The GHS Annual Conference

The GHS Annual Conference is a great place for scholars and enthusiasts of German history to meet and share their ideas. The conference is hosted at a different venue in the UK or Ireland every year, and features a wide range of speakers on many subjects of German history.

The Society invites historians of Germany from all parts of the world to submit panel proposals on their research topics in German history broadly conceived, including the history of German-speaking people within and beyond Europe, from the medieval period to the present day. Postgraduate students are explicitly encouraged to participate in panels or to submit their own panel proposals or individual papers. The annual conference is intended to offer a friendly, constructive environment in which to present work completed and work in progress to a specialist audience.

See this year’s upcoming conference below, or peruse our archive of previous conferences.

Please also note that becoming a member of the Society is necessary to attend our annual conference free of charge if you are not yet a member. To join the Society, please visit our website at:


By Foblmmu – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

German History Society Annual Conference 2024: REGISTRATION OPEN

Date: 5-7 September 2024
Location: Manchester Metropolitan University

To register please click here

The German History Society in the UK and Ireland, which publishes the journal German History, is pleased to announce that registration is open for its fifteenth annual Conference. The 2024 conference will be hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University with the local co-organisers, Dr Craig Griffiths and Dr Mercedes Peñalba-Sotorrío. Keynote speakers will include Prof. Amalie Fößel, Prof. Jennifer Evans and Prof. Ulinka Rublack.

The conference is free for members of the German History Society. There will be a modest conference fee of £25 (waged) and £8 (unwaged) for delegates who are not members of the German History Society. For details on how to join the German History Society (which also offers additional benefits, including the right to apply for our various grant schemes, and free subscription to the society’s journal, German History), please click here

Some bursaries will be available for postgraduate students; those presenting papers will receive preference for funding. Information on applying for postgraduate bursaries is available on the website.

The registration link includes the ability to book on-campus accommodation at Archway Hall, and the ability to register for the conference dinner. Archway Hall is only available to book for two nights. For those staying a single night, or if you wish to stay off campus, a list of suggested hotels can be found below:

If you are speaking at the conference, and you notice anything incorrect on the programme, please get in touch with the local co-organisers, Craig Griffiths ([email protected]) and Mercedes Peñalba-Sotorrío ([email protected]).


Thursday 5th September

GHS Committee Meeting
2.30-4.00pm Grosvenor East (GE) 3.13

Publication and Grant-writing workshop
4.00-5.00pm GE 3.09

Registration opens (tea and coffee available)
5.00pm Venue TBC

Keynote Lecture One
6.00-7.15pm Venue TBC

Virilis ingenii femina: Gender, power and agency of medieval queens

Professor Amalie Fößel (Universität Duisburg-Essen)

Wine Reception
7.15pm Venue TBC

Friday 6th September

9.15-9.45am GE 3.17 Open Space


Panel 1: Queer and Trans German Histories: A Roundtable. Part A: Late 19th Century to 1945
Chair: Craig Griffiths (Manchester Metropolitan)
GE 3.02

Bodie Ashton (ZZF Potsdam)
Benno Gammerl (EUI Florence)
Paola Medina-Gonzalez (Warwick)
Lauren Stokes (Northwestern)
Katie Sutton (Australian National University)

Panel 2: Economic and Power Political Discourses from the Late Nineteenth Century Onwards
Chair: Mark Hewitson (UCL)
GE 3.13

Mairead Barrett (University College Dublin): Power, Politics and Peace of Mind: How German Financial Integration into the Global Economy before 1914 Shaped Debates about German National Security

Robert Yee (Oxford): ‘A Large Army of Civil Servants’: Banking and the Making of German Capitalism

Lorena De Vita (Utrecht): The Politics of Repair in the First Person Singular: Otto Küster’s Diary

Panel 3: Pre- and Post-Habsburg Austria: Military Cultures, Perceptions and Experiences
Chair: Christian Goeschel (Manchester)
GE 3.12

Niall Buckley (Trinity College Dublin): That Other Germany: The Place of Austria and the Habsburg Dynasty in the British Mind, 1911-1938

Louise Earnshaw (Leeds): ‘Heimweh war der Grundschmerz des Plennyleides’: The Basic Pain of Prisoner Suffering? Experiences of Homesickness and Repatriation among Austro-Hungarian Prisoners of War, 1914-1923

Jenna Byers (University College Dublin): A Comparison of Interwar Paramilitaries: Germany and Austria

