Race, History, and Academia – History is Located Inside, not Outside Racial Biases

The blog of the German Historical Institute London is inviting for contributions to a new series on „Race, History and Academia”. In the weeks following the murder of George Floyd, hundreds of higher education institutions and other organisations around the world issued statements of solidarity. Yet despite mounting pressure, most German universities, research institutions, and associations remained silent. Criticism was on the rise in the US and the UK because many historians felt the tokenistic statements of their institutions fell far short of plans for concrete action; yet in German academia, many colleagues were still waiting for an initial reaction. Academics in Germany cannot isolate themselves from what has now become a global movement against racism within our sector. Not least because of Germany’s troubled past, Germans historians face a special responsibility.

A two-part blog post by GHIL Fellow Dr Mirjam Brusius started the dialogue this month. The first part contextualised debates in the UK and US and their reception in German academia, while the second part discussed essential questions and potential points of departure with regard to transforming our field into a more inclusive environment. What shape should such a transformation take?

On this occasion we invite contributions from external authors in the form of blog posts of no more than 1,500 words relating to race, racism, history, and (German) academia. Texts can take the form of reactions to previous texts published on our blog or elsewhere, first-hand accounts of racism in academia, interviews, or historiographical and methodological reflections, for example. We are particularly interested in generating a dialogue across platforms such as WerkstattGeschichte and L.I.S.A., where similar initiatives are currently taking place. Please contact the editor for further details or to submit a proposal.