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 "Public Transport in the Americas: Mobility and Transatlantic Scientific Exchanges"

If you were unable to watch our event "Public Transport in the Americas: Mobility and Transatlantic Scientific Exchanges" live, it is now available on…

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History of Knowledge

Spring Lecture Series “'The spirits that I called': Artificial Life from the Enlightenment to the Present” resumes virtually

The last two lectures from our 2020 Spring Lecture Series have been rescheduled to virtual events after being delayed by the pandemic.

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Opportunities

Intern at the German Historical Institute

Deadline: June 1, 2021 | 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 "Vaccines and (Dis-)trust in Medical Science in Times of Crisis"

If you were unable to watch our event "Vaccines and (Dis-)trust in Medical Science in Times of Crisis" live, it is now available on our Vimeo channel.…

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Video

Watch recording of our event "Layers of Untold Stories: Sharon Dodua Otoo in Conversation with Translator Jon Cho-Polizzi and Deniz Göktürk"

If you were unable to watch our event "Layers of Untold Stories: Sharon Dodua Otoo in Conversation with Translator Jon Cho-Polizzi and Deniz Göktürk"…

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Events & Conferences

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

Apr 15, 2021

GHI Colloquium (Virtual Session)

Martina Schaefer (GHI Washington/Vanderbilt University)

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Apr 16, 2021

The Language of Dreams: Yoko Tawada in conversation with Elisabeth Krimmer and Jonas Teupert

Panel Discussion (Virtual) | Featured Speaker: Yoko Tawada; Discussants: Elisabeth Krimmer (University of California, Davis) and Jonas Teupert (University of California, Berkeley)

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Apr 19, 2021

Climate Change, Energy, and Sustainability in the Pacific Region: Knowledge, Policies, and Transfers (1970s-present)

Conference at the German Institute for Japan Studies, Tokyo | Conveners: Sarah Beringer (German Historical Institute Washington D.C.), Benjamin Beuerle (German Historical Institute Moscow), Sonja Ganseforth (German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ)) and Yufei Zhou (DIJ); in collaboration with the Max Weber Foundation Research Group at the National University of Singapore and the Max Weber Foundation China Branch Office in Beijing

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Apr 22, 2021

Migration and Racism in the United States and Germany in the Twentieth Century

Virtual Workshop | Conveners: Maria Alexopoulou (Technische Universität Berlin), Elisabeth Engel (GHI Washington)

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Apr 26, 2021

Change in Motion: Environment, Migration, and Mobilities

Workshop at the Pacific Regional Office of the GHI in Berkeley | Conveners: Sarah Earnshaw (Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington, Berkeley) and Samantha Fox (Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, The New School, New York)

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Apr 29, 2021

Transmission of Intelligence and Information: A History of Artificial Intelligence

Lecture (Virtual) | 2pm ET | Speaker: Rudolf Seising (Deutsches Museum)

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Apr 30, 2021

Flying Down to Rio: Aviation, National Identities, and Hemispheric Relations in the Americas

Lecture (virtual) | 12pm ET | Speakers: Melina Piglia (National University of Mar del Plata); Leonie Schuster (Kiel University); Peter Soland (Southeast Missouri State University); Moderators: Stefan Rinke (Freie Universität Berlin) Mario Peters (GHI Washington)

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May 05, 2021

Third Annual West Coast Germanists' Workshop: Facts, Fakes, and Representations

Panel 4: State Making and Public Perception | 11am – 12:30pm PT | Virtual Workshop | Conveners: Sheer Ganor (Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington), Isabel Richter (UC Berkeley)

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May 13, 2021

The History of the Second Half of the Twentieth Century as Shown in Six Groups of Graphs, Charts, and Maps

12th Gerald Feldman Lecture (Virtual) | 12:30pm ET | Speaker: Jonathan Sperber (University of Missouri); moderated by Kenneth Ledford (Case Western Reserve University)

