German History Society

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Annual Conference

German History Society Annual Conference 2012

13-15 September 2012 at the University of Edinburgh

The third Annual Conference of the German History Society will take place at the University of Edinburgh from the 13th to the 15th of September, 2012.

Registration is free for all members of the German History Society, so if you are not a member and wish to attend, we strongly encourage you to join. The membership fee is less than the one-off registration fee and includes a subscription to the journal 'German History'. If you wish to attend the conference but do not want to become a member, you may pay (by cash or check) a fee of £24 at the registration desk on site.

All participants on panels (those presenting papers as well as chairs) will be on our initial registration lists, so you do not need to do anything further to register. But to avoid the one-off registration fee, please be sure that you have a GHS membership for 2012.

If you have any questions not covered on this page, please feel free to contact Dr. Pertti Ahonen at the University of Edinburgh or Dr. Jim Bjork, the Secretary of the GHS..

15 bursaries of £100 for postgraduate attendees are available and we encourage all UK / RoI candidates to apply. Preference is given to panelists giving papers at the conference, however other applications will be considered as well. In order to apply, please return a completed application form to the postgraduate officer, David Lederer, by 1 September, indicating either the title of your paper and panel, or simply "conference attendance without presentation". Download application form.


All locations are in the History, Classics and Archeology (HCA) Building of the University of Edinburgh.

Thursday, 13 September

Registration begins in the entrance of the HCA Building
David Blackbourn keynote lecture: ‘Germany and the Birth of the Modern World, 1770-1830’
Venue: Teviot Lecture Hall

Friday, 14 September

Parallel Panels, Session 1
Panel 1: Breaking the Arcanum: Corruption Debates in German-speaking countries from the 17th to 20th Centuries

Chair: Annika Klein (University of Frankfurt)
Room: G.13

Tom Tölle (University of Freiburg/Yale University):
‘Distrusting the ballot box: Elections in German-speaking territories and England between participation and corruption (17th century)’

Anna Rothfuss (University of Damstadt):
‘Bribery and “Spitzbubenmoral”: The instrumentalization of corruption charges in the early German Empire’

Volker Köhler (University of Darmstadt):
‘How discussing corruption can shield elite networks: The example of the Verein gegen Bestechungswesen in Weimar Germany’

Panel 2: What Makes an Elite? Perspectives on Elite Education under National Socialism

Chair: Neil Gregor (University of Southampton)
Room: Room G.16

Dorothy Mas (Royal Holloway):
‘"Ohne Vorbild und Tradition"? The NAPOLAs within the Context of European Elite Education’

Rebecca Wenberg (Royal Holloway):
‘Competing Visions for the ‘Herrenmenschen’: Norwegian Elite Schools under Nazi Occupation’

Rachel Century (Royal Holloway):
‘SS-Helferinnen: Educating Women to do a Man’s job’

Panel 3: Promoting Socialist Bodies: Health and Youth in East German Education Films, 1960s-1980s

Chair: Josie McLellan (Bristol University)
Room: Room G.15

Anita Winkler (Durham University):
'”Partner” (1965): East German Sex Education and a Lesson in Choosing'

Philipp Osten (Heidelberg University):
‘Socialist Advertising, Health Education, or Popular Entertainment? The GDR TV series “Du und Deine Gesundheit” (1978-1983)’

Uta Schwarz (Cologne/Paris):
‘“Kundi” – Health Education for the Youngest in a Socialist Country’

Coffee / tea in the McMillan Room (1st floor)
Parallel Panels, Session 2
Panel 1: The German Left in the Twentieth Century: Experience, Action, Subjectivity

Chair: Eve Rosenhaft (University of Liverpool)
Room: G.13

Christina Morina (University of Jena):
‘Violence as Wohltat and Übel: Concepts and Experiences of Political Action among German and Russian Socialists, 1905-1919’

Moritz Föllmer (University of Amsterdam):
‘In Search of the Revolutionary Subject in Germany, 1918/19’

Joachim C. Häberlen (Max Planck Institute for Human Development Berlin):
‘Changing the World, Changing the Self: New Left Emotional Subjectivities’

Panel 2: The Hunt for Good Blood (I): Nazi Demographic Policy during the Second World War

Chair: Amy Carney (Pennsylvania State University)
Room: G.15

André Mineau (University of Quebec):
‘Procreation and Victory in SS Literature’

Stacy Hushion (University of Toronto):
‘Marriage, Race, and Bureaucracy: Constructing the “Interior Frontier” in the Nazi Empire, 1939-1945’

Melissa Kravetz (Southwestern University):
‘“Where one did not talk about comradeship, but experienced it”: BDM Physicians and the Creation of the Volksgemeinschaft at Alt-Rehse’

Panel 3: Germany and the World in the 1970s

Chair: Martina Steber (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
Room: G.16

Martin Albers (University of Cambridge):
‘The Federal Republic and China, 1972-80’

Mathias Haeussler (University of Cambridge):
‘Helmut Schmidt and the British Referendum over Europe, 1974-5’

Christian Wenkel (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München):
‘From competition over relations with the Soviet Union towards a new Franco-German Ostpolitik?’

