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 broader program on the history of migration and mobility that has developed at the institute since 2015. Several GHI-supported projects look beyond the flows of European migrants across the Atlantic and analyze migrant groups and receiving societies around the world, including in a transpacific and inter-American perspective. Particular attention is given to diasporic communities, migrants’ agency and networks, and comparative research on the social and cultural integration of migrants.

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. The notion of multiple and uneven mobilities provides the opportunity to explore global and transregional entanglements and ruptures, continuities and disconnections. The conference series and research network “In Global Transit” combines the history of forced migration and mobility studies to explore the spatialities and temporalities of escape trajectories. Current GHI research projects on traffic networks investigate the materiality of infrastructure and how complex networks were managed locally.

The GHI’s research focus on mobilities and migration is closely linked to its established program in the history of knowledge. 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 "Migrant Connections" draws on the tools of digital history to explore the ways German emigrants and their family and friends at home created or dismissed  transnational spaces of communication and knowledge circulation.

Photo Credit: El Shatt, UNRRA Refugee Camp, 1944. Otto Gilmore/FSA/OWI, Library of Congress.

Team


Projects


In Global Transit

In Global Transit currently consists of two separate pillars: a conference series and resulting research network and individual projects from GHI research staff.

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.

Events & Conferences


Sep 08, 2022

Roads to Exclusion: Socio-Spatial Dynamics of Mobility Infrastructures since 1800

International conference at the German Historical Institute Washington | Organized by Carolin Liebisch-Gümüş (GHI Washington), Andreas Greiner (GHI Washington), Mario Peters (GHI Washington), and Roland Wenzlhuemer (LMU Munich)

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Sep 09, 2022

(Im)Mobile While Black: Narratives of Race & Movement in the United States

Lecture & Film Screening at Goethe-Institut Washington | Speaker: Mia Bay (University of Pennsylvania)

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Oct 10, 2022

Histories of Migration: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives

Sixth Annual Bucerius Young Scholars Forum at the Pacific Regional Office of the GHI in Berkeley | Conveners: Frithjof Benjamin Schenk (Department of History, University of Basel) and Sören Urbansky (Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington, Berkeley)

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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 (UCLA), Stefan Rinke (Freie Universität Berlin)

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Publications


Bulletin 69 (Fall 2021 & Spring 2022)

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Paul Lerner, Uwe Spiekermann, Anne Schenderlein, eds.

Jewish Consumer Cultures in Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Europe and North America

Worlds of Consumption. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2022.

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Simone Lässig, ed.

Digital History

Special Issue, Geschichte und Gesellschaft 47.1 (2021)

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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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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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Latest News


Fellowship

Doctoral and Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

Deadline: October 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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New Publication

Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 Bulletin (69) double 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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Fellowship

2023 Gerald D. Feldman Travel Grants

Deadline: October 7, 2022 | The Max Weber Stiftung's Gerald D. Feldman Travel Grants provide funding up to 3 months travel funding for junior scholars…

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Video

Research Infrastructure “Migrant Connections” launched

The launch event for "Migrant Connections," a new digital research infrastructure for historical research on German migration to the United States in…

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Video

Watch recording of our event "Whiteness and Collective Trauma in the Rearview Mirror"

If you were unable to watch our event "Whiteness and Collective Trauma in the Rearview Mirror" live, it is now available on our Vimeo channel.

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