‘We will not have a Berlin Wall or anything like that’: The ‘Peace Lines’ in Belfast, 1969 to the present

From the new IEG open access publication “On site, in time” (Ortstermine) here is an article on the “Peace Lines” in Belfast by Fabian Klose.

Cross-posted from:http://en.ieg-differences.eu/on-site-in-time/fabian-klose-belfast/

Negotiating Differences in Europe: Belfast

Beginning of “the Troubles” and the erection of the “Peace Lines”
Over the course of 1969, domestic tensions in Northern Ireland, which had been growing for decades between the Protestant and Catholic parts of the population, escalated to the point of open violence. In August, various cities experienced several days of civil-war-like unrest. In Belfast, the hostile confessional groups engaged in veritable street battles in which residential districts were attacked and entire streets lined with houses were burned down. Nine people were killed, over 700 civilians and police were injured, and in Belfast alone nearly 400 houses were damaged by arson attacks.
Northern Ireland was an integral part of the United Kingdom. When the situation came to a head, the prime minister of Northern Ireland called on the central government in London for help. In response, British army units were sent to separate the parties to the conflict and bring the situation back under control. After arriving, the British soldiers began to put up barbed wire fences and checkpoints around the neighbourhoods controlled by the battling groups – first at the hot spot between the Catholic Falls Road and the Protestant Shankill Road. The idea was to prevent further attacks between Protestants and Catholics. General Sir Ian Freeland, the British troops’ general officer commanding, called these peace lines a “very, very temporary affair”, underscoring his position thus: “We will not have a Berlin Wall or anything like that in this city”.[1]

The Peace Line on Springmartin Road in Belfast-West

Yet over the course of the nearly thirty-year conflict in Northern Ireland, which is often referred to as “the Troubles”, the provisional fences were indeed replaced with permanent barriers: walls of concrete and steel, up to eight meters high and reinforced at the top with fencing, whose various sections ran for a total of 34 kilometres through front yards and residential streets. These so-called “peace lines” or “peace walls” put their stamp on the cityscape of Belfast, as they did in other Northern Irish cities like Derry/Londonderry, Portadown and Lurgan.[2] They became a visible expression of Northern Ireland’s population, divided by civil war.

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Crisis in the Middle East: Humanitarianism, Religion and Diplomacy, c. 1860-1970

Conference at the Leibniz-Institute of European History

7 – 9 February 2018

The third conference organised by the Network »Engaging Europe in the Arab World: Missionaries and Humanitarianism in the Middle East 1850s to 1970s« focuses on crises in the Middle East and the relation between humanitarianism, religion, and diplomacy. Participating scholars discuss the period from the Ottoman Empire to the Second World War and its aftermath. The panels analyse humanitarianism and missions in the context of imperial troubles, intervention, the European mandate system and nation-building. A round table with Eva Svoboda , Senior Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and Jonathan Benthall, Director Emeritus of the Royal Anthropological Institute and Research Fellow at UCL, will conclude the proceedings discussing scholarship and humanitarian practice.

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Clothes Make the (Wo)man – Dress and Cultural Difference in Early Modern Europe

Conference Report by Cornelia Aust, Denise Klein, and Thomas Weller, Leibniz Institute of European History

Cross-posted from http://www.hsozkult.de/conferencereport/id/tagungsberichte-7527

“femme grecque”, Rålamb Kostümalbum, 1657, © commons.wikimedia.org, Nr. 56

Dress is a key marker of difference. It is closely attached to the body, part of the daily routine, and an unavoidable means of communication. The clothes people wear tell stories about their allegiances and identities but also about their exclusion and stigmatization. They allow for the display of wealth and can mercilessly display poverty and indigence. Clothes also enable people to play with identities and affinities: for instance, individuals can claim higher social status via their clothes. In many ways, dress is thus open to manipulation by the wearer and misinterpretation by the observer.