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May 15, 2021

Reflecting on German Heritage in the United States in the Twenty-First Century: A Panel Discussion with German Scholars

Panel Discussion (Virtual) | 2pm - 4pm ET | Speakers: Sarah Panther (Leibniz Institute of European History, Mainz) and Sebastian Bondzio (GHI Washington/Roy Rosenzweig Center for New Media and History), Moderator: Jana Keck (GHI Washington)

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May 18, 2021

In Search of the Migrant Child: Global Histories of Youth and Migration between Knowledge, Experience, and Everyday Life

Virtual Workshop | Conveners: Friederike Kind-Kovacs (Hannah-Arendt-Institute for Totalitarianism Research, Dresden), Sheer Ganor (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis), and Swen Steinberg (Carleton University, Ottawa / German Historical Institute Washington with its Pacific Regional Office at University of California Berkeley)

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May 20, 2021

The Golem: The Artificial Anthropoid from Enlightenment Monster to AI

Lecture (virtual) | 12pm ET | Speaker: Cathy Gelbin (University of Manchester)

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Jun 07, 2021

Mobilities, Exclusion, and Migrants' Agency in the Pacific Realm in a Transregional and Diachronic Perspective

Conference at the University of California, Berkeley | Conveners: Albert Manke (GHI's Regional Office at UC Berkeley) and Sören Urbansky (German Historical Institute Washington)

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Jun 15, 2021

26th Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar: German History in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Virtual Seminar at GHI Washington | Conveners: Anna von der Goltz (Georgetown University) and Richard F. Wetzell (GHI Washington)

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Sep 23, 2021

Environments of Exile: Refugees, Nature, and Representations

Biennial Conference of the North American Society for Exile Studies at Queen's University, Kingston, ON | Conveners: Swen Steinberg (Queen’s University, Kingston / GHI PRO) and Helga Schreckenberger (University of Vermont, Burlington)

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Sep 30, 2021

12th Medieval History Seminar

Seminar at GHI London | Conveners: Paul Freedman (Yale University), Bernhard Jussen (Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main), Simon MacLean (University of St Andrews), Fiona Griffiths (Stanford University), Len Scales (Durham University), and Dorothea Weltecke (Goethe University Frankfurt) | Organized by the German Historical Institute London in co-operation with the German Historical Institute Washington

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Sep 30, 2021

Sexuality and the Law in German-Speaking Europe

Seminar at Forty-Fifth Annual Conference of the German Studies Association, Indianapolis, Indiana | Conveners: Martin Lücke (Freie Universität Berlin), Veronika Springmann (Freie Universität Berlin), and Richard F. Wetzell (German Historical Institute Washington)

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Oct 12, 2021

Historicizing the Refugee Experience, 17th - 21st Centuries

First Annual International Seminar in Historical Refugee Studies at the KWI in Essen | Organized by The University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), the German Historical Institute in Washington (GHI) and the National History Center of the American Historical Association (NHC), in cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Center for Integration and Migration Research (InZentIM), the Institute for the Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) and the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research (KHK/GCR21)

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Oct 18, 2021

Histories of Migration: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives

Fifth Annual Bucerius Young Scholars Forum at the Pacific Regional Office of the GHI in Berkeley | Conveners: Franziska Exeler (Department of History, Free University Berlin; Centre for History and Economics, University of Cambridge) and Sören Urbansky (Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington, Berkeley)

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Nov 15, 2021

Contested Meanings of Migration Facilitation: Emigration Agents, Coyotes, Rescuers, and Human Traffickers

Annual Academic and Policy Symposium: Innovation through Migration at GHI PRO | Conveners: Ulf Brunnbauer (Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies & Regensburg University) and Andrea Westermann (GHI PRO)

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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 Migration

History of 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. 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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Featured 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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Latest Publications


Elisabeth Piller

Selling Weimar: German Public Diplomacy and the United States, 1918–1933

Transatlantische Historische Studien. Band 60. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2021.

