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


Call for Papers

Bucerius Young Scholars Forum Histories of Migration: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives

Deadline: March 15, 2023 | Seventh Annual Bucerius Young Scholars Forum at the Pacific Office of the GHI in Berkeley & Sitka, AK

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Fellowship

Gerda Henkel Fellowship in Digital History

Deadline: February 15, 2023 (deadline extended) | With the generous support of the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the German Historical Institute Washington…

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Press Release

Thomas L. Hughes (1925 - 2023)

We note with sorrow the death of foreign policy expert and former Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the GHI Thomas L. Hughes. Read his obituary from…

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New Publication

Fall 2022 Bulletin (70) issue published and available for download

The latest issue of the Bulletin is now available online for download as well as in print.

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Call for Papers

Fifth West Coast Germanists’ Workshop: Scholarship-in-Progress

Deadline: January 31, 2023 | Workshop at University of British Columbia, Vancouver April 28-29, 2023.

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Events & Conferences

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

Feb 09, 2023

Theology of Disability: Germany, 1900-1945

Lecture (Hybrid: 223 Moses Hall & Zoom) | Speaker: Dagmar Herzog (CUNY Graduate Center); Moderator: Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann (UC Berkeley)

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Feb 15, 2023

Research Seminar (Hybrid)

Phil Tiemeyer (Kansas State University)

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Feb 22, 2023

"Noah's Ark for Future Generations" or Genetic Imperialism?: The Dilemma of the Seed Bank in Postwar German History

Lecture (Hybrid: 201 Moses Hall & Zoom) | Speaker: Jennifer Allen (Yale University); Moderator: Philipp Lenhard (UC Berkeley)

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Mar 02, 2023

The 1948 Flooding of Vanport, Oregon: Legacies of Disaster and Displacement

Lecture at GHI Washington | Speaker: Uwe Lübken (Ludwig Maximilians Universität München)

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Mar 06, 2023

Outrageous Comparisons in Modern History and Contemporary Politics

Lecture at UCLA, Bunche Hall 6275 (History Conference Room) | Speaker: Willibald Steinmetz (Universität Bielefeld)

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Mar 06, 2023

Outrageous Comparisons in Modern History and Contemporary Politics

Lecture at UC San Diego | Speaker: Willibald Steinmetz (Universität Bielefeld)

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Mar 14, 2023

Outrageous Comparisons in Modern History and Contemporary Politics

Lecture at UC Berkeley (223 Moses Hall) | Speaker: Willibald Steinmetz (Universität Bielefeld)

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Mar 15, 2023

Research Seminar (Hybrid)

John M. Efron (UC Berkeley)

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Apr 06, 2023

Putting Contemporary Climate Migration in Context: What Do We Know from Two Decades of Research?

Lecture at 223 Moses Hall, UC Berkeley | Speaker: Amanda Carrico (University of Colorado Boulder)

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Apr 13, 2023

"Little Ice Age" Disasters and Migration: Insights for (and from) Global Warming

Lecture at GHI Washington | Speaker: Sam White (University of Helsinki)

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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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Apr 25, 2023

Diaspora and Debris: Material Culture in German-Jewish History

Seventh Junior Scholars Conference in Jewish History at GHI Washington | Co-organized by Anna-Carolin Augustin (GHI Washington), Mark Roseman (Indiana University Bloomington), and Miriam Rürup (Moses Mendelssohn Centre for European-Jewish Studies, Potsdam), with additional support from the Wissenschaftliche Arbeitsgemeinschaft des Leo Baeck Instituts

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Apr 28, 2023

Fifth West Coast Germanists’ Workshop: Scholarship-in-Progress

Workshop at University of British Columbia, Vancouver | Conveners: Heidi Tworek (University of British Columbia, Vancouver) and Richard Wetzell (German Historical Institute Washington)

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May 03, 2023

Research Seminar (Hybrid)

Jana Weiß (University of Texas in Austin)

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May 04, 2023

Climate Displacement in the Shadow of War: Feminist Refugee Perspectives on Hydro-disaster

Lecture at UC Berkeley | Speaker: Heidi-Amin-Hong (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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Jun 29, 2023

28th Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar: German History in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Seminar at the Villa Vigoni, Loveno di Menaggio, Italy | Conveners: Anna von der Goltz (Georgetown University) and Richard Wetzell (GHI Washington)

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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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Sep 18, 2023

Bucerius Young Scholars Forum Histories of Migration: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives

Seventh Annual Bucerius Young Scholars Forum | Pacific Office of the GHI in Berkeley & Sitka, AK | Conveners: Sören Urbansky and Nino Vallen (both Pacific Office of the German Historical Institute Washington, 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


Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk

End Game: The 1989 Revolution in East Germany

Studies in German History. Vol. 26. New York: Berghahn Books, 2022.