Authorities—whether religious or secular, local or regional—have always aimed at imposing order on this potential muddle. This is particularly true for the early modern era, when the world became ever more complex. In Europe, the composition of societies diversified with the emergence of new social groups and increasing migration and travel. Thanks to intensified long-distance trade and technological developments, new fashionable clothes and accessories entered the market. With the emergence of a consumer culture, it was now the case that not only the extremely wealthy could afford at least the occasional indulgence in luxury items and accessories.


Diego Velázquez, Don Pedro de Barberana y Aparregui, with Calatrava Cross, 1632, commons. wikimedia.org

Over recent years, research has focused on a variety of areas related to dress and appearance in the context of early-modern political, socio-economic, and cultural transformations both within Europe and related to its entanglement with other parts of the world. Nevertheless, a significant compartmentalization in the research on dress and appearance remains: research is often organized around particular cities and territories, and much research is still framed by modern national boundaries. Thus, the conference on dress and cultural difference in early modern Europe at the Leibniz Institute of European History aimed to cross some of these boundaries. It sought to look at dress and its perception in Europe from a transcultural perspective and to highlight the many differences that clothing can express.

In her keynote lecture “The Right to Dress,” ULINKA RUBLACK (Cambridge) provided a broad overview of sumptuary laws, dress practices, and the related political changes in the early modern world. She emphasized that innovations in fashion, even before the eighteenth century, were not reserved to aristocratic elites. Small luxury items or imitations of precious fabrics allowed fashion to spread across different social groups. Rublack argued that sumptuary laws did not necessarily enshrine a new mode of ‘governmentality’ and mark a step towards modernity: instead, those protagonists interested in spreading new fashionable clothes and accessories – merchants, manufacturers, artisans, and their customers – fought for, and slowly won, their “right to dress.”

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European History Across Boundaries from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century

PhD Workshop starts today at Mainz

The Leibniz Institute of European History has convened international PhD students to a workshop on European history across boundaries from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, including Europe’s relations with the world. The Graduate Workshop 2017/18 starting today takes place in cooperation with Lyndal Roper, Regius Chair of History at the University of Oxford. Early career researches working in this field present their dissertation projects and discuss the transcultural and transnational scope of their findings.

Leibniz Institute of European History: Fellowship Programme http://www.ieg-mainz.de/en/fellowships

The programm covers a range of topics that aim to cross and reflect boundaries and borders from early modern to contemporary history. Participants are:

Desiree E. Krikken (Groningen), My plot, your plat, our inhabited landscape: Early modern land surveyors and the record of European physical space
Alberto Rodríguez Martínez (Seville), Local politics and cross-border negotiations in the Low Countries (1598–1621)

Valerio Zanetti (Cambridge), Embodied Feminity in Renaissance Europe
Julia Maclachlan (Manchester),Male Homosexuality 1945–70: Transnational Scientific and Social Knowledge in British and West European contexts

Betto van Waarden (Leuven), Political Visibility: Celebrity leaders and the emerging mass press in Europe, 1895–1908
Joana Duyster Borreda (Oxford), Towards an International History of Nationalism: Performing, Remembering and Disseminating Catalan Culture Abroad

Carlos Domper Lasús (LUISS Rome), Polls without Democracy: Elections under European dictatorships during the Cold War: Spain and Portugal in a comparative framework
Mari Hauge (EUI), Another third standpoint? Scandinavian left-wing intellectuals and their Cold War

Christian Wiesner (Innsbruck), Reception and regulation of the Tridentine reforms: The Roman curia of the 16th and 17th Century and the implementation of the residential obligation of priests and bishops
Tanja Zakrzewski (Potsdam), Conversos and Moriscos: Identity and violence in Early Modern Spain

Iris Busschers (Groningen), Making Missionary Lives: Collective biography, missionary memory, and Dutch self-fashioning in the context of Reformed Missions to Dutch New Guinea and East Java, c. 1900–1949
Norman Aselmeyer (EUI), Fractured Spaces: East Africa, the Uganda railway, and patterns of disintegration, c. 1890–1914

Conveners: Gregor Feindt, Johannes Paulmann (Mainz) and Lyndal Roper (Oxford)
Venue: Leibniz Institute of European History, Mainz, Germany
Date: 24 – 26 January 2018

The Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG), an independent research institution in Mainz (Germany), contributes to the history of Europe across boundaries from an interdisciplinary perspective. It fosters research on the social, political, cultural and religious dynamics in Europe from the early modern period into the twentieth century and focusses on processes of establishing, coping with and enabling difference. The IEG has a fellowship programme for PhD students, PostDoc researches and Senior Research Fellows. For further details see here.


