German History Society Annual Conference 2023

University House
Thursday 7 September (00:00) - Saturday 9 September 2023 (00:00)

The German History Society (GHS) Annual Conference is a place for scholars and enthusiasts of German history to meet and share their ideas. The conference programme will feature 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.


Registration is now closed.


Thursday afternoon pre-session 

  • 14:00-16:00 - GHS Committee meeting (University House Room 111)
  • 16:00-17:30 - German History Editorial Board meeting (University House Room 111) 
  • 16:00-17:00 - Publication/grant writing workshop for postgraduates and ECRs (University House Lecture theatre G12) 

Thursday evening

  • 17:00-18:00 Registration opens

  • 18:00 - 19:15 Keynote Lecture 1: Proffessor. Dr. Felicitas Schmieder (Fern-Universität Hagen): "What do you know of the German East?" Eastern Europe and German History and Present (University House Lecture theatre G12)  

  • 19:15 - 20:15 Wine reception in The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Friday 8 September 9:00-10:45 

Panel 1 – Reformation Debates (University House Room G03)

  • Chair: Laura Kounine (TBC)
  • Ruth Atherton (University of South Wales), ‘“Love Thy Neighbour”: Andreas Osiander’s Teachings on Charity and Pastoral Care in Nuremberg, 1522–1549’
  • Harry O’Neill (Birkbeck, University of London), ‘Conflict and Consciousness: The Revelations of
  • Ursula Jost of Strasbourg as a Response to Violent Trauma, 1524–1532’
  • Tian Ma (University of Cambridge), ‘Historical Crisis and Ideal Politics: Leopold von Ranke on the Reformation’

Panel 2 – Totalitarian Cadres and Mentalities (University House Room G05)

  • Chair: Marina Pérez de Arcos (Oxford/LSE)
  • Philip Decker (Princeton University), ‘Recontextualizing the Third Reich’s Russophobia, 1933-1941: “Russian Soul” and “Untermensch” in Uneasy Coexistence’
  • Katherine Quinlan-Flatter (Independent Researcher), ‘Victory Through Faith – the NSFO Programme’
  • Jennifer McKay (University of Waterloo), ‘Stalin’s Last Comrade: Hanna Wolf and the “Karl Marx” Party College in the German Democratic Republic’

Panel 3- New Perspectives in 20th Century German Media History (University House Room G06)

  • Chair: Kim Wünschmann (Institute for the History of the German Jews, Hamburg)
  • Norman Domeier (Charles University Prague), ‘Schreibmaschinentäter: Careers of international Nazi Journalists before and after 1945’
  • Paul Moore (University of Leicester), ‘Ein Schuss – und Hitler ist tot!’ Bild’s Die letzten 50 Tage and the Nazi Past in the 1960s Federal Republic’
  • Jochen Hung (Utrecht University), ‘Riding the “Datenautobahn”? German Imaginaries of the Internet and the Process of Reunification, 1990–2000’

10:45 - 11:15 Tea/coffee break 

Friday morning session 2: 11:15 - 12:45

Panel 4 – Soul, Mind and Medicine (University House Room G03)

  • Chair: David Lederer (Maynooth University)
  • Amelia Hutchinson (University of Cambridge), ‘Medicinal, Therapeutic and Embodied Materials in the Pomeranian Art Cabinet (1611–17)’
  • Thomas Appleby (Maynooth University), ‘The Contrasts and Comparison in the Theological
  • Anthropology of August Hermann Francke, and the Medical Pathology of Georg Ernst Stahl in early 18th c. Prussia’
  • Robbie Spiers (University of Cambridge), ‘From the Rational to the Reasonable: Critiques of Science and Technology in Twentieth-Century German Psychiatry’

Panel 5 – Memorialisation of War, Revolution and their Victims (University House Room G05)

  • Chair: Jeff Bowersox (TBC)
  • Mark Hewitson (UCL), ‘The Violence of War in Germany, 1890–1930’
  • Aileen Lichtenstein (University of Sterling), ‘“Wir mahnen!” The Friedhof der Märzgefallenen and Anarchist Commemoration Practices in Berlin from a Transnational Perspective’
  • Laura Tradii (Kent), ‘The Experience of Mass Death on East German Soil:: Managing Wehrmacht Fallen Soldiers in the Soviet Occupation Zone and GDR’

Panel 6 – German Internment in the First World War: Perspectives from Allied and Neutral Territories in Europe and Africa (University House Room G06)

