This post has been adapted from a talk by Joseph Cronin, a former Researcher at the GHIL and now a lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, delivered at the Holocaust Research Institute’s New Directions in Holocaust Studies workshop, which was held at Senate House London on 4 November 2021. He would like to thank Sandra Lipner and Kate Ferry-Swainson for giving him the opportunity to speak at this event. The talk was prompted by and reflected on Joseph’s perceptions of the ‘German Catechism’ debate that took place in the summer of 2021.Continue reading The Future of Holocaust Studies in Light of the ‘Catechism Debate’: Reflections from an Observer
Since around the middle of June 2021, academics in Germany have been posting reports of their experiences and criticisms of the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (WissZeitVG) or German Law on Fixed-Term Contracts in Higher Education and Research1 under the Twitter hashtag #IchBinHanna.Continue reading #IchBinHanna: What next?
- This law limits the length of employment contracts for doctoral candidates to a maximum of six years before the completion of their dissertations, and for postdocs to a maximum of six years after completion of their dissertations. The vast majority of academics in Germany are employed on fixed-term contracts, often for only one or two years at a time, and even postdocs often have only a 50 per cent contract. Tenured posts hardly exist, so for many the only goal is to secure one of the increasingly rare full professorships.
In post-1945 German culture the Enlightenment has generally been a source of celebration. Since at least the publication of Dialektik der Aufklärung (1947), however, intellectuals have considered the possibility that Enlightenment philosophy may have contributed to twentieth-century totalitarianism.Continue reading Beyond Heroes and Villains: Reassessing Racism in the German Enlightenment
It is tedious and exhausting to identify and name mechanisms of disadvantage. To remember those anecdotes that keep coming back, although you don’t want to remember. Memories that eventually become part of your own narrative about yourself, although you might want it to be different.Continue reading ‘Who remains?’ (Part 1): Before we even start our research…
This text by Christina Morina and Norbert Frei was first published, in German, on the L.I.S.A. blog of the Gerda Henkel Stiftung. It was translated by Jenny Price.
Where are you from. Here we go again, I thought, and answered: Tricky question! It depends on what you mean by where. The geographic location of the hillside on which the maternity ward stood? The national borders at the time of the last contractions? My parents’ background? Genes, ancestors, dialect? Whichever way you look at it, your origin is a construct! A kind of costume that you are forced to wear for the rest of your days once it has been fitted. And thus a curse! Or, with a bit of luck, a fortune, derived not from talent but adorned with benefits and privileges.
Saša Stanišić, Herkunft (2019)
At the end of the day, the shelf life of a text on contemporary history, especially one that intervenes in current affairs, depends on the pace at which present events unfold and respond to it.Continue reading Racism and Historiography
In last week’s blog post, we addressed recent calls for equity and structural change in historical disciplines by looking inwards, in a moment of self-reflection. But what practical steps can we take to transform our field into a more inclusive environment—one in which not only scholars with privileged backgrounds can pursue a career? How can we address discrimination, diversity, and inclusion beyond tokenistic statements and designated research areas? What would a commitment to anti-racism look like if we were to spell out a concrete action plan, as colleagues have done in the UK?Continue reading History is Located Inside, not Outside Racial Biases – Can Historians in Germany Break the Silence after Black Lives Matter? (Part 2)
In the weeks following the murder of George Floyd, hundreds of higher education institutions and other organizations around the world issued statements of solidarity. Yet despite mounting pressure, most German universities, research institutions, and associations remained silent. The hashtags #ShutDownAcademia and #BlackInTheIvory scarcely registered on German-speaking social media. Criticism was on the rise in the US and the UK because many historians felt the tokenistic statements of their institutions fell far short of plans for concrete action; yet in German academia, many colleagues were still waiting for an initial reaction.Continue reading History is Located Inside, not Outside Racial Biases – Can Historians in Germany Break the Silence after Black Lives Matter? (Part 1)