Migration and Knowledge

The Max Weber Foundation’s German Historical Institute (GHI) in Washington set up the GHI WEST branch office at the University of California, Berkeley on 1 February 2017. With this new location the GHI Washington intends to establish an international and interdisciplinary research network on “Migration and Knowledge”, combining the histories of knowledge and of migration.

The central subject of research in the network will be migrants as carriers and producers of knowledge. In this context particular attention shall be paid to the role of children and young people in an attempt to understand how they act as mediators or “translators” between cultures. The GHI West aims at targeted co-operation with other academic institutions in Europe, North America and other regions so as to provide new impulses for international migration research and, in the long term, to address not just scientists from Europe and North America but also researchers from Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region.

On the one hand, the establishment of the GHI West at UC Berkeley raises the visibility of the GHI Washington in the region, as well as increasing possibilities for co-operation. On the other hand, it underlines California’s outstanding importance as an academic location, even for the humanities and social science research in Germany. Moreover, this step is intended to add to the profile of the GHI Washington, which for some time has devoted increased attention to the history of knowledge and digital historical studies.

The GHI West organizes conferences, seminars for young academics and various lecture series. Thanks to support from the VolkswagenStiftung, the new branch of the GHI Washington will offer a “Tandem Fellowship Program” on the history of knowledge and of migration from 2017 to 2020, giving one German-American post-doc tandem per academic year the possibility to do research work at the GHI West. The official dedication of the GHI WEST branch office will be embedded in the “Bucerius Lecture on Histories of Migration”, which is promoted by the ZEIT Foundation Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, in early November 2017.