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Program Spring 2024

See below

PDF of the Spring 2024 Program overview

 

All seminars will take place as Zoom events. We will communicate the Zoom URL for each NCGS seminar before the event via our NCGS list serve.

 If you are not on this list serve, please contact the NCGS graduate assistant Kevin Hoeper (kjhoeper@live.unc.edu) and ask to be added the NCGS list serve or request the URL for a specific event in the weeks before the event. They will also take care of the technology of the Zoom Seminars. For our NCGS Online Seminars Etiquette, see here.


Program Fall 2023

 PDF of the Fall 2023 Program overview

 

Friday, 22 September 2023

UNC Chapel Hill  I  2:00 – 4:00 pm   I  Zoom Seminar

 

Moderation: KAREN HAGEMANN  |  James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of History,  University North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History

Konrad H. Jarausch Essay Prize Winner for Advanced Graduate Students in 2022:

YANARA SCHMACKS I Graduate Student, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Department of History and  Doctoral Fellow at the Leibniz-Institute for European History, Mainz

“We always did this for our children”: Motherhood in the GDR between Socialism and Opposition 

The presentation explores how GDR women dealt with motherhood and thereby, in conversation with and sometimes opposition to the state, renegotiated socialist modernity. East German women writers drew up alternative socialist versions of maternity, framing the mother-child relationship as a platonic partnership between mother and child and, in contrast to their Western counterparts, deemphasizing the bodily elements of motherhood. These positions toward motherhood and children were often politically in line with culturally hegemonic ideas about the socialist family that were promoted by the state. Yet, in the 1980s, motivated by intense maternal concern for their children in the face of growing Cold War tensions and environmental destruction, GDR women’s activists tried to actively intervene at the state level to improve the future of their children, thereby becoming involved in oppositional activities and ultimately contributing to bringing about the Wende

YANARA SCHMACKS is a graduate student in Modern European History at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York. She is working on a dissertation titled “Reproductive Nation: German Motherhood, Erotics, and Ecology between East and West,” exploring how the maternal served as a space for the renegotiation of both the German past as well as the East-West divide and reunification. Her research was published in Central European History and in Psychoanalysis and History. She is currently a Doctoral Fellow at the Leibniz-Institute for European History in Mainz.

Laudation:

THOMAS PEGELOW KAPLAN  I  Louis P. Singer Endowed Chair in Jewish History,  University of Colorado, Department of History

Comments:

    • JAMES CHAPPEL I  Gilhuly Family Associate Professor of History,  Duke University, Department of History
    • DONNA HARSCH I  Professor of History,  Carnegie Mellon University, Department of History

PDF of the Flyer

 

 

Friday, 13 October 2023

UNC Chapel Hill  I  2:00 – 4:00 pm  I  Zoom Seminar

 

Moderation: ANDREA A. SINN  I  Associate Professor of History, Elon University, Department of History and Geography

STEFAN-LUDWIG HOFFMANN Associate Professor for Late Modern European History, University of California, Berkeley, Department of History

Dreams, Terror, and Complicity: Charlotte Beradt Meets Reinhart Koselleck

Recently, there has been an uptick of interest across disciplines in the theoretical writings of the late Reinhart Koselleck. Whenever scholars deal with issues of temporality, with present pasts or past futures, the German conceptual historian’s work is invoked. Yet in new histories of Fascist and Nazi times one of his most incisive essays, “Terror and Dream,” is oddly omitted. In his talk, he will explore Koselleck’s encounter with Third Reich of Dreams by Charlotte Beradt, a book that the German-Jewish émigré journalist wrote in the early 1960s. Especially Beradt’s suggestion that dreams are one of the most telling historical sources for understanding individual experiences of time in the 1930s fascinated Koselleck. In light of the resurgence of authoritarianism in our own time, the talk will ask whether Beradt’s and Koselleck’s analytical concern with the workings of dreams, terror, and complicity in everyday life gains new significance and urgency.   

STEFAN-LUDWIG HOFFMANN is Associate Professor for Late Modern European History at the University of California, Berkeley. He is historian of German, European, and International History from the late eighteenth century to the present and has an ongoing interest in social, legal, and political thought as well as in the theory of history. His most recent book is:  Der Riss in der Zeit: Kosellecks ungeschriebene Historik (Suhrkamp, 2023, English translation under contract with Princeton UP). He currently works on a history of Human Rights.

