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Annual Conference

German History Society Annual Conference 2015

3-5 September 2015 at Queen Mary University of London

The sixth Annual Conference of the German History Society will take place at Queen Mary University of London from the 3rd to the 5th of September 2015.

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 2015.

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".

Participants are expected to make their own arrangements for accommodations and meals (with the exception of lunch on Friday, which will be provided). Some suggestions for accommodation are listed below. Please note that the opening keynote and reception on Thursday evening will be at the German Historical Institute in Bloomsbury, while the conference sessions on Friday and Saturday and the Annual General Meeting on Saturday will be on the Mile End campus of Queen Mary University of London, a few miles to the east. There are generally more and better accommodation options in Bloomsbury, and it is also more central, so our recommendations focus on this area. The Holborn and Russell Square underground stations are close to the GHIL and connect via the Picadilly line to Heathrow airport. From Holborn, you can also take the Central line to Mile End, adjacent to QMUL.



Moderate price range (for London!)

Budget options

  • Easy Hotel (£50-60/night) - The Old Street/Barbican location is in between Bloomsbury and Queen Mary, so reasonably convenient for both, though not really walking distance to either.
  • YHA Hostel (St. Pancras) (£25-30 for bed) - Has a good reputation and is (long-ish) walking distance from the GHIL; QMUL accessible by underground. Limited availability of private rooms.
  • Airbnb (variable rates and options) - Most will be familiar with this holiday rental site. Some plausible-looking options near QMUL as well as in Bloomsbury area.

Thursday, 3 September

Evening events at German Historical Institute London

Keynote lecture: Dan Diner (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) ‘Rites of Reserve – The German-Israeli Encounter in Luxemburg 1952’. You can now listen online to Dan Diner's presentation here.

Friday, 4 September

Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End campus

All panels in the Francis Bancroft Building. Coffee/tea breaks will be in the ground-floor foyer of the Francis Bancroft Building.

Pick-up registration packs and badges (Ground-floor foyer, Francis Bancroft Building)
Panels, Session I
Panel 1: The Exercise of Power in the Salian and Hohenstaufen Empire

Chair: Len Scales (Durham University)
Room: 1.06

Levi Roach (University of Exeter)
‘From Office to Title? Counties in the Salian Century’

Jonathan Lyon (University of Chicago)
‘Miracles, Money, and the Economics of Lordship in Germany, 1050- 1250’

Emily Ward (University of Cambridge)
‘Kidnapped: Approaching the 1062 “Coup” of Kaiserswerth From a Comparative Angle’

Panel 2: Visions of Germany, Visions of Britain: Imaginations of the Kaiserreich before World War I

Chair: David Glover (University of Southampton)
Room: 1.08

Ben Anderson (Keele University)
‘Teutonic Modernities: Imaginations of Social Alternatives in the Anglo-German Exchanges of the Co-operative Holidays Association, 1906-1914’

Tony Taylor (Sheffield Hallam University)
‘“At the Mercy of the German Eagle”: Images of London in Dissolution in the Novels of William le Queux’

Harry Wood (King’s College London)
‘Invasion Anxieties and Introspection: The German Menace in Britain’s Domestic Political Climate (1899-1914)’

Panel 3: To be Jewish or to be German?

Chair: Daniel Wildmann (Leo Baeck Institute/Queen Mary, University of London)
Room: 1.09

Dana von Suffrin (Ludwig Maximilian Universität München)
‘German Plants for a Jewish Palestine: The Creation of a Hebrew Flora’

David Pruwer (University of Cambridge)
‘Orthodoxy's Conflicted Embrace of Germanness: German Identity in the Rabbinerserminar in Berlin’

Joseph Cronin (Queen Mary, University of London)
‘Between 9 November and 9 May: The Changing Tone of Holocaust Commemoration in Germany’s Jewish Communities’

Coffee / Tea
Panels, Session II
Panel 1: The Holy Roman Empire in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Periods

Chair: Joachim Whaley, University of Cambridge
Room: 1.06

Duncan Hardy (University of Oxford/Institute for Historical Research)
Tage (‘Diets’, ‘Councils’, and ‘Courts’): Political, Diplomatic, and Judicial Nodal Points in the Holy Roman Empire, c. 1300-1550’

Patrick Milton (University of Cologne)
‘“daß ohne Schweden undt Franckreich die Religion undt Freyheit Teutschlandes nicht erhalten wäre”: The Role and Perception of the External Guarantee of the Peace of Westphalia in the Eighteenth- Century Holy Roman Empire’