  • Chair: Dina Gusejnova (LSE)
  • Stefan Manz (Aston), ‘Internment of Germans in Allied African Territories’
  • Mathis Gronau (UCL), ‘“The people of Voltaire, certainly, but also the people of Marat”: Experiencing Early German Internment in France 1914-1915’
  • Marina Pérez de Arcos (Oxford/LSE), ‘Transimperial Entanglement: Interned Germans from Cameroon in Neutral Spain and Equatorial Guinea (1916-1920)’

Panel 7 – More than Peaceful Women and Mothers. Female Peace Activism in Early Postwar Germany (University House Room G07)

  • Chair: Anna Gehl (Freie Universität Berlin)
  • Anna Leyrer (Universität Basel), ‘Anna Haag (1888–1982)’
  • Carla Seemann (Universität des Saarlandes), ‘Freda Wuesthoff (1896–1956) and Clara von Simson (1897–1983)’
  • Lea Börgerding (Freie Universität Berlin), ‘The German Democratic Women’s League’

12:45 - 14:00 Lunch 

Friday afternoon session 1: 14:00-15:30

Panel 8 – Of Monsters and War (University House Room G03)

  • Chair: Karin Friedrich (Aberdeen)
  • Franziska Sedlmair (LMU), ‘Feeding the War. Bavaria’s Mobilisation of Natural Resources to Supply its and Allied Armied during the Thirty Years’ War’
  • Thomas Wood (University of Birmingham), ‘Meeting Monsters: Sensory Experiences of Dragons in Early Modern Germany’
  • Thomas Pert (University of Warwick), ‘From the ‘Cherry War’ to the Peace of Prague: Refugees in the Free Imperial City of Ulm and its Territories in the Thirty Years’ War, c.1631–1635’

Panel 9 – The Transnationality of Central European Foodways: Modernity, Monarchy and Global Networks, 1780-1912 (University House Room G05)

  • Chair: Frank F. Sterkenburgh (University of Utrecht)
  • Claudia Kreklau (University of St Andrews), ‘Making Modern Eating: How the German Middle Class Invented the Way We Eat, 1780-1910’
  • Amy Millet (University of Kansas), ‘Entering the World Stage: Culinary Exhibitions in Habsburg Vienna, 1884-1912’

Panel 10 – The Internment of German-Speaking Aliens in Britain and the English-Speaking World during the Second World War: Legal Frameworks and Political Implications (University House Room G06)

  • Chair: Sebastian Gehrig (University of Sheffield)
  • Dina Gusejnova (LSE), ‘Law, Public Opinion and the British Tribunal System in the Second World War: The Case for Populist Legalism in a Wartime Democracy’
  • Kim Wünschmann (Institute for the History of the German Jews, Hamburg), ‘The Treatment of Enemy Civilians as a Legal Crisis: The Tribunal System in the US during the Second World War’
  • Matthew Stibbe (Sheffield Hallam University), ‘Morrison’s Prisoners: The Internment and Release of the ‘Beuer Six’—Sudeten German Communists in British Exile—in 1940–1’

Tea/coffee break 15:30-16:00 

Friday afternoon session 2: 16:00-17:30

Panel 11 – New Approaches to Documentary Culture in Carolingian and Ottonian Europe (University House Room G03)

  • Chair: Marios Costambeys (Liverpool)
  • Ingrid Rembold (Manchester): ‘A Proprietary Monastery? Petitioning for, Reinterpreting and Forging Privileges at Werden on the Ruhr (855 – 891)’
  • Ed Roberts (Kent): ‘Preparing for Travel in East Frankish Charters (8th – 9th centuries): Piety and Practicality’
  • Alice Hicklin (Sheffield): ‘Remembrance, Curation and Obliteration of Prior Rulers in Governing Documents of the Ottonian Empire, c.900 – 1050 CE’

Panel 12 – Old Nazis in Cold War: Trials, Strategies and Narratives (University House Room G05)

  • Chair: Ben Shepherd (Glasgow Caledonian University)
  • Bastiaan Willems (Lancaster), ‘A Field Marshal Returns Home: The 1957 Trial of Ferdinand Schörner’
  • Danny Orbach (Hebrew University Jerusalem), ‘Nazi Security Officials and the “Garbage Bin” Principle: Was it possible to be a Nazi after 1945?’
  • Kerstin von Lingen (University of Vienna), ‘Mass Murderers in Conversation: Karl Wolff, Klaus Barbie and Walter Rauff in Latin America, 1978-79’

