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 lecture and conversation with Author Ingo Schulze

If you were unable to watch our lecture and conversation with Author Ingo Schulze live, it is now available on our Vimeo channel.

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Fellowship

Visiting Fellowships at the GHI

Deadline: December 1, 2020 | The GHI is now accepting applications for its 2021-2022 visiting fellow program for European and North American scholars…

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Video

Watch Recording of our Virtual Panel "Rethinking Memory and Knowledge during Times of Crisis"

If you were unable to watch our first panel on "Racism in History and Context" live, it is now available on our Vimeo channel.

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Call for Papers

12th Medieval History Seminar

Deadline: January 31, 2021 | Seminar at GHI London

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Global & Transregional History

GHI Research Fellow Sören Urbansky featured on the New Books Network Podcast

GHI Research Fellow Sören Urbansky interviewed about his latest book "Beyond the Steppe Frontier" on the New Books Network Podcast

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Events & Conferences

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

Oct 20, 2020

Virtual DCHDC Meetup

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Oct 27, 2020

Catholics, Protestants, and the Origins of Europe’s Harsh Religious Pluralism

Lecture (virtual) | 3 - 4pm EDT | Speaker: Udi Greenberg (Dartmouth College); moderated by Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann (UC Berkeley)

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Oct 29, 2020

Rethinking Health and Power during Times of Crisis

Part 2 of Virtual Panel Series Racism in History and Context | 3pm - 4:30pm ET | Panelists: Manuela Boatcă (University of Freiburg), Teresa Koloma Beck (Bundeswehr University Munich), Monica Muñoz Martinez (UT Austin), and Kathryn Olivarius (Stanford) | Moderators: Elisabeth Engel (GHI Washington) and Leti Volpp (UC Berkeley)

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Nov 04, 2020

Research Seminar (Virtual Session)

Speaker: Mario Peters (GHI)

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Nov 11, 2020

Shipping Rocks and Sand: Ballast in Global History

34th Annual Lecture of the GHI Washington (Virtual) | 10am to 12pm ET | Speaker: Roland Wenzlhuemer (Ludwigs-Maximilian-Universität München); Comment: Francesca Trivellato (Institute for Advanced Studies)

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Nov 18, 2020

Research Seminar (Virtual Session)

Speaker: Jana Keck (GHI)

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Feb 05, 2021

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

Workshop at University of California, Berkeley | Conveners: Sheer Ganor (Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington), Isabel Richter (UC 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

Workshop at GHI Washington | Conveners: Maria Alexopoulou (University of Mannheim), 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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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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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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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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Dec 13, 2021

Antisemitism and Sexuality Reconsidered

Conference at the Center for Research on Antisemitism, TU Berlin | Conveners: Stefanie Schüler-Springorum (Center for Research on Antisemitism, TU Berlin), Anna-Carolin Augustin (GHI Washington), Sebastian Bischoff (Paderborn University), Kristoff Kerl (University of Copenhagen), in cooperation with the German Historical Institute, Washington DC (GHI) and the Center for Research on Antisemitism, TU Berlin

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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


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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Das Pazifikbüro des DHI Washington. Aufbauphase 2017-2019

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Latest Blogposts


Sep 26, 2020

Various

German Studies and the History of Knowledge

We are publishing the following information in conjunction with the German Studies Association’s 2020 virtual conference, which runs from September 29 to October 4. With instructors and students fac…

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Sep 23, 2020

Articles

Girls’ Self-Empowerment through Narrative in Film

A Berlin-based group works with refugee girls, who make films as a way to narrate their life experiences. The idea is to help the girls form and mobilize knowledge repertoires for their self-empowerme…

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Sep 16, 2020

Scholarly Communication

Social Media as a Distinct Form of Knowledge Production

When I started blogging in 2016, I had not been an active reader of blogs. I liked the idea of reaching out to a broader public by blogging about my research project on the eponymously titled Migratio…

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Sep 05, 2020

Notices

Virtual Book Launch: The British Empire as Refuge?

Event to launch "Refugees from Nazi-Occupied Europe in British Overseas Territories," the first book to cover forced emigration from Nazi-controlled Europe to the territories of the British Empire as …

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Sep 03, 2020

Articles

Exclusion and Erasure in ‘The Values Majority Culture Americans Live By’

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Aug 17, 2020

Articles

Young Refugees and Knowledge in New York during World War II: The Example of Babette Deutsch’s ‘The Welcome’

A book for children about young refugees in New York was rooted in real experiences. Its author's eye for children's agency can help us to understand refugee children as go-betweens in wartime New Yor…

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Jul 22, 2020

Rumors and Gossip

The Value of Rumors in Mikhail Bulgakov’s ‘The White Guard’

Mikhail Bulgakov’s first novel, The White Guard, weaves an affecting story about the power of human connection in times of crisis.1 First serialized in 1925, albeit not to completion, and informed b…

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Jul 01, 2020

Posts

Showing or Telling: The Immersive-to-Informational Transformation of Museum Exhibits

I have vivid memories of visiting the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas as a child in 2007. Fredericksburg, hometown of German-American and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, host…

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Jun 23, 2020

What is History of Knowledge?

Historicizing Knowledge

Recently there has been a lot of chatter on academic Twitter reflecting on the need to decolonize various academic fields. Such impulses go to the heart of what histories of knowledge are: People prod…

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Jun 17, 2020

Posts

Museums in the COVID-19 Crisis: International Maritime Museum Hamburg

As summer begins in Germany most establishments have reopened in some capacity, including museums. All are still operating under restrictions, with limits on numbers of visitors and mask requireme…

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May 29, 2020

Posts

Virtual Exhibitions at the German National Library

Julia Wycital is in her final semester in the American Studies BA program at the University of Heidelberg. Her interest in history was sparked early, during her school years, since she enjoyed reading…

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May 27, 2020

Posts

Transcribing Manuscripts in German Script at the Library of Congress (link)

Almost two years ago, the Library of Congress launched the crowdsourcing platform By the People, which invites volunteers to transcribe, review, and tag digitized images of manuscripts and typescripts…

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