Luca Scholz (European University Institute/Columbia University)
‘The Bounds of Free Movement: Conduct, Borders and the Enclosure of Movement in the Early Modern Old Reich’

Panel 2: Roundtable: Big data and the Republic of Letters: challenges and opportunities in digitizing early modern correspondence

Chair: Alan S. Ross (Humboldt University, Berlin/ Institut d'histoire moderne et contemporaine, Paris)
Room: 1.08


  • Howard Hotson (Oxford University/Early Modern Letters Online & Cultures of Knowledge)
  • Martin Kempe (Göttingen University/Leibniz Forschungsstelle, Hanover)
  • Andreas Steinsieck (Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek, Hanover)
  • Enrico Pasini (Turin University/ Progetto LCA - Leibniz’s Correspondents and Acquaintances)
Panel 3: Roundtable: Germany and ‘the West’: Historiographical Challenges and Political Implications

Chair: Neil Gregor (University of Southampton)
Room: 1.13


  • Riccardo Bavaj (University of St. Andrews)
  • Martina Steber (Institut für Zeitgeschichte München-Berlin)


  • Christina von Hodenberg (Queen Mary, University of London)
  • Andreas Gestrich (German Historical Institute, London)
Panel 4: The Politics of Place, 1848-1989

Chair: Tobias Becker, German Historical Institute in London
Room: 1.09

Anna Ross (University of Oxford)
‘Contesting Place in the Extension of Berlin, 1848-1890’

Clare Morelon (University of Oxford)
‘Post-Imperial Reconfiguration: “Greater Prague” and the New Capital City in the Aftermath of the First World War’

Marcel Thomas (Bristol University)
‘Placing the Urban and Rural Self: Spatial Perceptions and the Politics of Place in East and West Germany’

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

Chair: Len Scales (Durham University)
Room: 1.06

Eleanor Janega (SSEES/UCL)
‘Monarcha Mundi? Emperor Charles IV as Bohemian (anti)hero’

Jana Gajdošová (University of Cambridge)
‘The Personal Emblems of Wenceslas IV and their European Context: The Changing Notion of Royal Propaganda in Early 15th-Century Europe’

Christopher Nicholson (The Laws of the Medieval Kingdom of Croatia Project, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagreb)
‘German Emperors and Bohemian Kings: The Image of the Luxemburgs in Early Modern England’

Panel 2: ‘Religion in Space’: Spatial Dimensions of Faith in Early Modern Germany

Chair: Jenny Spinks (University of Manchester)
Room: 1.13

Edmund Wareham (University of Oxford)
‘The Feet of Nuns, Peasants and the King of Scotland: Conflict over Space in the Sixteenth Century in South West Germany’

Nikolas Funke (University of Birmingham)
‘Europe’s Christians Inhabiting One Space: Regional Religious Varieties in Wesel, c. 1600’

Róisín Watson (University of St Andrews)
‘Expectations and Disappointments: The Early Reformation in Württemberg 1534-c. 1540’

Panel 3: Blackness in German Popular Entertainments at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Chair: Julia Roos (Indiana University)
Room: 1.08

Tobias Becker (German Historical Institute, London)
‘Blackface on the Berlin popular stage, 1890-1914’

Linda Braun (Johns Hopkins University)
‘Locating the Cakewalk on German Stages and Dance Halls’

Jeff Bowersox (University College London)
‘Interpreting African-American Entertainments in Imperial Germany: Ambivalence and Appropriation’

Panel 4: German Minorities in East-Central Europe: A Historical Re-Assessment

Chair: Jim Bjork (King’s College London)
Room: 1.09

Robert Pyrah (University of Oxford)
‘Discourses of German Identity in Wrocław after 1945: A Minority as a “Sub-Culture”?’

Harun Yilmaz (Queen Mary, University of London)
‘Between Hitler and Stalin: German Immigrants in the Interwar Period’

Andreas Kossert (Stiftung Flucht, Vertreibung, Versöhnung)
‘Polish-Speaking Germans? The Masurian Borderland as a Challenge to German and Polish Nationalism’

Coffee / Tea
Panels, Session IV
Panel 1: The Later Medieval Reich II: Trade, Towns and Conflict in the Fifteenth Century

Chair: Mike Carr (University of Edinburgh)
Room: 1.06

Mark Whelan (Royal Holloway, University of London)
‘“Had we remained one day longer, we would all have succumbed”: The Experiences of a Citizen of Frankfurt on Campaign in the Hussite Wars’

Alexandra Kaar (University of Vienna)
‘Ginger, Java Pepper, and a Brewing Copper – Licit and Illicit Trade during the Hussite Wars, 1420–ca. 1436’