PostDoc Fellowships in European History

Call for Applications: PostDoc Leibniz-DAAD Research Fellowship 2018-19

The Leibniz – DAAD Research Fellowship programme is jointly carried out by the Leibniz Association (Leibniz-Gemeinschaft e.V.) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Leibniz-DAAD fellowships offer highly-qualified, international postdoctoral researchers, who have recently completed their doctoral studies, the opportunity to conduct research at a Leibniz Institute of their choice in Germany.

Deadline: March 8, 2018

The Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) at Mainz is happy to host fellows from the Leibniz-DAAD Research Fellowship programme. The IEG studies the social, political, cultural and religious history of Europe from the beginning of the early modern period to contemporary history with a particular focus on trans-border and comparative perspectives. Europe is understood as a space of communication, the internal and external borders of which have been repeatedly redefined by diverse transcultural processes. The central theme of the current research programme at the IEG is “negotiating difference” – the ways in which difference is established, confronted and enabled in its religious, cultural, political and social dimensions.

For further information on the scholarly community at Mainz and the IEG research agenda see here. For any questions, please contact Barbara Müller or Johannes Paulmann. Prospective applicants should contact the IEG in advance of the application to ensure that the project relates to the research pursued at Mainz.

Terms of the Fellowship:
Fellowships can be awarded for 12 months and include:
• a monthly instalment of €2,000,
• a combined health, accident and personal liability insurance
• a research allowance of €460 per annum and
• a two-months German language course in Germany (if desired).
The fellowship period must commence between September 1, 2018 and January 1, 2019.

For further details and application procedure see here.

DAAD leibniz-announcement 2018

Helsinki 1975: Détente and Human Rights in the CSCE Process

New IEG open access publication “On site, in time”Bernhard Gißibl’s entry on the CSCE process.

“On site, in time” takes a look at events that took place in European locations and that exemplify how difference and inequality were negotiated in Europe.The 60 articles depict strategies that were developed to promote, present, preserve, mitigate or abolish difference. Such strategies may include discussions, peaceful solutions and aid as well migration, mission and protest or even exclusion, war and destruction.

Cross-posted from: http://en.ieg-differences.eu/on-site-in-time/bernhard-gissibl-helsinki/

Conference diplomacy and the CSCE process (constellations)

In the history of international conference diplomacy, Helsinki symbolizes détente, cooperation, and human rights during the Cold War. The reason for this is the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), whose Final Act was signed in Helsinki’s Finlandia Hall on August 1st, 1975 by the leaders of 33 European states, the USA, and Canada.

Helmut Schmidt, Erich Honecker, Gerald Ford and Bruno Kreisky at the CSCE Summit in 1975 in Helsinki, Finland.

This initiated a dialogue and negotiation process on confidence-building measures and principles between the blocs of the Cold War, which was designated the CSCE or “Helsinki process”. At the same time, the conference location signifies the role that neutral and non-aligned countries played as catalysts, facilitators and – in the case of Finland – as intermediaries of the security conference.

Cold War and détente in Europe (differences)

The CSCE conference had its roots in the superpowers’ efforts to ease tensions in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. By the early 1970s, conditions had changed: NATO had adopted a new strategy of easing tensions (“détente”), while the Federal Republic of Germany had concluded the Eastern treaties and recognized the GDR. In July 1973, the foreign ministers of all 33 European countries (with the exception Albania), as well as the USA and Canada, were able to begin with preliminary negotiations on security and cooperation in Europe. Continue reading

Europe and the World: Between Colonialism and Globalisation

Second Gerda Henkel Acadamy at Villa Vigoni in June 2018

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS – Workshop on “Europe and the World: Between Colonialism and Globalisation”. PhD candidates in the Humanities and Cultural Studies as well as in the Social Sciences and Law will present their dissertation projects and to discuss their ideas in a stimulating, interdisciplinary environment overlooking Lake Como.

