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


Fellowship

2025 Gerald D. Feldman Travel Grants

Deadline: October 6, 2024 | The Max Weber Stiftung's Gerald D. Feldman Travel Grants provide funding up to 3 months travel funding for junior scholars…

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Call for Papers

Food, Migration, and Belonging in 20th Century European History

Deadline: September 20, 2024 | Conference at the German Historical Institute | Pacific Office at UC Berkeley

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Call for Papers

Germans in the Asia-Pacific Region: (Post) Colonial Entanglements, Conflicts and Perceptions in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Deadline: September 30, 2024 | Conference in Flinders University (city campus), Adelaide, South Australia

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Prize

GHI Advisory Board Member Christina Morina Wins German Non-Fiction Prize

Congratulations to Christina Morina, a member of the academic advisory board, whose book "Tausend Aufbrüche" won the prestigious German Non-fiction…

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Video

Watch recording of our event "Voting Authoritarians into Power"

If you were unable to watch our event "Voting Authoritarians into Power" live, it is now available on our Vimeo channel.

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Events & Conferences

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

Sep 05, 2024

Democracy in Crisis? Science and Political Decision-making during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Panel Discussion at the GHI Washington | Speakers: John Barry (Tulane University), Peter Hotez (Baylor College of Medicine) and Joanna Spear (George Washington University) | In cooperation with German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

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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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Mar 19, 2025

Real-Time History: Engaging with Living Archives and Temporal Multiplicities

Seventh Conference on Digital Humanities and Digital History at the German Historical Institute Washington (GHI) | Conveners: German Historical Institute Washington in collaboration with the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH), the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM), Chair for Digital History at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, NFDI4Memory, and Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe

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Jun 25, 2025

Germans in the Asia-Pacific Region: (Post) Colonial Entanglements, Conflicts and Perceptions in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Conference in Flinders University (city campus), Adelaide, South Australia | Conveners: Mathew Fitzpatrick (Flinders University), Simone Lässig (GHI Washington), Isabel Richter (GHI Washington Pacific Office at UC Berkeley)

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Sep 29, 2025

Food, Migration, and Belonging in 20th Century European History

Conference at German Historical Institute | Pacific Office at UC Berkeley | Conveners: Maren Möhring (University of Leipzig), Isabel Richter (GHI Washington Pacific Office at UC Berkeley)

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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


Jan C. Jansen & Kirsten McKenzie, eds.

Mobility and Coercion in an Age of Wars and Revolutions

Publications of the German Historical Institute. Cambridge University Press, 2024.

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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


Jul 05, 2024

historyofknowledgeblogeditor

Knowledge Notes

Occasional notes on calls, events, publications, and more that caught our attention. Please email us your own items. Grants Gerda Henkel Tandem Fellowships for the Global History of Ideas (Forschungsz…

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Jul 02, 2024

Vanessa Tissen

Hätte ich das mal eher gewusst … mit Vanessa Tissen

Was Historiker:innen und historisch Arbeitende ihrem jüngeren Ich raten würden Kannst Du in drei Sätzen Dein Projekt vorstellen und sagen, was speziell der digitale Anteil daran war? Das Deutsche H…

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Jun 18, 2024

Laura Stielike

The Politics of Knowledge Production in Migration Studies

Presents the arguments from Stielike's longer German work on the politics of knowledge production in Migration Studies, examining 3 distinct types of migration research. The post The Politics of Knowl…

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Jun 17, 2024

Alwin J. Cubasch

Floating Food/Filming Knowledge: Creating Food Knowledge above the Clouds

Parabolic Dining On February 11, 1971, NASA food experts from Houston’s Manned Spacecraft Center climbed aboard a KC-135 plane to undergo short periods of near weightlessness.1 The KC-135 was unique…

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Jun 12, 2024

Jonathan Baum

Anpassung der Zotero Gruppenbibliografie “Data Literacy”

Von Jonathan Baum Editorial note:  With the participation of the GHI Washington in the NFDI 4Memory Consortium, an initiative dedicated to the creation of a long-term and sustainable research data in…

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May 31, 2024

Christiane Weber

Hätte ich das mal eher gewusst … mit Friederike Schmidt

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

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May 30, 2024

Aiden Maliskas and Mark McShane

Wurstfest: A Culinary, Cultural, and Economic Masterpiece

Looks at the ethnic, cultural, and economic factors that drove the development of Wurstfest, one of the biggest German ethnic festivals in the United States. The post Wurstfest: A Culinary, Cultural, …

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May 29, 2024

#MigKnow Notes 19

Roundup of calls for papers, submissions, conference reports, new publications relevant to Migrant Knowledge. The post #MigKnow Notes 19 first appeared in Migrant Knowledge. …

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May 28, 2024

Alexej Lochmatow

Virtues as a Lens: Exploring Science, Scholarship, and Politics under Soviet Domination

Why Virtues? The concept of “virtue” has a long and controversial history. Aristotle supposed that virtue could make an individual know what is a “good thing to do.” Machiavelli highlighted th…

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May 16, 2024

Rodolfo Alvarez and Aubrey Hernandez

Exploring Texas German Foodways

Examines the ways that German immigrants to Texas adjusted and adapted their foodways to the foods available and affordable in their new home. The post Exploring Texas German Foodways first appeared i…

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Apr 30, 2024

Christiane Weber

Hätte ich das mal eher gewusst … mit Joëlle Weis

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

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Apr 22, 2024

Malin Sonja Wilckens

‘Collecting’ and Comparing – Skulls, Transatlantic Knowledge Production, and Racial Science

On May 29, 1793, Göttingen anthropologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach received a Georgian woman’s skull. It would later become the most prominent representation of the so-called Caucasian variety o…

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