Our research

Current Projects

Global Crises and What it Means to be German (Jan 2017 - Dec 2017)

Global Crises will bring together the research completed during three previous DAAD-funded IGS research projects - Zeitgeist (2011-2012), Worldviews (2013-2014) and (Not) Made in Germany (2015-2016) - in order to explore the intersections between these different areas of work. The core foci of the three projects – what it means to be German today, how the German past influences contemporary politics, and how images of Germany are constructed from the outside – are considered alongside one another in order to develop a better understanding of how past, present, the national and the international interact in the construction of German identity in the twenty-first century. The research is structured around three key strands: 1) a panel discussion and workshop on German perceptions of the 'Brexit' referendum; 2) continuing professional development days for A-Level teachers of German; and 3) an international symposium around the theme of 'Global Crises and What it Means to be German'.

Previous projects

(Not) Made in Germany? Imagining Germany from the Outside (Jan 2015 - Dec 2016)

Through this project the IGS Birmingham will consolidate and expand its role as a primary hub for the support and inspiration of German Studies in the United Kingdom, as well as its reputation as a leading global research centre. Funding is sought to establish a high-profile academic network: (Not) Made in Germany: Imagining Germany from the Outside. The network will bring staff and postgraduate students from German universities and the worldwide DAAD German Studies Centres to the IGS in a series of five research visits focused around the core themes of the project.

The German Past and the Contemporary World: The domestic and foreign politics of memory (Jan 2013 - Dec 2014)

The project aims to examine in detail the interaction beween collective memory, policy elaboration, and the personal remembering of different individuals and social groups. The project will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to consider the continuing impact of 20th-century German history, particularly the legacy of fascist and communist dictatorships, on 21st-century political decision-making.

Zeitgeist. What does it mean to be German in the 21st century? (2010 - 13)

What does it mean to be German in the 21st century? To inherit a difficult history and be subject to national stereotypes — or much more than that? Zeitgeist investigates ideas and identity in an age of globalisation and multiculturalism. What does Germany mean to the rest of the world now? What do we make of a nation that merged two states into one, is home to the 2009 Nobel literary prizewinner, and has pursued the European project in all its cultural, political, and financial forms?

See more Previous research projects.