Advancing Research

German Historical Institute Washington

The GHI promotes research in three core fields: German history, American & transatlantic history, and global history.

Supporting Scholars

German Historical Institute Washington

The GHI works to enable scholars to conduct research and share their findings with their colleagues.

Building Networks

German Historical Institute Washington

The GHI’s programs rest on the assumption that communication is as important as research in advancing historical understanding.

The German Historical Institute Washington (GHI) is a center for advanced historical research. Working with junior and senior scholars around the world, the GHI facilitates dialogue and collaboration across national and disciplinary boundaries.

Latest News


Call for Papers

Fifth West Coast Germanists’ Workshop: Scholarship-in-Progress

Deadline: January 31, 2023 | Workshop at University of British Columbia, Vancouver April 28-29, 2023.

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Opportunities

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin/wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (w/m/d) mit einem Schwerpunkt in Nordamerikanischer Geschichte

Deadline: Jan. 22, 2023 | The GHI Washington is hiring a research fellow in North American history (w/m/d).

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Call for Papers

28th Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar: German History in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Deadline: January 15, 2023 | Seminar at the Villa Vigoni, Loveno di Menaggio, Italy, June 29 - July 3, 2023

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Opportunities

Event Coordinator

Deadline: December 6, 2022 | The German Historical Institute Washington is hiring an Event Coordinator

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Pacific Office

Global Challenge in the Asia-Pacific – Past & Present

Lecture Series at UC Berkeley and Stanford University, November 14 & 16, 2022 | Sponsored by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius

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Events & Conferences

The GHI organizes international scholarly conferences, public programs and lectures on a wide variety of historical topics.

Dec 07, 2022

Research Seminar (hybrid)

Simone Lässig (Director of the GHI Washington and its Pacific Office)

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Dec 15, 2022

GHI Colloquium

Speakers:Darja Jesse (Technische Universität Berlin), Tabea Nasaroff (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg), and Hans-Georg Ripken (Universität Mannheim)

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Jan 24, 2023

Shades of Blue: Claiming Europe in the Age of Disintegration

Panel Discussion (Zoom) | Panelist/Discussants: Gregor Feindt (Leibniz-Institute of European History, Mainz), Félix Krawatzek (Center for East European and International Studies, Berlin), Friedemann Pestel (University of Freiburg/University of California, Berkeley), Rieke Trimcev (University of Greifswald)

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Jan 25, 2023

Music of War and Victory: How Beethoven Helped to Save and Rebuild the Habsburg Empire

Lecture (Hybrid: 223 Moses Hall and Zoom) | Speaker: Philipp Ther (University of Vienna / UC Berkeley); Moderator: Nicolas Mathew (UC Berkeley)

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Jan 26, 2023

Decolonizing German Cultural Anthropology: Narratives of Time and Space in contemporary German Villages

Lecture (Hybrid: 201 Moses Hall & Zoom) | Speaker: Sadhana Naithani (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

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Feb 09, 2023

Theology of Disability: Germany, 1900-1945

Lecture (Hybrid: 223 Moses Hall & Zoom) | Speaker: Dagmar Herzog (CUNY Graduate Center); Moderator: Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann (UC Berkeley)

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Feb 22, 2023

"Noah's Ark for Future Generations" or Genetic Imperialism?: The Dilemma of the Seed Bank in Postwar German History

Lecture (Hybrid: 201 Moses Hall & Zoom) | Speaker: Jennifer Allen (Yale University); Moderator: Philipp Lenhard (UC Berkeley)

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Apr 17, 2023

Knowledge Production in Displacement and Forced Migration

Workshop at the University of California, Santa Barbara | Conveners: Joshua Donovan (GHI Washington | Pacific Office), Vitalij Fastovskij (GHI Washington | Pacific Office), and Vladimir Hamed-Troyansky (University of California, Santa Barbara)

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Apr 25, 2023

Diaspora and Debris: Material Culture in German-Jewish History

Seventh Junior Scholars Conference in Jewish History at GHI Washington | Co-organized by Anna-Carolin Augustin (GHI Washington), Mark Roseman (Indiana University Bloomington), and Miriam Rürup (Moses Mendelssohn Centre for European-Jewish Studies, Potsdam), with additional support from the Wissenschaftliche Arbeitsgemeinschaft des Leo Baeck Instituts

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Apr 28, 2023

Fifth West Coast Germanists’ Workshop: Scholarship-in-Progress

Workshop at University of British Columbia, Vancouver | Conveners: Heidi Tworek (University of British Columbia, Vancouver) and Richard Wetzell (German Historical Institute Washington)

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May 25, 2023

Work, Class, and Social Democracy in the Global Age of August Bebel (1840-1913)

