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 "The War in Ukraine and its Consequences for Europe and NATO"

If you were unable to watch our event "The War in Ukraine and its Consequences for Europe and NATO: A Conversation with Ulf Brunnbauer and Soeren…

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Call for Papers

Knowledge Production in Displacement and Forced Migration

Deadline: November 15, 2022 | Workshop at the University of California, Santa Barbara, April 17-18, 2023

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Video

Watch recording of our event "Congealed Labor, Conserved Fish"

If you were unable to watch our event "Congealed Labor, Conserved Fish: From the Adriatic towards a Global History of the Canned Sardine" live, it is…

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Call for Papers

Historicizing the Refugee Experience, 17th–21st Centuries

Deadline: October 31, 2022 | Conference at the University of Duisburg‐Essen, July 4-7, 2023

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Video

Watch recording of our event "Trying to become "German"

If you were unable to watch our event "Trying to become "German": Author Can Merey in Conversation with Historian Michael Printy" live, it is now…

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Events & Conferences

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

Oct 03, 2022

Inside History: Reading and Conversation with Author Ingo Schulze

Lecture and Discussion at UC Berkeley & Virtual | Speaker: Ingo Schulze | Moderators: Deniz Göktürk (UC Berkeley) and Heike Friedman (GHI Washington, Pacific Office Berkeley)

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Oct 06, 2022

Germany's Transformation since 1989 and the Question of Wendegerechtigkeit: A Conversation with Petra Köpping and Ingo Schulze

Public Event at GHI Washington | Speakers: Petra Köpping (Saxony’s Minister for Social Affairs) and Ingo Schulze (Author)

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Oct 10, 2022

Histories of Migration: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives

Sixth Annual Bucerius Young Scholars Forum at the Pacific Regional Office of the GHI in Berkeley | Conveners: Frithjof Benjamin Schenk (Department of History, University of Basel) and Sören Urbansky (GHI Washington, Pacific Office Berkeley)

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Oct 12, 2022

Whose Knowledge? Knowledge about Migrants vs. Migrants’ Knowledge

Bucierus Lecture at the David Brower Center / Zoom | Speaker: Shalini Randeria (Central European University, Vienna)

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Oct 17, 2022

The Language of Archives: Deniz Utlu in conversation with Sultan Doughan and Deniz Göktürk

Lecture (Zoom) | Speaker: Deniz Utlu (Author) | Moderators: Sultan Doughan (Clark University), Deniz Göktürk (UC Berkeley)

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Oct 19, 2022

Research Seminar (hybrid)

Khary O. Polk (Amherst College, Massachusetts)

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Oct 20, 2022

Elective Affinities: A Cultural History of Friendship among German Jews, 1888-1938

Lecture | 370 Dwinelle Hall | Speaker: Philipp Lenhard (UC Berkeley)

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Oct 20, 2022

"Keine Kameraden": The Treatment of Soviet Prisoners of War in German POW camps during the Second World War

Symposium at GHI Washington | Panelists: Esther Meier (German Historical Institute Moscow), Dallas Michelbacher (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum), Edward Westermann (Texas A&M University - San Antonio); moderated by Jürgen Matthäus (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum) and Richard Wetzell (German Historical Institute Washington)

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Nov 02, 2022

Research Seminar (virtual)

Nino Vallen (GHI Pacific Office)

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Nov 03, 2022

German Migrants and Migrating Knowledge in Latin American History

Conference at GHI Washington | Conveners: Simone Lässig (GHI Washington), Mario Peters (GHI Washington), H. Glenn Penny (UCLA), Stefan Rinke (Freie Universität Berlin)

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Nov 04, 2022

Fourth West Coast Germanists’ Workshop: Global Germany

Workshop at the University of California, San Diego | Conveners: Frank Biess (University of California, San Diego), Ulrike Strasser (University of California, San Diego), and Sören Urbansky (GHI Washington, Pacific Office Berkeley)

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Nov 10, 2022

When Democracy Died in Darkness: German-Jewish Responses to Hitler’s Rise

36th Annual Lecture at GHI Washington | Speaker: Michael Brenner (American University/Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Comment: Marion Kaplan (New York University)

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Dec 02, 2022

Crossing Borders, Drawing Lives: Barbara Yelin's Graphic Novels

Lecture (Zoom) | Speaker: Barbara Yelin, Graphic Novelist | Moderator: Brett E. Sterling (University of Arkansas)

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Dec 07, 2022

Research Seminar (hybrid)

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

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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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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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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


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 20, 2022

News from the Network

News from Migrant Knowledge Network members and news about other events associated with the network. Members are invited to share theirs as well. The post News from the Network first appeared in Migra…

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Sep 19, 2022

Nino Vallen

The Chinese Fountain: Migrant Knowledge and World-Making in Early Twentieth-Century Peru

Demonstrates how Chinese immigrants to Peru utilized their knowledge of its culture and aspirations in constructing the fountain to improve their standing. The post The Chinese Fountain: Migrant Knowl…

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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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Sep 02, 2022

Elisa Frei

Missionary FAQs: The Migration of Knowledge about and from Early Modern Jesuit Missions

Frei discusses the knowledge prospective Jesuit missionaries sought to gain before applying, and knowledge missionaries provided back home. The post Missionary FAQs: The Migration of Knowledge about a…

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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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Aug 12, 2022

News from the Network

News about various contributions and awards from the Migrant Knowledge Network. Members are invited to share theirs as well. The post News from the Network first appeared in Migrant Knowledge. …

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Jul 31, 2022

Matthew O. Anderson

Organizing Impulses: Reframing Adventure as Global Knowledge for Young Readers in Precolonial Germany (1841–1862)

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Jul 14, 2022

katharina hering

Interview about the Relaunch of the Hannah Arendt Papers

By Tobias Schweitzer Editorial note: Tobias Schweitzer recently finished his Bachelor/undergraduate studies in philosophy and political science at the University of Münster in Germany. His interests …

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Jul 12, 2022

katharina hering

Reflections on Researching Digitized Personal Files of Sinti and Roma Created by Berlin’s Criminal Police in Nazi Germany

By Lara Raabe Editorial note: Lara Raabe is a graduate history student at the Humboldt University Berlin. She is currently writing her master’s thesis on the role of Sinti and Roma in the Einsatzgru…

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Jul 11, 2022

Jan Randák

‘Will They Become Human?’ Romanies and Re-education Knowledge in Postwar Czechoslovakia

“We are building a socialist order for the happy present and future of today's and future generations.” This is what Václav Nosek, the Minister of the Interior, told his fellow party members …

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