Comment: KONRAD H. JARAUSCH   I  Lurcy Professor of European Civilization, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History

PDF of the Flyer

 

 

Friday, 10 November 2023

UNC Chapel Hill  I  2:00 – 4:00 pm  I  Zoom Seminar

 

Moderation: TERESA WALCH  I  Assistant Professor of Modern European History, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of History

MADDIE JAMES Graduate Student  I  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History

“Protecting the Volk“: The Female Criminal Police in Nazi Germany

By 1927, four of the Weimar Republic’s states had established new female police units. Across Germany, pioneering policewomen and their supporters understood female police integral to the democratization, modernization, and humanization of policing. They viewed themselves as reformers championing the values of the democratic Volksstaat of the Weimar Republic. What happened to this fledgling institution following the National Socialist Machtergreifung in 1933? How did this moment of regime change impact the stated purpose and work of the female police, as well as the careers of the policewomen themselves? How did institutions such as the female police adjust to new priorities, aims, and values as laid down by the Nazi state? Drawing on my dissertation research, this talk will explore these questions in order to analyze how this Frauenberuf survived in the Männerdomäne of the Nazi police apparatus and the ways in which the female police became complicit in the regime’s crimes.

MADDIE JAMES is a graduate student of Modern European History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interests include modern German and European history, women and gender history, the history of the Holocaust, and the history of police and law enforcement. Her dissertation project, tentatively titled “Protecting the Volk: The Development of Female Police from Weimar and Nazi to Post-War Germany,” will trace the development of female police throughout the three periods of the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, and post-war Germany.

Comment: THOMAS KÜHNE   I  Strassler Professor of Holocaust Studies and Director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University

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Friday, 1 December 2023

UNC Chapel Hill  I  2:00 – 4:00 pm  I  Zoom Seminar

 

Moderation: KAREN HAGEMANN  |  James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of History,  University North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History

JENS-UWE GUETTEL  Associate Professor, Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, Department of History, Penn State University

Continuities of Violence: Street Riots in Germany from 1905 to 1923

This presentation traces street violence and politics in Germany from the unrests in Saxony in 1905 to the 1923 Scheunenviertelpogrom in Berlin. It examines street violence and politics as intersecting but separate phenomena, thus showing how tenuous the hold of political leaders or political ideologies were with respect to those who took to the streets to demonstrate – or riot – on behalf of political or other goals. The presentation focuses on the links between street politics before 1914 and similar occurrences during the war, while simultaneously sketching out how up to the 1923 Scheunenviertelpogrom street violence both changed and stayed the same. This approach allows us to question entrenched chronologies and supposed historical turning points by revealing continuities of violence that did not disappear after 1914 or only appeared in 1918.

JENS-UWE GUETTEL is Associate Professor of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures and History at Penn State University. His research, which centers on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, examines the domestic impact of imperialism, colonial expansion, and protest movements. His fist monograph is: German Expansionism, Imperial Liberalism, and the United States, 1776–1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2012). He is currently working on a second monograph, entitled Radical Democracy in Germany, 1871–1918.

Comment: HEDWIG RICHTER  I  Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, University of the Bundeswehr Munich, Department of History

PDF of the Flyer

 

 

Spring 2024

PDF of Program overview

Friday, 26 January 2024

UNC Chapel Hill  I  2:00 – 4:00 pm   I  Zoom Seminar

 

Moderation: KAREN HAGEMANN  |  James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of History,  University North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History

Konrad H. Jarausch Essay Prize Winner for Advanced Graduate Students in 2023:

MIRA MARKHAM I Graduate Student, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History

Operation Velehrad, 1950: Communism, Catholicism, and Popular Tradition in Czechoslovakia

During the period of greatest repression of the Catholic Church in Stalinist Czechoslovakia, Communist leaders organized and promoted an official manifestation at Velehrad, which since the mid-nineteenth century had come to represent a Moravian Catholic vision of Czech nationhood that both emphasized popular piety and rural tradition, and connected a peripheral region to the broader Slavic and Christian world. By co-opting a symbol of local, national, and international significance, Communist activists attempted to shift the loyalties of lay believers and rank-and-file priests away from the Catholic hierarchy and toward the new regime and its allies in the Soviet bloc. Operation Velehrad—as local activists dubbed the state-sponsored pilgrimage — reveals the persistence of a little-researched regional tradition of Czech Catholic politics and highlights the rhetorical and ideological flexibility of the Czechoslovak Communist regime during its early years.

