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


Video

Watch recording of our event "From Abundant Papers to Limited Pixels"

If you were unable to watch our event "From Abundant Papers to Limited Pixels: Digitization and Intelligence Reduction in the Brazilian Serviço…

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Call for Papers

Refugees in Global Transit: Encounters, Knowledge, and Coping Strategies in a Disrupted World, 1930s–50s

Deadline: April 30, 2024 | Conference in Mumbai, India| Organized by Simone Lässig (German Historical Institute Washington), Sebastian Schwecke (Max…

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Opportunities

Intern at the German Historical Institute

Deadline: July 31, 2024 | The GHI Internship Program gives students of history, political science, public relations, and public administration at…

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Video

Watch recording of our event "A Frank and Open Discussion about the Secret World of Spying"

If you were unable to watch our event "A Frank and Open Discussion about the Secret World of Spying" live, it is now available on our Vimeo channel.

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Alumni

Interview with Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow Maximilian Klose

We recently caught up with Maximilian Klose, one of our Visiting Fellows, who will be leaving us at the end of February. We sat down with him to…

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Events & Conferences

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

Apr 24, 2024

Research Seminar (Hybrid)

Kristina Spohr (Wilson Center)

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Apr 26, 2024

German Blood, Slavic Soil: How Nazi Königsberg Became Soviet Kaliningrad

Lecture at GHI Pacific Offce (201 Philosophy Hall, UC Berkeley) | Speaker: Nicole Eaton, Associate Professor of History, Boston College

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May 01, 2024

Research Seminar (Hybrid)

Viola Alianov-Rautenberg (GHI Washington, Pacific Office)

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May 06, 2024

Washington-Area German History Seminar

Seminar at GHI Washington | Speaker: Chris Ewing (Purdue University)

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May 09, 2024

The Challenge of German Histories: An American Retrospective

15th Gerald D. Feldman Memorial Lecture at the German Historical Institute Washington | Konrad H. Jarausch (Lurcy Professor of European Civilization Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

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May 10, 2024

32nd Annual Symposium of the Friends of the GHI

Award of the 2024 Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize at the GHI | Prize Winner: Steven Samols (University College London)

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May 15, 2024

Research Seminar (Hybrid)

Benjamin Waltner Goossen (George Mason University)

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May 20, 2024

Fugitive Histories and Migrant Knowledge in Latin America and the Caribbean

Workshop at the University of California, Irvine | Conveners: Kevan Antonio Aguilar (University of California, Irvine), Amy Kerner (University of California, Berkeley & GHI Washington | Pacific Office), Fabio Santos (University of California, Berkeley & GHI Washington | Pacific Office), and Chelsea Schields (University of California, Irvine)

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May 22, 2024

Washington-Area German History Seminar

Seminar at GHI Washington | Speaker: Richard Wetzell (GHI Washington)

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May 23, 2024

The History and Future of State Secrecy

Lecture at GHI Washington | Speaker: Matthew Connelly (Columbia University / the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge)

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May 28, 2024

Civil War – Isolationism – Trumpism: Challenges to Democracy in American History and Politics

Online Panel Discussion | Speakers: David Blight (Yale University), Susan Herbst (University of Connecticut), moderated by Britta Waldschmidt-Nelson (Universität Augsburg)

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Jun 06, 2024

Voting Authoritarians into Power

Panel Discussion at the GHI | Speakers: Udi Greenberg (Dartmouth College), Lisa Mitchell (University of Pennsylvania), Árpád von Klimó (Catholic University of America); and moderated by Aslı Aydıntaşbaş (Brookings Institution) and Richard F. Wetzell (German Historical Institute)

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Jun 23, 2024

29th Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar: German History in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Seminar at the Harnack Haus, Berlin-Dahlem | Conveners: Anna von der Goltz (Georgetown University), Stefanie Schueler-Springorum (Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung, Technische Universität Berlin), and Richard Wetzell (GHI Washington)

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Jun 28, 2024

Archives in/of Transit: Historical Perspectives from the 1930s to the Present

Workshop at University of Southern California, Los Angeles | Conveners: Einstein Papers Project / California Institute of Technology (Jennifer Rodgers); German Historical Institute Washington and its Pacific Office at UC Berkeley (Simone Lässig, Anna-Carolin Augustin, Swen Steinberg); Holocaust Research Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London (Dan Stone); Queen Mary, University of London (Jane Freeland); Wiener Holocaust Library, London (Toby Simpson, Christine Schmidt) as part of the Holocaust and Genocide Research Partnership (HGRP); USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research (Wolf Gruner)

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Jul 03, 2024

Historicizing the Refugee Experience, 17th–21st Centuries

Fourth Annual International Seminar in Historical Refugee Studies in Tübingen | Organized by University of Tübingen (UT), the German Historical Institute in Washington (GHI) and the American Historical Association (AHA), in cooperation with the Centre for Global Cooperation Research (KHK/GCR21)

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Jul 14, 2024

Making a World of Many Worlds: Identities, Activisms, and Comparisons

Summer School | Pacific Office, Berkeley | organized by The Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (CALAS), the Pacific Office of the German Historical Institute Washington (GHI) at UC Berkeley, and the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 1288 “Practices of Comparing” at Bielefeld University

