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


Isabel Richter

Deputy Director
Pacific Office of the German Historical Institute Washington
Institute of European Studies | University of California, Berkeley | 249 Philosophy Hall | Berkeley, CA 94720-2316
Phone +1.202.552.8936

richter@ghi-dc.orgRead on

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


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 07, 2024

Ugliness as Political Construct

Lecture on Zoom | Speaker: Moshtari Hilal

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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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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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May 01, 2024

Research Seminar (Hybrid)

Viola Alianov-Rautenberg (GHI Washington, Pacific Office)

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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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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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Jul 03, 2024

Historicizing the Refugee Experience, 17th–21st Centuries

Fourth Annual International Seminar in Historical Refugee Studies in Tübingen | Organized by University of Tübingen (UT), the German Historical Institute in Washington (GHI) and the American Historical Association (AHA), in cooperation with the Centre for Global Cooperation Research (KHK/GCR21)

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Jul 14, 2024

Making a World of Many Worlds: Identities, Activisms, and Comparisons

Summer School | Pacific Office, Berkeley | organized by The Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (CALAS), the Pacific Office of the German Historical Institute Washington (GHI) at UC Berkeley, and the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 1288 “Practices of Comparing” at Bielefeld University

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Oct 21, 2024

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

Eighth Annual Young Scholars Forum | Pacific Office of the GHI in Berkeley | Conveners: Isabel Richter (GHI Pacific Office Berkeley) and Benno Gammerl (European University Institute Florence)

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Oct 31, 2024

Wings of Globalization? New Approaches to the History of Commercial Aviation, 1920s–2020s

International Conference at the German Historical Institute Washington | Conveners: Andreas Greiner (GHI Washington) and Stefan Rinke (Freie Universität Berlin)

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Publications


Bulletin 72 (Fall 2023)

Forum: The German Treatment of Soviet Prisoners of War During The Second World War

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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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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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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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Fellowship

GHI Fellowships at the Horner Library

Deadline: March 15, 2024 | 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

Eighth Annual Young Scholars Forum: Histories of Migration - Transatlantic and Global Perspectives

Deadline: March 15, 2024 | Eighth Annual Young Scholars Forum at the Pacific Office of the GHI in Berkeley

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New Publication

Fall 2023 Bulletin (72) 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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GHI in the Media

Director Simone Lässig interviewed by Deutschlandfunk Kultur

GHI Director Simone Lässig was interviewed by Deutschlandfunk Kultur and discussed the institute’s role in North America, our research priorities, and…

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