Ben Pope (Durham University)
‘Nobility by Other Means? Nobles, Nuremberg’s Merchants, and “Robbery” in the 1440s’

Panel 2: Marriage, the Family, and ‘the Other’ in Modern Germany

Chair: Eve Rosenhaft
Room: 1.08

Julia Moses (University of Sheffield)
‘Marriage, Islam and Liberalism in Imperial Germany’

Julia Roos (Indiana University)
‘Race, Religion, and Family from the Perspective of Afro-German Diaspora: The Biography of Erika Diekmann (1920-1963)’

Julia Woesthoff (DePaul University)
‘Binational Couples, the State and the “Sham Marriage” Discourse in Germany since the 1980s’

Panel 3: Max Weber and the Weberians

Chair: Christina von Hodenberg (Queen Mary, University of London)
Room: 1.09

Joshua Derman (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
‘Politics without Magic: Max Weber in Weimar Germany’

Dina Gusejnova (University of Sheffield)
‘An Archive of Global Thought After the Age of Empire’

Egbert Klautke (UCL, School of Slavonic and East European Studies)
‘Sombart, Weber and the Europeanization of America’

Panel 4: Culture in the Third Reich

Chair: Martina Steber (Institut für Zeitgeschichte München-Berlin)
Room: 1.13

Moritz Föllmer (University of Amsterdam)
‘Culture and Bürgerlichkeit in the Third Reich’

Neil Gregor (University of Southampton)
‘Concentrated Listening? The Symphonic Concert and its Audience in the Third Reich’

Maiken Umbach (University of Nottingham)
‘Photographic Culture as Ideological Experiment in Germany, 1933-1945’

Coffee / Tea
Keynote lecture: Frank Rexroth (Georg-August Universität Göttingen): ‘Fascination and recoil: Early German encounters with the culture of French scholasticism during the 12th century’
Room: David Sizer Lecture Theatre
Reception: Senior Common Room, Arts Two Building

Saturday, 5 September

Panels, Session V
Panel 1: Bishops, Emperors and the Imperial Past in the Age of Barbarossa

Chair: Miri Rubin (Queen Mary, University of London)
Room: 1.06

Erik Niblaeus (Durham University)
‘The Fall of the House of Udo: Archbishop Hartwig I of Hamburg- Bremen (1148-68)’

Ryan Kemp (Aberystwyth University)
‘Advising Kings and Emperors: Bishops, Saints and Holy Men in the Twelfth-Century Empire’

Johanna Dale (University of Cambridge)
‘Gehaizzen ist iz cronica’: The Carolingian and Ottonian past in the Kaiserchronik’

Panel 2: Anglo-German Cultural Relations

Chair: Rüdiger Görner (Queen Mary, University of London)
Room: 1.08

Astrid Köhler (Queen Mary, University of London)
‘Getting Away or Getting Connected? German and English Spa Cultures Around 1800’

Florian Alix (Queen Mary, University of London)
‘Leaders of His Tribe: Christopher Isherwood and the German Gay Rights Movement’

Elaine Morley (King’s College London)
‘The Transformative Power of Culture: UNESCO and Occupied Germany’

Panel 3: New Perspectives on Privacy and the Private under National Socialism

Chair: Sven Keller (Institut für Zeitgeschichte München-Berlin)
Room: 1.09

Annemone Christians (Institut für Zeitgeschichte München-Berlin)
‘The Private on Trial’ 

Carlos Haas (Institut für Zeitgeschichte München-Berlin)
‘Privacy in the Ghetto’

Christian Packheiser (Institut für Zeitgeschichte München-Berlin)
‘Home Leave: Soldiers between Front and Home’

Panel 4: Constructing Narratives of the Twentieth Century: Biography and Historiography in Post-War Germany, 1945-1995

Chair: Annika Mombauer (Open University)
Room: 1.13

Matthew Stibbe (Sheffield Hallam University)
‘Old Experiences, New Horizons: The First World War and Historical Controversy in the two Germanys after 1945’

Christina Morina (University of Jena/Duitsland Instituut, University of Amsterdam)
‘Of Triumph and Defeat: World War II and its Historians in post-1945 Germany’

Krijn Thijs (Duitsland Instituut, University of Amsterdam)
‘Experiencing the Present and the Past: East-West German scholarly encounters after 1989’

Coffee / Tea
Keynote lecture: Eve Rosenhaft (University of Liverpool): ‘Modernity Bites: Germans and the Financial Bubbles of 1720’
Annual General Meeting
Room: David Sizer Lecture Theatre