Celebrating 25 Years of the German Historical Institute in Washington
The 25th anniversary of the German Historical Institute in Washington DC was celebrated by more than 170 guests on Thursday, May 17, 2012.
Enlarge image German Ambassador Peter Ammon spoke to assembled guests on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the German Historical Institute in Washington on May 17. (© German Historical Institute)
GHI Director Hartmut Berghoff welcomed many distinguished scholars who came to attend the GHI’s anniversary celebration. Welcome addresses were be given by: German Ambassador Peter Ammon, who noted the importance of the GHI in German-American relations; the head of the Foundation German Humanities Institutes Abroad (DGIA), Heinz Duchardt; and representatives of the American Historical Association, the Verband der Historiker and Historikerinnen Deutschlands, the German Studies Association, the Central European History Society, the Friends of the German Historical Institute, and its Academic Advisory Board.
The evening's main feature was a lecture by Professor David Blackbourn (Harvard University) on "Germany and the Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1820," in which he challenged the stereotype that Germans "merely thought what others did" during this era of revolutionary upheavals and argued that "through their ideas and practices, through travel, material exchange, and networks of communication, [Germans] contributed to the making of a new world."
Enlarge image Professor David Blackbourn (Harvard University) spoke about "Germany and the Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1820" at the 25th anniversary celebration of the German Historical Institute in Washington on May 17. (© German Historical Institute) Founded in 1987, the German Historical Institute (GHI) is a center for advanced study and research whose purpose is to provide a permanent basis for scholarly cooperation among historians from Germany and the United States. The Institute conducts, promotes, and supports research and American, German, and transnational history. In addition to this commitment to a broad research agenda, the Institute's four directors have, over the years, focused on different topics: exile studies and religious history, transatlantic political history, environmental history, and – currently – business history and the history of consumption. About 20 international conferences and six seminars for junior scholars per year bring together scholars from both sides of the Atlantic. In addition, the Institute publishes an academic journal and four book series; it also awards 40 doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships per year. The international scholarly dialogue promoted by the GHI is part of the academic community's current effort to rethink nation-state centered historiography and to embed the histories of the United States and Germany in an international and transnational context.
Enlarge image GHI Director Hartmut Berghoff welcomed guests to the German Historical Institute in Washington on May 17. (© German Historical Institute)
The German Historical Institute is part of the Foundation German Humanities Institutes Abroad (DGIA), which is financed by Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research. An academic advisory board guarantees the Institute's scholarly independence. As the largest non-university-affiliated center for historical research in the United States, the GHI has cooperated with more than 100 North American universities during the past 25 years. Its work has been supported by many German and American foundations and academic institutions and by the Friends of the German Historical Institute. The GHI Washington is among the most active institutes of the Foundation German Humanities Institute Abroad, which is about to establish new institutes in China and India.