Conference at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto | Conveners: James Retallack (University of Toronto), Simone Lässig (GHI Washington) and Swen Steinberg (GHI Washington) | Partners: Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Bonn); Institute for Social Movements (Bochum)

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Jun 29, 2023

28th Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar: German History in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Seminar at the Villa Vigoni, Loveno di Menaggio, Italy | Conveners: Anna von der Goltz (Georgetown University) and Richard Wetzell (GHI Washington)

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Jul 04, 2023

Historicizing the Refugee Experience, 17th–21st Centuries

Third Annual International Seminar in Historical Refugee Studies Duisburg | Organized by the University of Duisburg‐Essen (UDE), the German Historical Institute Washington (GHI) and the American Historical Association (AHA), in cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Center for Integration and Migration Research (InZentIM), the Institute for the Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) and the Centre for Global Cooperation Research (KHK/GCR21)

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Research Fields


German/European & Jewish History

German/European & Jewish History

Modern German history and the history of German-speaking Jewry have been core research fields at the GHI since the institute’s founding in 1987. German migrations to North America, relations between Germany and the United States, and the flight of German Jews from Nazi Germany have been major research topics since the GHI’s early years. More recently, the GHI has given increased attention to the transnational and global dimensions of German, Central European, and Jewish history.

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History of the Americas & Transatlantic History

History of the Americas & Transatlantic History

From an initial focus on North American history and the history of the transatlantic relations, the GHI has broadened the scope of its core research agenda to encompass the Americas as a whole. Its long engagement with the histories of the United States, Canada, and North American-European ties is the point of departure for its new initiatives in the history of the Americas. GHI-supported projects are exploring the myriad entanglements linking the societies of North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean to each other and societies across the globe. The interconnections of the Atlantic and Pacific worlds are focal point of the research program of the GHI’s Pacific Regional Office in Berkeley.

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Global & Transregional History

Global & Transregional History

The GHI’s engagement with global and transregional history is an outgrowth of its work in transatlantic history and its longstanding interest in comparative history, especially historical comparisons of the U.S. and Germany. Global and transregional history at the GHI are defined less by subject matter than by analytical perspective. GHI-supported research explores processes that transcend individual polities and entangle disparate states, regions, and continents. The GHI is particularly interested in historical comparison as a tool to illuminate trends and developments at the transregional and global levels.

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History of Knowledge

History of Knowledge

The history of knowledge analyzes the production and circulation of knowledge, taking into consideration a broad spectrum of actors, practices, and social contexts. It seeks to understand the creation of knowledge orders and systems along with the power relationships upon which they rest. The development of the field has taken different paths in Europe and North America. Consequently, a central objective of the GHI’s program in the history of knowledge is to spur transatlantic exchange on research methodologies. The history of knowledge also serves as vehicle for collaboration across the GHI’s core research fields and other subfields of history. Notably, the GHI’s Pacific Regional Office in Berkeley “Migrant Knowledge” initiative is supporting research at the intersection of migration history and the history of knowledge.

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History of Mobilities & Migration

History of Mobilities & Migration

The GHI’s longstanding engagement with the migration of German-speakers to North America from the seventeenth century to the present is the foundation for the wider reaching program in migration history it launched in 2015. Current GHI-supported projects look beyond the flows of European migrants across the Atlantic and analyze migrant groups and receiving societies around the world. The research at the institute also places a focus on spatial mobility and its social impacts and asymmetries by bringing together projects on migration with colleagues working on different mobile groups, objects, information, or ideas. Particular attention is given to forced migration and comparative research on the social and cultural integration of migrants. The roles of migrants as producers and transmitters of distinctive bodies of knowledge is the focus of the “Migrant Knowledge” initiative at the GHI’s Pacific Regional Office. The collaborative project "German Heritage in Letters" draws on the tools of digital history to explore the ways German emigrants and their family and friends at home created transnational spaces of communication and knowledge circulation.

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Digital History

Digital History

The GHI’s digital history program operates at the crossroads of multiple disciplines and professions. One overarching goal is to forge links between seemingly disparate communities and pursuits: digital historians and “book” historians; projects informed by public history concerns versus those motivated by research objectives; and research and academic teaching. In addition to its own digital history projects – German History in Documents and Images, German History Intersections, and German Heritage in Letters – the GHI collaborates with partner institutions across Europe and North America in exchange and networking initiatives to support the development of digital tools and methodologies for historical research.

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Collaborative Projects

German History in Documents and Images (GHDI)

GHDI is a comprehensive collection of primary source materials documenting Germany's political, social, and cultural history from 1500 to the present.

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German History Intersections

The German History Intersections project is a transatlantic initiative that will begin by examining three broad themes – German identity; migration; and knowledge and education – over as many as five centuries.

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German Heritage in Letters

German Heritage in Letters is a project to create a digital collection of German-language correspondence currently held in private hands, by archives, by special collection libraries, museums, and other institutions.