Panel 13 – 1989: Revolution and Transformation (University House Room G06)

  • Chair: Christina von Hodenberg, German Historical Institute London (GHIL)
  • Paul Betts (University of Oxford), ‘Photographing Revolution: Central Europe, 1989’
  • Jane Freeland (Queen Mary University of London), ‘“They haven’t learnt anything from history”: Race, Gender, and the German Past in the Reunification Abortion Debate’
  • Sebastian Gehrig (University of Sheffield), ‘“Deutschenfähigkeit”: German Unification and Citizenship’

  • 18:00-19:15 Keynote Lecture 2: Profesor Howard Hotson (St Anne’s College, Oxford), An Intellectual geography of the German lands of the Holy Roman Empire and Central Europe during the Confessional Age (University House Room G12)

  • 19:30-22:00 Conference Dinner- Edgbaston Park Hotel 

Saturday 9 September morning session 1 9:00-10:30

Panel 14 – A Kaiserreich, not a Bismarckreich: New Perspectives on the Role of Monarchy in the German Empire (University House Room G03)

  • Chair:  Claudia Kreklau (University of St. Andrew’s)
  • Jan Frederik Markert (University of Oldenburg), ‘The Other Kaiser: New Perspectives on Wilhelm I’
  • Frederik Frank Sterkenburgh (Utrecht University), ‘Staging the Kaiser: Wilhelm I as German Emperor’

Panel 15 – Gendered Lives (University House Room G05)

  • Chair: Paul Betts (University of Oxford)
  • Annalisa Martin (Greifswald University), ‘Containing the Deviant and Work-shy in Post-war Germany, 1950­­–1969’
  • Tadeusz Wojtych (University of Cambridge / Newcastle University), ‘Sex Education and Religion in East Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia (1945–1991)’
  • Anna McEwan (University of Glasgow), ‘Caring for Each Other, Cared for by the State: Gendered Implications of State Intervention in Herrmann Zschoche’s Bürgschaft für ein Jahr (1981)’
  • Charlie Knight (University of Southampton), ‘Durch Fernen hin; schlaflose Nacht wird hell’: Reflections on the Archive of Marion Ferguson’

Panel 16 – Continuity and Change: Culture Beyond the Third Reich (University House Room G06)

  • Chair:  Jeff Bowersox (UCL)
  • Jessica Cretney (De Montfort University), ‘“Nothing to do with Politics”: Ernst Neufert and Architectural Standardisation’ 
  • Neil Gregor (University of Southampton), ‘Listening to Art: Music between Democracy and Dictatorship’
  • Jon Hughes (Royal Holloway, University of London), ‘Ideology, Culture and Continuity in German Sports Films’

10:30-11:00 Tea/coffee break

Saturday morning session 2

11:00-12:30 Annual General Meeting of the German History Society (University House G12) 

12:30-13:30 Lunch 

13:30-14:30 Keynote Lecture 3: Professor Christoph Mick (University of Warwick), Shapingthe Past: Memorial Culture and the Politics of History in Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv from the First World War to the Present (University House G12)


Many thanks to the Conference Team in Birmingham: Dr Tom Brodie, Dr Simone Laqua-O'Donnell, Dr Klaus Richter, and the Institute for German and European Studies as sponsor for the wine reception.

Travel to the conference

Directions to Birmingham and to our Edgbaston campus are available on the Getting here page.  The conference will be based in our University House (Business School), O2 in the orange zone on our campus map


As well as the conference rooms available at our Vale Village, we also have our Edgbaston Park Hotel on campus. (Please note we do not have rooms reserved for the conference at the hotel, bookings are made by delegates on an individual basis.)

Please visit our accommodation page for advice on how to research other accommodation options. 

Food and drink

Lunches and refreshments will be provided for conference delegates on the Friday and Saturday, but not the Thursday*. There will be a drinks reception for all on Thursday 7 September at our Barber Institute of Fine Arts. And there is the option to register and pay for the conference dinner as part of our registration process, which includes a two course meal.

As part of your registration process, please let us know of any specific dietary requirements we need to be aware of.

*For more information on food and drink options on and off campus visit our Food and Drink page.  

German History Society of the UK and Ireland

Our mission is to promote the study and understanding of the history of Germany and the German-speaking world in its broadest global context. You can contact the society here for further information: 

For more detailed information, please visit the GHS official website or follow us on Twitter @GermanHistSoc