German History Society

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Annual Conference

German History Society Annual Conference 2014

4-6 September 2014 at National University of Ireland Maynooth

The fifth Annual Conference of the German History Society will take place at National University of Ireland Maynooth from the 4th to the 6th of September 2014.

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 £30 (€35) at registration on site.  The fee is £10 (€12) for non-GHS members not in current employment.

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 2014.

10 bursaries of up to £150 each are available to attendees currently enrolled in a postgraduate research programme in the UK or the Republic of Ireland. 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, Jenny Spinks, by 1 September, indicating either the title of your paper and panel, or simply "conference attendance without presentation".

Download application form.



Our local hosts in Maynooth have identified three local accommodation options.  They are listed here in ascending order or price/luxury.  As you will see, the campus accommodations at NUI Maynooth are quite inexpensive, and conference participants can also get a 10% discount with the code noted below. 

Local Transport

Local Transport

NUI Maynooth provides the following summary information about options for getting to/from the university campus:

The History Department at NUI Maynooth is hoping to provide a bus link from the airport to the campus before the conference and at the end.  We will provide further details as they become available.  There is also a private company that operated bus service from the Dublin airport to Maynooth:

As you will see from the link above, bus/train links to central Dublin and then on to Maynooth are doable but quite slow, while taxis represent a somewhat expensive option.  So the direct bus links are worth exploring in the first instance.



Please note that lunch will be provided on Friday, as well as some nibbles at the reception on Thursday.  But participants will need to pay their own way for dinners on Thursday and Friday.  There are no prescribed plans for dinner on Thursday, so please do feel free to make your own arrangements. There are a variety of options, including some excellent Irish pubs, in the village.  We are looking into making a booking at a larger venue for dinner on Friday.   We will provide information on reserving a place as this becomes available.

If you have any questions not covered on this page, please feel free to contact Dr. Jim Bjork, the Secretary of the GHS.e.

Thursday, 4 September

18.00 -19.00
Keynote lecture: Wolfgang Behringer (University of Saarland): ‘Climate and History: the Tambora Crisis 1815-1820’
19.00 -20.30

Friday, 5 September

Panels, Session 1
Panel 1: Global Dimensions of German History

Chair: Andreas Gestrich (German Historical Institute London)

Renate Dürr (University of Tübingen)
‘The Exodus Debate and First Steps of “Universalgeschichte” in the Jesuit Missionary Journal Der Neue Welt-Bott’

Lucas Haasis (University of Oldenberg)
 ‘The World on a Merchant’s Desk:  On German Merchants, their Commission Trade, and the Backdoor to Atlantic hoppensäcken

Anne Mariss (University of Tübingen)
‘“Alle die Dinge die hauptsächlich zur Zierde der Universität gereichen” - Natural History Objects in Academic Collections’

Panel 2: The Uses of Medieval Memory in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Germany

Chair: Neil Gregor (University of Southampton)

Astrid Swenson (Brunel University)
‘Crusader Sites between Scholarship, Geopolitics and Popular Culture in Modern Germany’

Joseph Lemberg (Humboldt University of Berlin)
'Truth and Nation”: Conflicting Narratives on Medieval East Central Europe during the Interwar Period'

Len Scales (Durham University)
‘Between Göppingen and Germania:  Locating Frederick Barbarossa in the Nineteenth Century’

Panel 3: Emotions and the Body

Chair: Thomas Brodie (University of Leeds)
Christian Bailey (The Open University)

‘The Embodiment of a Political Ideal:  Shifting Conceptions of Beauty among Jews and Other Germans in the Early Twentieth Century’

Joachim Häberlen (University of Warwick)
‘The Most Radical and Fantastic Revolution to Come: Reflections on the Role of Children in New-Leftist Politics During the 1970s’

Pascal Eitler (Max Planck Institute for Human Development)
‘Emotions, Bodies, and the “Real Self”: The “New Age” in West Germany (1970-1990)’

Coffee / Tea
Panels, Session 2
Panel 1: Sacred Visions: Building and Renovating Churches from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Centuries

Chair: Renate Dürr (University of Tübingen)

Bridget Heal (University of St. Andrews)
From Swine Stall to Sacred Space: Lutheran churches during and after the Thirty Years’ War

Jim Bjork (King’s College London)
‘Church Fights:  The Politics of Church-Building in a German-Polish Borderland at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Paul Betts (University of Oxford)
‘Sacred Ruins and Humble Shelters:  Church Restoration after the Second World War’      

Panel 2: British and German Peripheries from 1850: Ireland in Comparative Perspective

Chair: Vincent Comerford (NUI Maynooth)

Shane Nagle (Royal Holloway, University of London)
‘Peripheries and (Contested) Regions in Nationalist Imaginations:  Irish-German Comparisons, 1850-1925’

 Róisín Healy (NUI Galway)
‘Oppression for Slow Learners? Prussian Policy in Poland and British Policy in Ireland, 1886-1914’

Georg Grote (University College Dublin)
‘Living Together is an Art – Coexistence and Cohabitation in South Tyrol’

Panel 3: Beyond the Racial State: Rethinking Nazi Germany

Chair:  Dorothee Wierling (Research Centre for Contemporary History in Hamburg)

Richard Wetzell (German Historical Institute, Washington, DC)
‘Nazi Biopolitics’

Mark Roseman (Indiana University)
‘Jews, Race and Volk in Nazi Germany’

Gerhard Wolf (University of Sussex)
‘What does it take to be or to become German in Occupied Poland?’

