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

Doctoral and Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

Deadline: April 1, 2024 | The GHI awards short-term fellowships to European and North American doctoral students as well as postdoctoral scholars to…

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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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Event Report

GHI hosts Symposium "Trust in Museums: Potential, Challenges, and Societal Importance"

As a part of the BMBF's "German Science Year 2024 – Freedom," the GHI hosted a symposium together with the German Embassy focusing on public trust in…

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Fellowship

Gerda Henkel Fellowship in Digital History

Deadline: March 4, 2024 (deadline extended) | With the generous support of the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the German Historical Institute Washington…

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Prize

Franz Steiner Prize 2024

Deadline: September 15, 2024 | The Franz Steiner Verlag and the German Historical Institute Washington (GHI) award the Franz Steiner Prize in…

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Events & Conferences

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

Feb 28, 2024

Research Seminar (Hybrid)

Philipp Gassert (Mannheim University)

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Feb 28, 2024

Marxists and other Migrants: African Intellectual Pathways from the German Democratic Republic

Lecture at GHI Pacific Office, UC Berkeley (201 Philosophy Hall) | Speaker: Speaker: Sara Pugach (California State University); moderator: Isabel Richter (GHI Pacific Office)

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Mar 05, 2024

Degrees of Order, Measures of Freedom: Modern German History and the Challenge of Postmodern Historiography

Gerda Henkel Lecture Tour at University of California, Berkeley, 223 Philosophy Hall | Speaker: Paul Nolte (Freie Universität Berlin)

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Mar 07, 2024

Ugliness as Political Construct

Lecture on Zoom | Speaker: Moshtari Hilal

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Mar 07, 2024

GHI Colloquium

Speakers: Tamar Aizenberg (Brandeis University) and Annika Bärwald (Universität Bremen)

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Mar 07, 2024

Crisis or Transformation? From Good-old Democracy to Rough Democracy, ca. 1970-2020

Gerda Henkel Lecture Tour at University of Nevada, Reno, Schulich Lecture Hall, SLH2 | Speaker: Paul Nolte (Freie Universität Berlin)

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Mar 14, 2024

Exploring Epistemic Virtues and Vices: Data, Infrastructures, and Episteme between Collaboration and Exploitation

Sixth Conference on Digital Humanities and Digital History at the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH) | Conveners: Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH), in collaboration with the German Historical Institute Washington (GHI), the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM), and the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) Tokyo

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Mar 18, 2024

The Other Enslavement: Notes on Unthinkable Europeans in Unequal Europes

Lecture at GHI Pacific Office | (201 Philosophy Hall, UC Berkeley) Speaker: Manuela Boatcă (University of Freiburg); Moderator: Fabio Heupel Santos (Tandem Fellow, German Historical Institute Washington | Pacific Office Berkeley)

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Mar 19, 2024

The Central American Insurgencies and the Human Rights Culture War in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1979 –1990

Lecture at GHI Pacific Office (201 Philosophy Hall, UC Berkeley) | Speaker: Felix A. Jiménez Botta (Miyazaki International College); Moderator: Akasemi Newsome (Institute of European Studies)

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Mar 21, 2024

From Abundant Papers to Limited Pixels: Digitization and Intelligence Reduction in the Brazilian Serviço Nacional de Informações (SNI) in the late 1970s

Lecture at GHI Washington | Speaker: Debora Gerstenberger (University of Cologne)

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Apr 14, 2024

Music, Knowledge, and Global Migration, ca. 1700−1900

Symposium at the University of California, Berkeley | Conveners: Tina Frühauf (Columbia University/The CUNY Graduate Center, New York), Simone Lässig (German Historical Institute Washington), and Francesco Spagnolo (The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, UC Berkeley)

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Apr 18, 2024

Spy vs. Spy: West German Counterintelligence and GDR Espionage

Lecture at GHI Washington | Speaker: Michael Wala (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)

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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 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 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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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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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


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 16, 2024

CfP: Mapping German Film Exile: A Transnational Perspective

CfP for Mapping German Film Exile: A Transnational Perspective The post CfP: Mapping German Film Exile: A Transnational Perspective first appeared in Migrant Knowledge. …

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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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Jan 11, 2024

Luca Sciortino

Styles of Reasoning and the History of Knowledge

We have many different cognitive abilities, and human history runs on many paths. Not surprisingly, there are many ways to conduct scientific research. … These are distinct styles of reasoning, each…

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Dec 15, 2023

Simon Krahé

Reflections on the Process of Network Analysis Dataset Creation Using Line Content Classification with Python

By Simon Krahé Editorial note: Simon Krahé is finishing his undergraduate studies in English and American Studies, History and Computer Science at the University of Wuppertal. He will use network an…

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Nov 13, 2023

Charis Marantzidou

Shared Spaces of Knowledge: Russian Exiles and the V. P. Kuzmina Gymnasium in Interwar Bulgaria

In 1924, a private gymnasium opened its gates, welcoming children of Russian exiles to the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. The founder of the school, Varvara Pavlova Kuzmina, a teacher from St. Petersburg…

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Nov 08, 2023

Jan Siegemund

Rumors in Transition: Uncertain Information in the Premodern Culture of News

“Flying Tales” of War Sometime in early 1523, the merchant Matthias Mulich (†1528) received a letter from his servant Matthias Scharpenberch. Mulich usually lived and worked in the Hanseatic cit…

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Aug 25, 2023

linuslanfermannbaumann

The U.S. in the (Digital) World: Working with the Foreign Relations of the United States Series in 2023

By Linus Lanfermann-Baumann Editorial note: Having finished his undergraduate studies in History and English at Göttingen University, Linus Lanfermann-Baumann is in the final phase of his master’s …

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Jul 12, 2023

maximiliengudenburg

Navigating the Challenges of OCR-based Research in the Arabic Script and Language

By Maximilien Gudenburg Editorial note: Maximilien Gudenburg is a student of Global History (M.A.) at the University of Heidelberg, with a special emphasis on American and German history. Before comin…

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