In this newsletter you will find news and information about events at the German Historical Institute Washington
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GHI Washington - Winter Newsletter
December 21, 2017
2018 Annual Conference of the Max Weber Foundation to be held in Washington, DC
Organized by the GHI Washington, on behalf of the Max Weber Foundation, and in cooperation with the National History Center, the American Historical Association (AHA), and the German Historical Association, the 2018 conference will focus on “Settlement and Unsettlement: The Ends of World War I and Their Legacies.” The centenary of the 1918 Armistice provides a perfect occasion to reassess the postwar settlement’s global repercussions in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The conference at the GHI Washington in March 2018 will bring together scholars from around the globe to discuss the enduring consequences of the war settlements and will also feature keynote lectures from renowned scholars, including Jörn Leonhard (Universität Freiburg) and Adam Tooze (Columbia University).
GHI Washington Inaugurates New Pacific Regional Office, GHI West, in Berkeley
Thirty years after opening its doors in the U.S. capital, the German Historical Institute Washington expanded its operations to the West Coast. The GHI’s new Pacific Regional Office, GHI West, formally celebrated its opening on November 1, 2017, with the inaugural Bucerius Lecture on Migration and Knowledge. The speaker was Armin Nassehi (LMU Munich), who is considered to be one of “the most thoughtful intellectual voices in Germany today” (New York Review of Books). The Bucerius Lecture on Migration and Knowledge is sponsored by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. The title of Nassehi’s lecture – "The Knowledge of/about Migrants: Preconceptions, Misconceptions, Limits" – echoed the major themes of GHI West’s research agenda. Through targeted cooperation with institutions across the Americas as well as the Asia-Pacific Region, GHI West will establish a research network to analyze migrants as conveyors, translators, and producers of knowledge. “Given current debates on immigration policy in Europe and North America, research into the knowledge migrants carry with them and the knowledge migrants need to make their way could hardly be more timely,” GHI Director Simone Lässig points out. “And California is an ideal location for research on migrant knowledge,” she adds. “Not only does it have a long history as a major migration destination, it is also home to some of the leading research hubs in the social sciences and humanities.”
For anyone who was unable to join us for the opening of GHI West and the First Annual Bucerius Lecture, we've made Armin Nassehi's lecture available to watch on the GHI website. Nassehi's lecture was the first of the newly established Annual Bucerius Lecture at GHI West sponsored by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. In his wide-ranging lecture on “The Knowledge of/about Migrants: Preconceptions, Misconceptions, Limits” at the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at University of California Berkeley, Nassahi considered the connection between migration and knowledge and argued for more authoritative knowledge about migration in order to combat the imbalance between the facts about migrants and ongoing prejudices. The lecture was followed by a response and a discussion with Julie Weise (University of Oregon).
New Video Honoring the 30th Anniversary of the GHI
To mark our 30th anniversary, we took a look back at our history and asked several friends of the GHI to reflect on their experiences at the Institute and on the GHI's role as a transatlantic bridge for scholars in North America and Germany. Founding Director Hartmut Lehmann, along with prominent past and current members of the academic advisory board and Friends of the GHI all kindly contributed their thoughts to the video. We're pleased to share this short video featuring their remarks!
GHI awarded 2-year grant by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius for German History in Documents and Images
The German Historical Institute (GHI) was recently awarded a generous two-year grant from the Hamburg-based ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. The grant will help transform the German History in Documents and Images (GHDI) website into a first-class resource for teaching and learning about German history in a global and digital age. The ZEIT-Stiftung funds will support the expansion and revision of volumes 6 through 10 of GHDI, which together cover the last century of German history (1918 to the present). The grant will allow for the addition of compelling new textual and visual sources to these volumes as well as the integration of multimedia sources, such as film and audio clips. These and other editorial enhancements will respond to recent developments in historiography and methodology (e.g., the visual and spatial turns in history) while meeting the needs of today’s digitally oriented youth. The ZEIT-Stiftung was an original sponsor of the German History in Documents and Images website in 2003, and the GHI is grateful to the foundation for its renewed commitment to the project.
The 2017 Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize awarded to Bradley Nichols
The 2017 Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize was awarded to Bradley J. Nichols (Virginia Tech) for his dissertation "The Hunt for Lost Blood: Nazi Germanization Policy in Occupied Europe" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Tennessee, 2017) advised by Prof. Vejas Liulevicius. The selection committee, composed of Monica Black (chair, University of Tennessee-Knoxville), Yair Mintzker (Princeton University), and Annemarie Sammartino (Oberlin College), praised Nichols' dissertation for its rich, learned, and sophisticated story of the re-Germanization of individuals in German-occupied Europe during the Second World War.
The “racial state” has become a familiar shorthand for the Third Reich, encapsulating its raison d'être, ambitions, and the underlying logic of its genocidal violence. The Nazi racial state's agenda is generally understood as a fundamental reshaping of society based on a new hierarchy of racial value. Challenging this interpretation, this volume, edited by Devin Pendas, Mark Roseman, and Richard F. Wetzell and published by Cambridge University Press in the “Publications of the German Historical Institute” series, argues that it is time to reappraise what race really meant under Nazism, and to question and complicate its relationship to the Nazis' agenda, actions, and appeal. Based on a wealth of new research, the book's essays show that racial knowledge and racial discourse in Nazi Germany were far more contradictory and disparate than we have come to assume.
GHI Bulletin Issue 61 (Fall 2017) has been published and is available online for download. The issue includes an article based on James Van Horn Melton's (Emory University) Gerald D. Feldman Memorial Lecture as well as a special forum edited by Till van Rahden, Anthony Steinhoff, and Richard F. Wetzell on “Diversity in German History” from the early modern era to the late twentieth century.
The latest GHI Bulletin Supplement "Forging Bonds Across Borders: Transatlantic Collaborations for Women’s Rights and Social Justice in the Long Nineteenth Century" has been published and is available online for download. Edited by Britta Waldschmidt-Nelson (Universität Augsburg) and Anja Schüler (Heidelberg Center for American Studies), the issue grew out of our 2016 conference of the same title. Building on the scholarship on the transnational and transatlantic connections of early feminists, the volume shows how women’s strategies for social change and for their own emancipation changed over the course of the long nineteenth century, particularly as permanent organizations were formed.
The GHI's History of Knowledge blog continues to feature interesting contributions related to the history of knowledge. Here's a selection of some of the recent posts highlighting the breadth of topics covered by the blog:
H. Glenn Penny wrote about “Insights into Loss from the History of Knowledge,” which offers a back story to his contribution in the latest issue of Geschichte und Gesellschaft, a special issue called “Knowledge and Migration” edited by Simone Lässig and Swen Steinberg (vol. 43, no. 3, 2017).