Venue: Villa Vigoni, Menaggio, Como, Italy; Date: 18-22 June 2018

Deadline for applications: 15 December 2017

Villa Vigoni – German-Italian Centre for European Excellence on Lake Como

In cooperation with the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the German-Italian Center for European Excellence Villa Vigoni has established the Gerda Henkel Academy at Villa Vigoni to discuss past and present challenges of Europe in the political, social and cultural realm. The Academy’s work is dedicated to the theme “From the Ideas on Europe to the European Citizen”. The second graduate workshop of the Gerda Henkel Academy will take place in June 2018 at Villa Vigoni.

The workshop’s theme is “Europe and the World: Between Colonialism and Globalisation”. The aim is to bring together young scholars for an interdisciplinary exchange on the notions of Europe’s relationships with other societies and other parts of the world, both from a historical and from a contemporary perspective. Among the questions the workshop will address are the following: What was and what is the relationship between “Europe and the World”, and which tensions and which potentials can we identify? What are (or have been) the underlying constructions and narratives of “Europeanness” vis-à-vis other cultures, and in which ways have they informed European colonial and imperial practices abroad? What role did economic, scientific, national, religious, and ethnic categories play in shaping practices of formal and informal colonialism outside Europe, and to which degree do we find remnants of such structures in contemporary global relations? How does, vice versa, globalisation influence the ideas and the politics that define the European “Self” (or “Selves”)?

For further information see Call for Applications at www.academia.edu.

Academic Board:

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Political Mobilisation in the Early-Twentieth Century

Special issue of Immigrants & Minorities on “Homelands and Hostlands: The Spatial Dynamics of Political Mobilisation”

This special issue edited by Eveline G. Bouwers (Leibniz Institute of European History, Mainz) and Niall Whelehan (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow) considers the categories of ‘homeland’ and ‘hostland’ as a means to approach questions of identity, loyalty and estrangement that both inspired and shaped political mobilisation in the early twentieth century world. During these years the advance of the global went hand in hand with a renaissance of the particular. Within this context of both high mobility and increasing localism, the articles in this special issue consider the importance of spatial perspectives in understanding how people and communities are moved to action by grievances, frustrations and loyalties.

Drawing on rich archival detail, each article considers different case studies that highlight diverse forms of politicisation and provide new insights into how communities negotiated questions of boundaries and space, and how the juxtaposition of homeland and hostland shaped their thinking. They show that, in an era of high mobility and increasing localism, political mobilisation was intimately connected with questions of space, making both use of it yet also depending on it.

Table of contents:

Eveline G. Bouwers & Niall Whelehan, Introduction: The Importance of Space for Understanding Political Mobilisation.

Eveline G. Bouwers, Challenging de Republic from the Provinces: An Analysis of Crowd Action after the Separation Law (1905).

Pietro Di Paola, ‘Capturing Anarchists Across Borders’: The Transnational Dimensions of Italian Antimilitarist Campaigns, 1911-14.

Elisabeth Marie Piller, To Aid the Fatherland. German-Americans, Transatlantic Relief Work and American Neutrality, 1914-17.

John Cunningham, Tom Glynn and ‘Pickhandle Mary’ Fitzgerald: Two Irish Syndicalists in Pre-World War One South Africa.

Rebecca Ayako Bennette, Remapping the German Homeland: Germania and Catholic Efforts to Mobilise Continued Support during the First World War.

Re-Inscribing Islam into European History

European History Yearbook 2018: Forum Essay by Manfred Sing

Against All Odds: How to Re-Inscribe Islam into European History 

The central place that Muslims and Islam are accorded in the European media and public debates today contrasts with their near-complete absence in parts of European historiography until recently, Manfred Sing argues in his recent essay on Islam and European History.

