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.

Photo Credit: The Wealth of the Nation, 1938. Seymour Fogel, Social Security Building (Voice of America).



Innovation through Tradition? Jewish Educational Media and Cultural Transformation in the Face of Modernity Religion, Knowledge, and Education as Key Elements of Socio-Cultural Transformation

German-Israeli cooperative research project bringing that investigates the transformation of Jewish daily life through the prism of its central spaces of teaching, learning and knowledge.

Interaction and Knowledge in the Pacific Region: Entanglements and Disentanglements

A project funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (March 2019 – February 2022)

Events & Conferences

Jan 26, 2022

The Transatlantic Origins of the Modern Research University

Virtual Lecture | Speaker: Emily Levine (Stanford University); moderator: Matthew Specter (UC Berkeley)

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Jan 27, 2022

Laboratories of the Social: Utopian Settlements and Reform Movements in the Long 19th Century

Virtual Workshop | Conveners: Anne Kwaschik (Universität Konstanz) and Claudia Roesch (GHI Washington)

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Apr 04, 2022

Knowledge on the Move: Information Networks During and After the Holocaust

International Workshop at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles | Conveners: Robin M Buller (GHI | PRO, UC Berkeley), Wolf Gruner (USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research), Anne-Christin Klotz (GHI | PRO, UC Berkeley) | Co-organized by the Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington (GHI | PRO) and the USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research

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Nov 03, 2022

German Migrants and Migrating Knowledge in Latin American History

Conference at GHI Washington | Conveners: Simone Lässig (GHI Washington), Mario Peters (GHI Washington), H. Glenn Penny (University of Iowa), Stefan Rinke (Freie Universität Berlin)

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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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Andrea Westermann & Onur Erdur, eds.

Histories of Migrant Knowledge: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives

Bulletin Supplement 15 (2020)

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Bulletin 65 (Fall 2019)

Forum: The Weimar Republic Reconsidered

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Simone Lässig & Andreas Weiß, eds.

The World of Children: Foreign Cultures in Nineteenth-Century German Education and Entertainment

Studies in German History. Vol. 24. New York: Berghahn Books, 2020.

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Axel Jansen, John Krige & Jessica Wang, eds.

Empires of Knowledge

Special Issue, History and Technology 35.3 (2019)

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Jan Logemann, Gary Cross & Ingo Köhler, eds

Consumer Engineering, 1920s–1970s: Marketing between Expert Planning and Consumer Responsiveness

Worlds of Consumption. New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2019.

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Latest News


Doctoral and Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

Deadline: April 1, 2022 | The GHI awards short-term fellowships to European and North American doctoral students as well as postdoctoral scholars to…

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GHI Fellowships at the Horner Library

Deadline: March 1, 2022 | Together with the German Society of Pennsylvania, the GHI sponsors two to four fellowships of up to four weeks for research…

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Call for Papers

Lost Knowledge: Approaching Migrant Knowledge After Migration

Deadline extended: January 31, 2022 | Virtual Workshops and Special Issue | Organized by Philipp Strobl (Universität Hildesheim) and Swen Steinberg…

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Watch recording of our event ""Competing Memories? Inter|National Debates about Remembering the Holocaust and Colonialism"

If you were unable to watch our event "Competing Memories? Inter|National Debates about Remembering the Holocaust and Colonialism" live, it is now…

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Former GHI Tandem Fellow Susanne Schmidt awarded two prizes

Congratulations to Susanne Schmidt for winning the GWNT Förderpreis for her dissertation "Midlife Crisis. The Feminist Origins of a Chauvinist Cliché"…

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