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Bulletin 67 (Fall 2020)

Forum: New Research in Transatlantic History

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Jan C. Jansen & Simone Lässig, eds.

Refugee Crises, 1945-2000: Political and Societal Responses in International Comparison

Publications of the German Historical Institute. Cambridge University Press, 2020.

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Sophia Dafinger

Die Lehren des Luftkriegs: Sozialwissenschaftliche Expertise in den USA vom Zweiten Weltkrieg bis Vietnam

Transatlantische Historische Studien. Band 59. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2020.

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Latest Blogposts


Apr 09, 2021

Editors

Call: History of Intellectual Culture

Charlotte A. Lerg, Johan Östling, and Jana Weiß are editing a new open-access publication called the History of Intellectual Culture: International Yearbook of Knowledge and Society (HIC), which wil…

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Mar 29, 2021

Anna Cichopek-Gajraj

Knowledge as a Strategy on the Migratory Routes of Polish Jewish Survivors after World War II

Using oral history, the author explores how a Polish Jewish family "used knowledge as a strategy not merely to survive but to build a new life" in what turned out to be a highly contingent transit pro…

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Mar 25, 2021

pirngruber

The Scrapbooks of Elizabeth Smith Miller and Anne Fitzhugh Miller

By Marietheres Pirngruber In my second blog post about the US Suffrage movement, I ‘m taking a closer look at one of the sources: The Scrapbooks of Elizabeth Smith Miller and Anne Fitzhugh Miller. A…

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Mar 24, 2021

Claudia Roesch

Freedom through Knowledge: Liberalism, Censorship, and Public Health in Early Planned Parenthood Campaigns

“Freedom through knowledge” was one of the slogans of Planned Parenthood’s first national campaign in 1942.1 Publishing pamphlets, posters, and testimonials under the headline “Planned Parenth…

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Mar 23, 2021

Editorial Team

#MigKnow Notes 12

Two calls and five reading tips related to this blog's central themes: migrants' knowledge, knowledge about migrants, and migrating knowledge. The post #MigKnow Notes 12 first appeared in Migrant Know…

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Mar 18, 2021

Editors

Knowledge Notes

Fellowships, Positions, Internships Editorial internship (online only) at Black Perspectives, summer 2021, for rising seniors. Application deadline: April 1, 2021. Details. Senior and Junior Fellowshi…

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Mar 12, 2021

pirngruber

National American Woman Suffrage Association Records

Editorial note: Marietheres Pirngruber is studying Global History (M.A.) at the University of Heidelberg. Her primary focus is on women’s and gender history, and she is especially interested in stud…

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Mar 08, 2021

Ulf Brunnbauer

Where is the Migration Innovation? The Habsburg State vs. Facilitators of Migration

Migration strategies and state regulative measures exist in a dialectical relationship. The author looks at state efforts to control emigration from the Habsburg monarchy and the efforts of migration …

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Mar 01, 2021

Angela N. H. Creager, Mathias Grote, and Elaine Leong

Learning by the Book: Manuals and Handbooks in the History of Science

How do practitioners—of any form of specialized knowledge—learn technical skills, and how do they find knowledge deemed solid and secure? Clearly, much training occurs within formal situations suc…

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Mar 01, 2021

katharina hering

Interview with Sebastian Bondzio

By Alexa Lässig Recently we sat down with Sebastian Bondzio, the 2021 Gerda Henkel Stiftung Digital History Fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for H…

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Feb 18, 2021

Editorial Team

‘I am German plus something else’ — An Interview with Ali Can

Victoria Harms talks with the Turkish-German activist and author Ali Can about race, diversity, and identity in contemporary Germany. The post ‘I am German plus something else’ — An Intervie…

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Nov 11, 2020

katharina hering

Interview with Digital History Fellow Jana Keck

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our new Digital History Fellow Jana Keck. Her fields of research include German and American Literature and Culture in the Nineteenth Century, Periodical Stud…

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