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Stellungnahme des VHD zur Unterlassungsklage von Gabriele Krone Schmalz gegen die Osteuropahistorikerin Franziska Davies

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The panel discussions of "Racism in History and Context" are available to watch and relisten on L.I.S.A. - Das Wissenschaftsportal der Gerda Henkel Stiftung. You can find a detailed report of the first two panel discussions of the series here

Racism in History and Context - Part I: Rethinking Memory and Knowledge during Times of Crisis

"Racism in History and Context" is a Virtual Panel Series presented by the German Historical Association, the German Historical Institute Washington and its Pacific Regional Office, and the Institute of European Studies at University of California, Berkeley.

A discussion with Ana Lucia Araujo, Manuela Bauche, Norbert Frei, and Michael Rothberg
Moderated by Akasemi Newsome and Francisco Bethencourt
September 15 , 2020 | 9 AM PDT – 12 Noon EDT – 6 PM CEST

Announcement (PDF)

The Black Lives Matter protest movement and the accompanying efforts to topple monuments to colonialism and slavery on both sides of the Atlantic have put the issue of racism back on the agenda in the United States, Germany, and beyond. Much of the public debate invokes racism as a shorthand for long and complex histories of inequality and oppression that resurface, rather than originate, in our momentous present.

These current movements and debates have unfolded in tandem with the global coronavirus pandemic. While the current health crisis has intensified and exposed deep-seated social and cultural fractures in modern societies, deadly world-threatening epidemics that recur in waves are a historical phenomenon that have existed throughout history. Some of them, such as the bubonic plague, or Black Death, that emerged and raged in the mid-14th century and reappeared regularly up into the early twentieth century, became a permanent part of cultural memory precisely because they initiated revolutionary political and social processes and changed societies significantly.

The German Historical Association (Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands e.V., VHD), the German Historical Institute Washington with its Pacific Regional Office, and the Institute of European Studies at University of California, Berkeley, have invited scholars from the United States and Europe to explore recent assertions of historical understandings of racism by scrutinizing how current debates construct and represent this history in a two-part virtual panel series this fall. What and who defines the deeper and historically longer-term contexts of the present-day phenomenon? How do the various discourses and memories of racist violence differ in quite diverse national contexts and narratives, and what interdependencies can we discern? How do social and cultural tensions take form under the pressure of condemning racism in moments and historical narratives of crises?

On September 15, the panel will focus on conflicting memory cultures to shed light on narratives and practices of racist inequality which gained particular relevance as a framework for understanding the consequences of the current epidemic. The second panel on October 29 will discuss protest movements, state power, and violence. The panels will be held in English via Zoom. The audience will have the chance to ask questions via chat.


About the Organizers

The German Historical Association (VHD) is the representative organ of German historical scholarship in the public. The core task of the VHD is to organize the Biennial Convention of German Historians (“Historikertag”) – one of the largest conferences in the humanities in Europe, most recently with more than 4,000 participants. As a lobby group, the VHD is committed to the interests of its members in a variety of ways and, as a professional association, is in constant dialogue with universities, university-related institutions, and society. The VHD currently has about 3,400 members.

The German Historical Institute Washington (GHI) is a center for advanced historical research. Working with junior and senior scholars around the world, the GHI facilitates dialogue and scholarly collaboration across national and disciplinary boundaries. The GHI was established in 1987 as an independent non-profit foundation. Since 2002 it has been part of the Max Weber Stiftung – Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland (Max Weber Foundation – International Humanities Institutes Abroad), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which coordinates an international network of humanities institutes. In 2017, the GHI opened its Pacific Regional Office on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, to foster cooperation with a myriad of world-class scholars and renowned research institutions on the West Coast, and to extend its public outreach effort there.

The Institute of European Studies (IES) at the University of California, Berkeley, is the leading center for research and education on Europe in the Western United States, and among the top three such organizations in the U.S. Through interdisciplinary public events, research programs, grant opportunities, and community outreach, IES seeks to enrich America's understanding of Europe – its people, developments and challenges – at Berkeley and throughout the state of California.