Lunch in the McMillan Room of the HCA Building (1st floor)
Parallel Panels, Session 3
Panel 1: Change in the Wake of the 1848 Revolutions

Chair: Christopher Clark (University of Cambridge)
Room: G.15

Diana Siclovan (University of Cambridge):
‘From “Utopia” to “Science”? German political thought after 1848’

Florian Breimesser (Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main):
‘The Progressive Emancipation of Economic Policy in Prussia: The Example of Industrial Property After 1848’

Anna Ross (University of Cambridge):
‘Municipal Governance, Cityscapes and the Revolutions of 1848/49’

Panel 2: Official Statistics as a Science and Tool of Government: Fascist, Socialist and Capitalist Germany, c. 1930-1980

Chair: Kerstin Brückweh (German Historical Institute London)
Room: G.14

Michael C. Schneider (Georg-August-University Goettingen):
‘Official demographic statistics in Prussia and late Imperial Germany’

Thomas Bryant (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg & Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin – University for Applied Sciences):
‘Friedrich Burgdörfer (1890-1967) and the “popularization of population” – Interactions and intersections among official statistics, scientific discourses and governmental practices in Germany before and after 1945’

Jochen F. Mayer (University of Edinburgh):
‘On the “Mathematisation” of Statistical Discourse in (West) German Academic and Official Statistics c.1930-1960’

Anne Lammers (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin):
‘European Statistics between the Poles of Integration Efforts and National Interests since 1952’

Panel 3: The Hunt for Good Blood (II): Nazi Demographic Policy during the Second World War

Chair: Amy Carney (Pennsylvania State University)
Room: G.13

Bradley Nichols (University of Tennessee):
‘Housemaids, Renegades, and Race Experts: The Nazi Re-Germanization Program for Polish Domestic Servant Girls’

Jadwiga Biskupska (Yale University):
‘Hitler’s Warsaw Problem: The Uneasy Germanization of the General Government’

James Regier (University of Notre-Dame):
‘Marketing Mennonites: The Campaign to Portray Mennonites as the Ideal Harbingers of German Culture in the Slavic East’

Panel 4: Roundtable: New Directions in Post-1945 History of Sexuality

Room: G.16

  • Lutz Sauerteig (Durham University)
  • Josie McLellan (University of Bristol)
  • Jennifer Evans (Carleton University)
  • Elizabeth Heineman (University of Iowa)
Coffee / tea in the McMillan Room (1st floor)
Parallel Panels, Session 4
Panel 1: Political Concepts and Languages: New Approaches to Comparative Historical Semantics

Chair: Kerstin Brückweh (German Historical Institute London)
Room: G.13

Andreas Gestrich (German Historical Institute London):
‘Concepts of social justice and entitlement to relief in 19th and early 20th century petitions for poor relief in England and Germany’

Felix Römer (German Historical Institute London)
‘The semantics of social justice: Britain and West Germany since 1945’

Martina Steber (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München):
‘Talking in Europe: West German and British Conservative party co-operation in the 1960s and 1970s and the quest for a common language’

Panel 2: Colonial Concentration Camps and Notions of Victimhood, Violence and Culpability—Southwest Africa 1904-1908

Chair: Alan Kramer (Trinity College Dublin)
Room: G.15

Claudia Siebrecht (University of Sussex):
‘Violence, Neglect, Labour and the Changing Functions of the Colonial Concentration Camps in German Southwest Africa’

Jonas Kreienbaum (Humboldt University Berlin):
‘Everyday Life in the Camps’

Tilman Dedering (University of South Africa):
Title tbc

Panel 3: Knowing Risks: Danger and Adventure in 20th Century Germany

Chair: Julia Moses (University of Sheffield)
Room: G.14

Ben Anderson (University of Gloucestershire):
‘Manly Attitudes to Risk and the Urban Diagnosis: Elite Mountaineers c. 1900-1914’

Tom Neuhaus (University of Derby):
‘“The Victory of Loyalty”: German mountaineering in the Himalayas, 1933-1939’

Bernhard Rieger (University College London):
‘“Free Roads for Free Citizens”, or: Why are There are no Speed Limits on the Autobahn?’