Panel 4: Divided Germany and Beyond: Political and Emotional Perspectives
Chair: Matthew Stibbe (Sheffield Hallam)
GE. 3.09

Phil Leask (UCL): Going out of your Socialist Mind? Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in the GDR

Clare Copley (University of Central Lancashire): ‘A Judicial No Man’s Land’: Challenges to Allied Rule in 1970s West Berlin

Anna McEwan (ZZF Potsdam): Socialist Sisterhoods, Subjectivities and Citizenship: Lessons from the Democratic Women’s League of Germany (1971-2000)

11.14-11.45am GE 3.17 Open Space


Panel 5: Nationalism and Cultural Exchange
Chair: Helen Roche (Durham)
GE 3.13

Sascha R. Harnisch (Erfurt): ‘Die Wacht am Rhein’: Making the Franco-German Border in German Patriotic Song during the Reichsgründungszeit

Mathis J. Gronau (Duisburg-Essen): Writing Foreign History as an Act of Cultural Exchange: The Creation and Reception of Thomas Carlyle’s Frederick the Great

Philip Decker (Princeton): The Soviet Union at the Leipzig and Königsberg Trade Fairs, 1940-1941

Panel 6: Sexuality, Race and Identity: Representations of the ‘Other’ in Interwar Germany and Austria
Chair: Robbie Aitken (Sheffield Hallam)
GE 3.02

Xiaojue Michelle Zhu (Courtauld Institute of Art): Between Respectability and Criminality: National Belonging and Photographs in the Weimar Gay Press

Abbey Rees-Hales (Birmingham): The Shadow Lesbian: Interwar Feminine Lesbian Identities in Mariette Lydis’s Lesbiennes (1926)

Michelle Kiessling (Sheffield Hallam): ‘Colour Does Not Matter’: Exoticisation and Belonging of ‘Exotic’ Youth in the Viennese Press

Panel 7: Expertise, Activism and Government in West German Society, c. 1970-1989
Chair: Christina von Hodenberg (German Historical Institute London)
GE 3.09

Rüdiger Graf (ZZF Potsdam): Behavioural Expertise and Regulation in West Germany since the 1970s

Ruth Pope (Forschungstelle für Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg): Child Sexual Abuse: Contested Knowledge in the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1980s

Moritz Föllmer (Amsterdam): Governing the Big City in West Germany in the 1970s and 1980s

1.15-2.15pm GE 3.17 Open Space


Panel 8: Approaches to Early Modern Memory
Chair: Luca Scholz (Manchester)
GE 3.09

Franziska Neumann (TU Braunschweig): Does Soil Have a Memory? Unearthing the Environmental Memory of Early Modern Braunschweig

Beat Kümin (Warwick): Building Workers as Memory Makers in the German Lands

Thomas Pert (Warwick): The ‘Refugee Experience’ in the Memory and Memoirs of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648)

Panel 9: The Limits of Sovereignty, 1815-1930
Chair: Tim Grady (Chester)
GE 3.13

Jean-Michel Johnston (Cambridge): The Rough Edges of German Sovereignty, 1815-1919

Jasper Heinzen (York): Empire, Custom, and Honour in the First World War

Anna Ross (Warwick): International Zones: Ludwig Noé and the Making of Free Ports after the First World War

Panel 10: Gender and the Law Across the Long 20th Century in German-Speaking Europe
Chair: Craig Griffiths (Manchester Metropolitan)
GE 3.02

Daniel Gunz (Vienna): Negotiating Military Masculinity: Queerness within the Fin de Siècle Austro-Hungarian Armed Forces

Emma Teworte (Oxford): ‘Der strafbare Eingriff”: Criminalising Abortion in Germany between the 1930s and the 1950s

Jane Freeland (Queen Mary): Women’s Rights and Reproductive Travel from Germany to the Netherlands

Panel 11: Teaching German History in the Classroom using Games: The Death of the Weimar Republic
Chair: Jeff Bowersox (UCL)
GE 3.12

Ben Green (Manchester)
Mathis Gronau (Duisburg-Essen)
Les Newsom (UCL)

3.45-4.15pm GE 3.17 Open Space


Panel 12: Late Medieval and Early Modern Boundaries, Networks and Collective Identities
Chair: Stefan Hanß (Manchester)
GE 3.13

