series. In addition, our GHI colleagues at Berkeley will set up an international research network on the topic “Knowledge on the move,” which will bring together two foci of GHI research – the history of migration and the history of knowledge – in order to study migrants as historical agents in the history of knowledge. Through this network, the GHI will seek to expand interdisciplinary research collaboration between scholars in Europe, Latin America, and the Pacific rim.