Panel 4: Germany’s East

Chair: Donald Bloxham (University of Edinburgh))
Room: G.16

Sheona Davies (University of Nottingham):
‘Filming the Lost East, c. 1920-1945’

Gerhard Wolf (University of Sussex):
‘The East as Historical Imagination and the Germanisation Policies of the Third Reich’

Arddun Arwyn (University of Aberwystwyth):
‘When the East was German No More: Images and Imaginations of the former East Prussia’

Coffee / tea in the McMillan Room (1st floor)
Karin Friedrich keynote lecture: 'Grenzgaenger: Encounters in the early modern German-Polish Borderlands'
Venue: Teviot Lecture Hall
Reception (venue TBC)

Saturday, 15 September

Parallel Panels, Session 5
Panel 1: ‘Archives’, Research and Knowledge in the Long 19th Century

Chair: Carolyn Steedman (University of Warwick)
Room: G.13

Philipp Müller (University College London):
‘The "Opening of the Archives": Secrecy, History and the Administering of Access to State Archives’

Henning Trüper (EHESS, Paris):
‘The mangle of practice and the record of the past: German orientalist work on historical knowledge around 1900’

Mario Wimmer (ETH Zürich):
‘“Archival bodies”: Historical Imagination and Bureaucratic Practice in the Age of Historism’

Panel 2: War and Revolution: The Collapse of the German Army in 1918 and the rise of Hitler and the NSDAP

Chair: Anthony McElligot (University of Limerick)
Room: G.15

Tony Cowan (University of Liverpool):
‘“I’ve never come across such an appalling unit”: German combat performance on the Western Front, 1916-1917’

Jessica Jenkins (Royal College of Art, London):
‘Influenza and German Defeat in 1918’

David Hall (King’s College London):
‘We Men Who Feel Most German: Revolution as cultural agenda in the fledgling Nazi Party 1919-1923’

Panel 3: Private Photography under National Socialism

Chair: Nick Stargardt (University of Oxford)
Room: G.16

Elizabeth Harvey (University of Nottingham):
‘Documenting displacement: Public and private perspectives on the resettlement of the ethnic Germans’

Ulrich Prehn (Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin):
‘German Jews and their photographs, from the 1920s to the outset of the mass deportations’

Maiken Umbach (University of Nottingham):
‘Whose Gaze? Ordinary Germans, the habitus of normality, and National Socialism’

Coffee / tea in the McMillan Room (1st floor)
Nick Stargardt keynote Lecture: 'The search for subjectivity in the Second World War'
Venue: Teviot Lecture Hall
Annual General Meeting
Venue: Teviot Lecture Hall
Lunch in the McMillan Room (1st floor)
Parallel Panels, Session 6
Panel 1: Festive Rituals, Social Hierarchy and Urban Identity: Religious Processions in Comparative Perspective

Chair: TBC
Room: G.13

Sabine Reichert (University of Mainz):
‘Liturgy and Urban Space: a “Close Reading” of Religious Processions in Medieval Trier’

Aleš Mudra (Charles University, Prague):
‘Eucharistic Processions in Bohemia 1300-1620’

Károly Goda (University of Münster):
‘Forms of Festive Integration and Segregation in Late Medieval Vienna and Buda’

Panel 2: The Trouble with National History

Chair: Paul Betts (University of Oxford)
Room: G.15

Maiken Umbach (University of Nottingham):
‘The Narcissism of National Differences: Reflections on Unfashionable Comparative Histories’

Corey Ross (University of Birmingham):
‘Overseas Actions across Colonial Contexts: The Case of German Forestry’

H. Glenn Penny (University of Iowa):
‘Persistent Local Connections within International Worlds—German Schools in Latin America’
Commentator: Joachim Whaley (University of Cambridge)

Panel 3: The Right to Rule: State Efforts at Self-Legitimation in Modern Germany

Chair: James Koryani (University of St. Andrews)
Room: G.14

Mary Cox (Oxford University):
‘Legitimacy and the Kriegsernäherungsamt’

Clare Murray (University of Manchester):
‘Use of NS Prestige Buildings after Re-Unification’

Troy Vettese (University of St. Andrews):
‘German Attitudes towards Economic Growth, 1933-57’

Panel 4: The Berlin Wall: Its Beneficiaries and Its Victims

Chair: Jim Bjork (King’s College London)
Room: G.16

Patrick Major (Reading University):
‘Laughing over the Berlin Wall: “Die zwei Genossen” and BBC Satirical Broadcasting to East Germany’

Jan Palmowski (King’s College London):
‘Sense and Sensibility in the GDR’

Paul Maddrell (Loughborough University):
‘The Stasi’s Line IX and Counter-Intelligence before and after the Building of the Berlin Wall’

Coffee / tea in the McMillan Room (1st floor)