MIRA MARKHAM is a graduate student of modern Central and East European history at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill  Her dissertation, “Power in the Village: Rural Political Life in Czechoslovakia, 1944-1954,” examines how ordinary people in the region of Moravian Wallachia engaged with state power as both modern citizens and members of traditional rural communities during the decade of political transition following the Second World War. Her article “Světlana: Partisans and Power in Post-War Czechoslovakia” was published in the journal Contemporary European History in 2021.

Laudation:

JAMES CHAPPEL I   Gilhuly Family Associate Professor of History,  Duke University, Department of History

Comments:

    • PIOTR H. KOSICKI  I  Associate Professor of History, Department of History, University of Maryland
    • KYRILL KUNAKHOVICH  I  Assistent Professor of History, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia

PDF of the Flyer

 

Friday, 16 Februar 2024

UNC Chapel Hill  I  2:00 – 4:00 pm  I  Zoom Seminar

 

Moderation: ANDREA SINN  I  Associate Professor of History, Elon University, Department of History and Geography

KAREN HAGEMANN  I  James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of History,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History

Contested Progress: Women and Women’s Studies at East and West German Universities – The Example of History

How to explain the causes of the persistent discrimination faced by women at universities in the two German states until 1989? Based on the example of the historical profession, a discipline of central importance in the humanities for the formulation of historical “master narratives” to interpret the past, the presentation explores both women’s changing position in the historical profession in East and West Germany and the degree of inclusion of women’s or gender history. It asks which factors promoted or hindered the inclusion of women and women’s or gender history, including the institutional structures of the higher education system more generally and the historical tradition and academic culture of the discipline, along with the underlying political and societal conditions.

 Karen Hagemann is the James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of History at UNC Chapel Hill and has published widely in Modern German and European history, the history of military and war and gender history. Her most recent publications include Revisiting Prussia’s Wars Against Napoleon: History, Culture and Memory (Cambridge University Press, 2015); Gendering Post-1945 German History: Entanglements, ed. with Donna Harsch and Friederike Brühöfener (Berghahn Books, 2019); and The Oxford Handbook of Gender, War, and the Western World since 1600, ed. with Stefan Dudink and Sonya O. Rose (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Comments: KONRAD H. JARAUSCH  |  Lurcy Professor of European Civilization, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History

PDF of the Flyer

 

Friday, 22 March 2024

UNC Chapel Hill  I  2:00 – 4:00 pm  I  Zoom Seminar

 

Moderation: 

TERESA WALCH  I  Assistant Professor of Modern European History,  University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of History

THOMAS PEGELOW KAPLAN Louis P. Singer Endowed Chair in Jewish History, University of Colorado Boulder, Department of History

German-Jewish Journalism of the 1930s and Early 1940s Reconsidered: Contestation, Transnational Transfers, Global Transit

Drawing on a series of cases that reach as far as the Philippines, this presentation offers a new view of the Jewish press during the Nazi period. The veritable “burgeoning of transnationalism in Jewish historiography” notwithstanding, almost all previous scholarship of German-Jewish journalism of the 1930s and early 1940s has been limited to dynamics within national boundaries. Yet, the work by German-Jewish journalists – increasingly hamstrung by Nazi harassment and censorship – was increasingly and profoundly shaped by complex cross-border influences and transnational transfers. Mediated and published by journalists, insights from these transfers, ranging from distinct verbiage to nuanced strategies, repeatedly reached the German-Jewish press’ initially considerable readership. These processes provided help for many in their struggles against persecution and preparations to emigrate. Still, transnational transfers and their communication in the press also could be fragile, shifting, and open to misreadings that, in turn, compromised prospective refugees’ chances at a successful escape.