Ben Pope (Manchester): The Formation of der adel (and its Oppression) as a Collective Identity in Upper Germany (c. 1400-1450)

Holly Fletcher (Manchester): Collective Fattening: Fatness in Pregnancy, Childbirth and Lying-in in Early Modern Germany (c. 1560-1610)

Luca Scholz (Manchester): Mapping Non-Exclusive Forms of Dominion in the Holy Roman Empire

Panel 13: Longing, Grief, and Violent Death: Painful Subjectivities in World War II and the Holocaust
Chair: Helen Roche (Durham)
GE 3.09

Thomas Brodie (Birmingham): Cultures and Politics of Mourning in Wartime Germany, 1939-1945

Lior Tibet (University College Dublin): ‘Kill Us First!’: Nazi Perpetrators and Jewish Children

Charlie Knight (Southampton): ‘Durch Fernen hin; schlaflose Nacht wird hell’: Reflections on the Archive of Marion Ferguson

Panel 14: Queer and Trans German Histories: A Roundtable. Part B: 1945 to the Present
Chair: Craig Griffiths (Manchester Metropolitan)
GE 3.02

Christopher Ewing (Purdue)
Tiffany Florvil (New Mexico)
Nikolaos Papadogiannis (Stirling)
Andrea Rottmann (FU Berlin)
Sébastien Tremblay (Flensburg)

Comfort break (and change of building)


Keynote Lecture Two
6pm Benzies, 4th floor
Co-hosted with the IHR History of Sexuality Seminar Series

Photography and Trans Visibility

Professor Jennifer Evans (University of Carleton)

Conference Dinner
7.15pm Benzies, 4th floor

Saturday 7th September

9.00-9.30am GE 3.17 Open Space


Panel 15 Intellectual Biographies and Genealogies
Chair: Mark Hewitson (UCL)
GE 3.12

Mikko Immanen (Helsinki): Adorno’s Gamble with Klages: Harnessing Radical Conservatism for Emancipatory Ends

Claire MacLeod (Oxford): ‘The First Lady of Academic Pedagogy’: Recovering the Life and Scholarship of Elisabeth Blochmann (1892-1972)

Panel 16: Hidden in Plain Sight: Public ‘Hidden’ Histories and Hidden ‘Public’ Histories in Germany’s Twentieth Century
Chair: Christopher Dillon (King’s College London)
GE 3.02

Samantha K. Knapton (Nottingham): A Return to Normal? Queer Displacement in the Immediate Post-1945 Period

Bodie Ashton (ZZF Potsdam): ‘Zwischen Witz und Haß’ or ‘endlich glücklich’? Trans Discursive Liminality and the Challenges of the German Transgender Past

Lilú Kruspe (Erfurt): Lost in the Crowd: Sex Work, Sex Trafficking and the Lost Individual in Newspaper Coverage of ‘Mädchenhandel’

Panel 17: The GDR’s 1989 Across Borders
Chair: Christian Rau (Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Berlin)
GE 3.09

Andrew Demshuk (American University, Washington DC): German Reunification as a Success Story: ‘Project Hope’ in the ‘Filthiest Village in Europe’

Marcus Colla (Bergen): Red Flag, Green Star: The International Correspondence of East German Esperantists in 1989

Kate Stanton (Oxford), ‘Long Lost Sisters’: East German Feminism across the East-West Divide

Panel 18 The Long Quest for ‘Ordinary People’: Historical and Sociological Approaches to ‘Everyday Life’ in the 20th Century
Chair: Jane Freeland (Queen Mary)
GE 3.13

Clemens Villinger (German Historical Institute London): Alltagsgeschichte and the (Re)discovery of Normality in the 1980s

Moritz Neuffer (Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung Berlin): ‘Everyday Life’: On the History of a Concept

Ole Münch (German Historical Institute London): Are Ordinary People more Objective? Mass Observation and its Peculiar Interwar Sociology

Emily Steinhauer (Royal Holloway): Erich Fromm’s Psycho-Social Challenge to Normality

Comfort break (and change of building)

Keynote Lecture Three
11.15-12.30pm Benzie, 4th floor

Albrecht Dürer, Masculinity and the Politics of Renaissance Recognition

Professor Ulinka Rublack (University of Cambridge)

12.30-1.30pm Benzie, 4th floor

AGM of the German History Society
1.30-2.45pm Benzie, 4th floor

Conference closes

Image Credit: By Foblmmu – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,