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Bulletin 70 (Fall 2022)

Forum: Rethinking Cross-Border Connections

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Anna Corsten

Unbequeme Erinnerer: Emigrierte Historiker in der westdeutschen und US-amerikanischen NS- und Holocaust-Forschung, 1945–1998

Transatlantische Historische Studien. Band 62. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2022.

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Andrew Kloiber

Brewing Socialism: Coffee, East Germans, and Twentieth-Century Globalization

Studies in German History. Vol. 27. New York: Berghahn Books, 2022.

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Latest Blogposts


Jan 31, 2023

Antonio Romero

The 2018 Central American Migrant Caravan: Migrant Knowledge Circulation in Digital Media Platforms

Examines ways migrants in this caravan utilized legacy and social media to coordinate and organize the journey, as well as how these media are changing migrant paradigms. The post The 2018 Central Ame…

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Jan 17, 2023

Susanne Korbel

Migrant Artists on the Move between Central Europe and the United States around 1900

Introduces "Auf die Tour!," a book investigating networks of (Jewish) migrant performers and sites of popular entertainment. The post Migrant Artists on the Move between Central Europe and the United …

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Jan 10, 2023

katharina hering

The World Wide Web of Internationalism: Evaluating Total Digital Access for the League of Nations Archive (LONTAD) and Its Potential for Historical Research

By Valentin Loos Editorial Note: Having gained his bachelor‘s degree in 2020, Valentin Loos is now a master‘s student of history and English and American studies at Osnabrück University. His inte…

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Jan 09, 2023

Martin Bemmann

Between Fiction and Non-Fiction: ‘America’-related Literature in the Public Libraries of Southern Baden

Presents the image of America conveyed in literature available in the public libraries in southern Baden, esp. Lahr in late 19th c. The post Between Fiction and Non-Fiction: ‘America’-related Lite…

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Jan 05, 2023

Migrant Knowledge at the #AHA23

Describes Migration- and Mobility-related events at #AHA23 The post Migrant Knowledge at the #AHA23 first appeared in Migrant Knowledge. …

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Jan 04, 2023

Editors

History of Knowledge at the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association in Philadelphia #AHA23

The History of Knowledge will be featured in several panels at the 136th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association in Philadelphia from January 5-8, 2023. If you’ll be attending, please …

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Jan 01, 2023

katharina hering

Protected: Aufbau (Reconstruction) Nachrichtenblatt des German-Jewish Club Inc., New York – Ein digitaler Zugang zu Wissen und Exil

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.…

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Dec 30, 2022

katharina hering

Visiting PACSCL – Part 2: How to Organize a Consortium

By Tim Feind In part one of my series on PACSCL I visited the Joseph P. Horner Memorial Library in Philadelphia and talked to Bettina Hess from the German Society of Pennsylvania about challenges and …

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Dec 20, 2022

Editors

Knowledge Notes

If you are going to the American Historical Association Annual Meeting in Philadelphia from January 5-8, 2023, please look for Section 128, “Infrastructure, Knowledge, and US Imperialism in the Amer…

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Dec 13, 2022

Charlie Knight

‘I beg you again from my heart to help me find my sister’: RELICO and the Need for Knowledge

Editor’s note: As has previously been mentioned on this blog, our sister blog, Migrant Knowledge, also always bears some relevance to the history of knowledge. This is not surprising since, as that …

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Nov 05, 2022

Martina Schaefer

African American Lucumí Devotees’ Adoption and Adaptation of African Diasporic Religious Knowledge in the U.S.

This short piece traces how the Black Power era affected the unfolding of the transmission of African diasporic religious knowledge and how it contributed to the evolution of specifically African Amer…

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Oct 27, 2022

katharina hering

Online access to historical German TV programs: Reflections on the research potential of unique audiovisual sources

By Christoph Eisele Editorial note: Christoph Eisele is in the final phase of completing his master’s degree in history (focusing on modern history) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, w…

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