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Sep 05, 2024

Science and Democracy in Political Crises, 1900-2024

Conference at GHI Washington | Conveners: Axel Jansen (GHI), Alexander Bogner (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna), Carsten Reinhardt (Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina – German National Academy of Sciences, Halle), Heidi Tworek (University of British Columbia, Vancouver)

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Oct 21, 2024

Young Scholars Forum: Histories of Migration - Transatlantic and Global Perspectives

Eighth Annual Young Scholars Forum | Pacific Office of the GHI in Berkeley | Conveners: Isabel Richter (GHI Pacific Office Berkeley) and Benno Gammerl (European University Institute Florence)

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Oct 31, 2024

Wings of Globalization? New Approaches to the History of Commercial Aviation, 1920s–2020s

International Conference at the German Historical Institute Washington | Conveners: Andreas Greiner (GHI Washington) and Stefan Rinke (Freie Universität Berlin)

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Feb 13, 2025

Refugees in Global Transit: Encounters, Knowledge, and Coping Strategies in a Disrupted World, 1930s–50s

Conference in Mumbai, India | Organized by Simone Lässig (German Historical Institute Washington), Sebastian Schwecke (Max Weber Forum for South Asian Studies, Delhi), and Swen Steinberg (Queen's University, Kingston). in collaboration with Christoph K. Neumann (OI Istanbul), Maria Framke (Erfurt University), and Jens Hanssen (OI Beirut).

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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


Michael Weaver

Political Friendship: Liberal Notables, Networks, and the Pursuit of the German Nation State, 1848-1866

Studies in German History. Vol. 29. New York: Berghahn Books, 2024.

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Bulletin 72 (Fall 2023)

Forum: The German Treatment of Soviet Prisoners of War During The Second World War

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Adam Bisno

Big Business and the Crisis of German Democracy: Liberalism and the Grand Hotels of Berlin, 1875–1933

Publications of the German Historical Institute. Cambridge University Press, 2023.

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Latest Blogposts


Apr 18, 2024

Abigail Escobedo and Simon Herbert

Gaining Knowledge about the Comanches: Meusebach’s Path Towards a Notable Treaty

Examines the sources of knowledge about the Comanches available to John Meusebach when he sought to make a treaty with them. The post Gaining Knowledge about the Comanches: Meusebach’s Path Towards …

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Apr 04, 2024

Jana Weiss, Jana Weiss

‘On to Texas’: An Introduction to the Miniseries on Texas Germans

Weiss introduces a miniseries on German migration to Texas and knowledge transfers that occurred between German settlers and Texans. The post ‘On to Texas’: An Introduction to the Miniseries on Te…

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Mar 27, 2024

Christiane Weber

Hätte ich das mal eher gewusst … mit Mario Kliewer

Was Historiker:innen und historisch Arbeitende ihrem jüngeren Ich raten würden Mario Kliewer hat die Fragen beantwortet Kannst Du in drei Sätzen Dein Projekt vorstellen und sagen, was speziell der …

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Mar 20, 2024

Stefanie Coché

Everyday Knowledge, Science, and Psychiatric Committals during Germany’s Age of Extremes

Hans A. was 72 years old and in good shape when he was admitted to the Eglfing-Haar Mental Institution in March 1944.1 This Bavarian asylum was notorious at the time for its high mortality rate, and H…

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Mar 13, 2024

Editors

Knowledge Notes

Occasional notes on calls, events, publications, and more that caught our attention. Please email us your own items. Calls for Papers: The History of Intellectual Culture (HIC) International Yearbook …

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Mar 01, 2024

Christiane Weber

Hätte ich das mal eher gewusst … mit Holle Meding

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Feb 28, 2024

katharina hering

Editorial Note

The GHI Washington established the blog Href in 2018 in conjunction with the start of the DFG-funded relaunch of German History in Documents and Images under the leadership of the  founding editors K…

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Feb 15, 2024

Hannah-Lea Wasserfuhr

For the Love of Bread and Barches – The Very German-Jewish Challah Knife

That Germans love bread seems to be one stereotype that is largely accurate. Given Germany’s rich baking culture, it is perhaps not surprising that it also has a long tradition of producing challot,…

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Feb 06, 2024

Ediz Hazır

Cultural Crossroads: The Assumptionists and Their Transnational Exchange in the Ottoman Orient

Describes the Assumptionist and Oblate missions as part of the Mission d'Orient in the Ottoman Empire, focusing on them as a cultural bridge that fostered the exchange of knowledge between East and We…

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Jan 24, 2024

Call for Proposals: Online Source Portal ‘History of the German-Jewish Diaspora’

Call for proposals from the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies for an online source portal called "History of the German-Jewish Diaspora" The post Call for Proposals: Online Source P…

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Jan 24, 2024

historyofknowledgeblogeditor

Call for Proposals to Online Source Portal ‘History of the German-Jewish Diaspora’

For a German version of this call, please visit Geschichte der deutsch-jüdischen Diaspora . Deadline: January 31, 2024. The Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies is seeking authors for…

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Jan 12, 2024

hannahvoss

Women’s and Gender History in the Digital Age: The “Helene-Lange-Archiv” and its Potential for Historical Research and Education

Editorial note: Hannah Voß has finished her undergraduate degree in History and English and American Studies at the University of Münster and is currently in the last semester of completing her mast…

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