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Migrant Connections

Migrant Connections is a digital research infrastructure for historical research on German migration to the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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In Global Transit

In Global Transit builds from the endeavors of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution to explore the spatial and temporal dimensions of global transit. Currently it consists of two separate pillars: a conference series and resulting research network and individual projects from GHI research staff.

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Interaction and Knowledge in the Pacific Region: Entanglements and Disentanglements

The project analyzes the Pacific as a space of knowledge transfer and interaction, which shape state and non-state actors through contacts, reciprocal influences and conflicts.

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Latest Publications


Bulletin 69 (Fall 2021 & Spring 2022)

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Moritz Föllmer and Pamela E. Swett, eds.

Reshaping Capitalism in Weimar and Nazi Germany

Publications of the German Historical Institute. Cambridge University Press, 2022.

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Paul Lerner, Uwe Spiekermann, Anne Schenderlein, eds.

Jewish Consumer Cultures in Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Europe and North America

Worlds of Consumption. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2022.

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Latest Blogposts


Nov 29, 2022

Hannah Laubrock

Rübelmann’s Letters: Knowledge Transfer through Emigrant Correspondence

Analyzes the content of a collection of letters from a Baden emigrant to America to determine the knowledge he shared back home. The post Rübelmann’s Letters: Knowledge Transfer through Emigrant Co…

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Nov 18, 2022

Martin Bemmann

The Latest News from the Other Side: ‘America’ in the Freiburger Zeitung of 1876

Analyzes the news items pertaining to America from all issues of the Freiburger Zeitung of 1876 in the context of the press of that era. The post The Latest News from the Other Side: ‘America’ i…

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Nov 11, 2022

Luca Leitz-Schwoerer

Through the Information Jungle Towards the ‘Land of Freedom’: Images of ‘America’ in German Magazines in the 1870s and 1880s

Analyzes the knowledge of America presented in the popular late 19th-c. German magazines Die Gartenlaube and Deutscher Hausschatz. The post Through the Information Jungle Towards the ‘Land of Freedo…

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Nov 07, 2022

Marie-Nella Hoffmann

A Cautionary Tale: Baden’s Late Nineteenth-Century Textbooks and Their Portrayal of America

Compares two textbooks for schoolchildren in Baden in the late nineteenth century and presents the ideas they conveyed about the US. The post A Cautionary Tale: Baden’s Late Nineteenth-Century Textb…

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Nov 05, 2022

Martina Schaefer

African American Lucumí Devotees’ Adoption and Adaptation of African Diasporic Religious Knowledge in the U.S.

This short piece traces how the Black Power era affected the unfolding of the transmission of African diasporic religious knowledge and how it contributed to the evolution of specifically African Amer…

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Oct 27, 2022

katharina hering

Online access to historical German TV programs: Reflections on the research potential of unique audiovisual sources

By Christoph Eisele Editorial note: Christoph Eisele is in the final phase of completing his master’s degree in history (focusing on modern history) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, w…

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Oct 26, 2022

katharina hering

Online-Zugang zu historischen TV-Beiträgen: Reflektionen zum Forschungspotential

Von Christoph Eisele Editorische Notiz: Christoph Eisele steht kurz vor dem Abschluss seines Masterstudiums in Geschichte (Schwerpunkt Moderne Geschichte) an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Münch…

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Oct 17, 2022

Alexander Collin

Bounded Rationality and the History of Knowledge

A Frontier in the History of Knowledge In September 2021, Peter Burke gave a talk at Lund University in which he spoke about the challenges that historians of knowledge face as we attempt to understan…

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Sep 29, 2022

katharina hering

Historical Newspapers. The Zeit.Punkt NRW-Portal

By Linda Rath Editorial note: Linda Rath graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf in 2022. Her interests include the history of medicine and epide…

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Sep 12, 2022

katharina hering

Visiting PACSCL – Part 1: Facing Digital Transformations Together

By Tim Feind Editorial note: Tim Feind completed his bachelor studies in Leipzig and is in the final phase of his master’s degree studies in History at the University of Vienna in Austria. His main…

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Sep 09, 2022

Lukas Alex

Human Genetics with(out) Eugenic Knowledge? Towards a History of Knowledge about Human Heredity in West Germany

Since 1945, no German book on eugenics has been published. However, during two decades of reconstruction of the science of human genetics, which is fundamental to eugenics, the problems of eugenics re…

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Aug 26, 2022

Tanja Hammel

Glimpses into a History of Knowledge on the Antimalarial Lariam® in Zambia

You may have heard of the antimalarial agent mefloquine during the Covid-19 pandemic, as scientists suggested repurposing the drug to combat the novel coronavirus. Most drugs are developed for the bod…

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