Panels, Session 3
Panel 1: Honour in Medieval and Early Modern German Culture

Chair:  Len Scales (Durham University)

Jamie Page (University of St Andrews)
‘Honour, Government the Individual in Late Medieval Zurich’                          

Ben Pope (Durham University)
‘Conflicts of Honour between Rural Nobility and the City of Nuremberg  in the Fifteenth Century’

Nikolas Funke (University of St. Andrews)

‘Honour and the Military Profession in Early Modern Germany’

Panel 2: Biopolitics from Friedrich the Great to Wilhelm II

Chair: William Mulligan (University College Dublin)

Storm Graham (Flinders University)
‘Godless Whores and Angel-Makers:  Infanticide and the State in Eighteenth-Century Prussia’

Andrew Zimmerman (George Washington University)
‘Hegel’s Biopolitics and the Intellectual Legacy of the Prussian “Bauernbefreiung”’

Matthew P. Fitzpatrick (Flinders University)
‘Antedating Biopolitics?  Searching for Thanatopolitical Exclusions Prior to 1914’

Panel 3: Memory and German Society, 1931-2012

Chair: Nick Stargardt (University of Oxford)

Arddun Hedydd Arwyn (Aberystwyth University)
‘East Prussian Narratives and Memories of the Flight and the Lost Heimat’

Thomas Brodie (University of Leeds)
‘Catholicism, Memory and the Politics of a Conservative Restoration, 1941-1949’

Sheona Davies (Swansea University)
‘Remembering Tannenberg in the First Half of the Twentieth Century’

Coffee / Tea
Parallel Panels, Session 4
Panel 1: Identities, Order and Disorder in Sixteenth-Century Germany

Chair: Bridget Heal (St. Andrews University)

Jenny Spinks (University of Manchester)
‘Apocalypse, prodigies, and the manuscript Book of Miracles’ in 1540s Augsburg’

Kat Hill (University of Oxford)
‘Hope and Despair:  Lutheran Pastors and the Search for Identity in the Reformation’

Philip Hahn (University of Tübingen)
‘Common Senses: Sensory Perception, Identity and Order in Ulm, c. 1500-1890’

Panel 2: Cooperation and Competition:  The German Role in International Standardisation 1850-1930

Chair: Andreas Gestrich (German Historical Institute London)

Michael C. Schneider (University of Düsseldorf)
‘Prussia  and the International Cooperation of Official Statistics in the Second Half of the 19th Century’

Peter Kramper (German Historical Institute London)
‘Germany and the Internationalisation of the Metric System, 1850-1914’

Mathias Mutz (RWTH Aachen)
‘In Time with Globalisation? Debating Universal Time Regimes in Germany, 1880-1930’

Panel 3: Individuals between Ideology and Institution: Narratives of Experience in early Twentieth-Century Germany

Chair: Robert Gerwarth (University College Dublin)

Jan-Philipp Pomplun (Technical University Berlin)
‘Political Soldiers or Free of Ideology? A German Freikorps in the Revolution of 1918/19’

Darren O’ Byrne (Cambridge University)
Die Aussenseiter: Political Civil Servants and the German Administration during the Third Reich’

Michael McConnell (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
‘Conviction amidst Collapse: Experience and Ideology within the Secret State Police, 1944-1945’

Coffee / Tea
17.30 - 18.30
Keynote lecture: Christopher Clark (University of Cambridge): ‘1914 in Transnational Perspective’

Saturday, 6 September

Panels, Session 5
Panel 1: ‘Zum nutzen jedermanns': Edification and Regulation in Early Modern German Print

Chair:  David Lederer (NUI Maynooth)

Saskia Limbach (University of St. Andrews)
‘The Function of Early Modern Ordinances’

Abigéal Warfield (University of St. Andrews)
‘“Zur Warnung wider dem Teuffel”:  Warnings of Witchcraft in Neue Zeitungen’

Róisín Watson (University of St. Andrews)
‘Funeral Sermons and Lutheran Piety in Seventeenth-Century Württemberg’

Panel 2: Encounters of Socialism and Religion in the Twentieth Century

Chair: Jim Bjork (King’s College London)

Todd Weir (Queen’s University Belfast)
‘The Interwar Period as Transnational Culture War:  Catholic and Communist Encounters between Moscow, Berlin and the Vatican, 1922-33’

Paul Hanebrink (Rutgers University)
‘European Protestants and the Communist Threat: The Other Interwar Kulturkampf?’

Heléna Toth (University of Augsburg)
‘“Socialist Humanism” and the Discourse on Dignity: The Development of Secular Sepulchral Culture in East Germany, 1958-1989’

Panel 3: Nazi Germany and the World

Chair:  Dirk Moses (European University Institute, Florence)

Norman Domeier (University of Stuttgart)
‘Dictatorship and the World Public: Foreign Correspondents and the Third Reich’

Stefan Ihrig (Van Leer Jerusalem Institute)
‘Role-Model and Benevolent Neutral: The Nazis’ New Turkey’

David Motadel (University of Cambridge)
‘Muslims under Nazi Rule, 1941-1945’

Panel 4: Utopia in Theory and Practice: The Radical Tradition in Germany from the 19th to the 21st Century

Chair: Joachim Häberlen (Univeristy of Warwick)

Nina Rismal (University of Cambridge)
‘Intellectuals and the 1968 Student Protests:  Did Adorno, Bloch and Marcuse practice what they preached?’

Ali Jones (University of Cambridge)

Christoph Kapp (Potsdam University)
‘Publishing Revolution in a Capitalist Publishing House: Suhrkamp in the Long 1960s’

Coffee / Tea
Keynote lecture: Dorothee Wierling (Research Centre for Contemporary History in Hamburg): ‘Agents of Globalization. The Hamburg Coffee Merchants in the 20th Century’
12.30 - 13.30
Annual General Meeting