THOMAS PEGELOW KAPLAN is the Louis P. Singer Endowed Chair in Jewish History, Professor of History, and interim Director of the Program of Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. His fields of research are the Holocaust, modern Jewish history, Central European history, historical methodology and theory, and transnational history. His most recent books include The Language of Nazi Genocide: Linguistic Violence and the Struggle of Germans of Jewish Ancestry (Cambridge University Press, 2009); and Beyond “Ordinary Men”: Christopher R. Browning and Holocaust Historiography, ed. with Jürgen Matthäus (Brill-Schöningh, 2019).

Comment: DAVID MEOLA  Fanny and Bert Meisler Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies, Director of Jewish and Holocaust Studies Minor Program, University of South Alabama, Department of History

PDF of the Flyer

 

 

Friday, 12 April 2024

UNC Chapel Hill  I  2:00 – 4:30 pm  I  Zoom Seminar

 

Farewell NCGS—The last event after 17 years

NCGS “CHALLENGING CONVERSATIONS” Series Roundtable:

A Decline of German Studies & German History in the United States?

The shrinking number of tenure-track jobs and the decline of undergraduate and graduate programs in German Studies and German History in recent years is alarming. Both developments threaten the future of the field. This development is part of two larger trends: on the one hand, changes in the field of history in the United States, mainly the move away from European/Western history towards global history; on the other hand, the increasing shift of resources at American colleges and universities away from the humanities and social sciences to the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) as well as professional schools (economics, law, medicine). This roundtable will address this development by discussion the following three questions in this roundtable with experts in the field:

    1. What is the current situation in German Studies and German History? Is it the same for both fields?
    2. How can we explain the development?
    3. Which consequences does it have for the future of the field and what can be done to change it?

Moderation:

  • KAREN HAGEMANN  |  James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of History,  University North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History
  • TERESA WALCH  I  Assistant Professor of Modern European History,  University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of History

 

Roundtable Participants:

  • KONRAD H. JARAUSCH |  Lurcy Professor of European Civilization, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History

KONRAD H. JARAUSCH is the Lurcy Professor of European Civilization at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has written or edited some 50 books on German and European History, including mor recently: The Burden of German History: A Transatlantic Life (Berghahn Book, 2023); Embattled Europe: A Progressive Alternative (Princeton University Press, 2021); Broken Lives: How Ordinary Germans Experienced the Twentieth Century (Princeton University Press, 2018).

 

  • PHILIPP STELZEL  |  Associate Professor of History and Graduate Director, Ducquesne University, Department of History

PHILIPP STELZEL is Associate Professor of History at Duquesne University, where he teaches twentieth-century European, German, and transatlantic history. His first monograph is History after Hitler: A Transatlantic Enterprise (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).

 

  • ADAM R. SEIPP  |  Professor of History, Texas A&M University, Department of History, and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies of the College of Arts and Sciences

ADAM R. SEIPP is Professor of History and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at Texas A&M University. His research focuses on war and social change in modern Germany, transatlantic relations, and the history of the Holocaust. His most recent books include The Berlin Airlift and the Making of the Cold War, ed. with John Schuessler and Thomas Sullivan (Texas A&M University Press, 2022); and Strangers in the Wild Place: Refugees, Americans, and a German Town, 1945–1952 (Indiana University Press, 2013).

 

  • SARA F. HALL  I  Associate Professor of Germanic Studies, University of Illinois-Chicago, Department of Germanic Studies, and President of the German Studies Association

SARA F. HALL is Associate Professor of Germanic Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Department of Germanic Studies, and President of the German Studies Association. Her research interests center on international silent film, contemporary German cinema, transnational film markets, and women film pioneers. She has published articles and book chapters in a wide variety of journals and contributed chapters to a dozen edited volumes.

 

  • JAMES CHAPPEL  I  Gilhuly Family Associate Professor of History, Duke University, Department of History

JAMES CHAPPEL is Gilhuly Family Associate Professor of History at Duke University. His focus of research is modern European history; he is particularly interested in the intersection between religion and the social sciences. His first book is Catholic Modern: The Challenge of Totalitarianism and the Remaking of the Church (Harvard University Press, 2018). His second project is provisionally entitled “Old Volk: The History and Politics of Aging in Modern Europe.”

 

PDF of the Flyer