Participants of the first congress of European Muslims, Geneva 1935. Picture: Van Beetem’s Family Archive (The Netherlands) – ERC Starting Grant “Muslims in Interwar Europe”, University of Leuven – n° 336608.


While right-wing demagogues campaign against refugees, Muslims and the supposed Islamization of Europe, their argument that Islam does not belong to Europe is, at least partially, supported by the rather patchy awareness of a continuous and multi-facetted Islamic history in European societies and, horrible dictu, even in some history departments. Recent research challenges this neglect, tries to overcome the “Othering” of Islam, and demands a new conceptualization of European history that leaves behind the Europe/Islam binary. As the construction of a European identity and a European space is based on “Othering” – a definition of what is not European -, the conscious and visible integration of Muslims into European history poses a systematic challenge to narratives of Europeanization. The article draws attention to the difficulties that spring from this challenge and discusses new approaches in scholarship that try to overcome them.

Manfred Sing’s essay is published open access in






History of Houses as Ressource and Representation

Out Now – Open Access

New issue of the European History Yearbook on “Housing Capital: Resouce and Representation ” has been published.

ed. by Simone Derix and Margareth Lanzinger with contributions by:

The open access volume analyzes houses as an economic resource as well as a means of social, political and cultural agency. From the early modern period to the 20th century, the multifaceted capital of houses linked individuals, families and societies in specific ways. The essays collected here probe the material texture of past societies concerning the inheritance, value, sale or maintenance of houses as well as the symbolic meanings that houses conveyed.

The Spanish Atlantic and Global Europe

Workshop at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in cooperation with Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG)

On 6-7 October, the workshop analyses global Europe in the long ninenteenth century by focusing on the Spanish Atlantic. Participants from UPF and IEG as well as Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Sevilla) and EHESS (Paris) discuss how the history of this period can be written from a global perspective.

Cádiz: Plaques at Oratorio de San Felipe Neri commemorating the first Spanish constitution of 1812, presented in 1912 amongst others “By the Spanish of the Americas in Honour of the American Deputes at the Cortez of Cadiz”; similiar ones from Montevideo and Puerto Rico.

In writing the history of the long nineteenth century, historians have traditionally concentrated on given macro-spaces reproducing present-day loci of power: China, India, the United States, and Europe. However, such a perspective neglects important regions and their significance for global history. In this regard, the absence of the Spanish Atlantic is most striking, especially since Spain and her Empire were both crucial for the first wave of globalization and embodied imperial decline in the course of the nineteenth century. Reflecting on Spain in her connections, encounters, and entanglements offers new insights into a global Europe in the long nineteenth century. This will bring together two strands of research in global history – i.e. Spanish Imperial history and European history in its global contexts – represented by researchers from the UPF and the IEG.

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Call for Papers on Revolutions of 1848: European Protagonists in the People’s Spring

An international conference will take place in Paris in May 2018 to take a fresh look at the 1848 revolutions. The focus will be on the protagonists of the People’s Spring (printemps des peuples/ Völkerfrühling).

Frédéric Sorrieu, La République universelle démocratique et sociale, 1848. Source: http://grial4.usal.es/MIH/struggleForFreedom/en/index.html

Papers are invited on the following themes:

  • The new rulers and their entourage
  • The parliamentarians
  • Protagonists at the interface of the national and the local
  • International travellers
  • Insurgents and the forces of law and order
  • Social protagonistes and groups
  • Cultural and spiritual mediators
  • The 1848 protagonists after 1848

For further details see CfP 1848 International colloquium/ English or Appel à communication/ francais.

The conference is a jointly organised by Le Centre d’histoire du XIXe s., le LabEx EHNE (Écrire une histoire nouvelle de l’Europe), la Société de 1848 et des révolutions du XIXe s., le Comité d’histoire parlementaire et politique et le Centre interuniversitaire d’histoire de Padou.

Please submit proposals to crhxixe@univ-paris1.fr

Deadline: 15 September 2017

Conference on Gender & Humanitarianism at the Leibniz Institute of European History

The international conference at the Leibniz Institute of European History discusses the relationship between gender and humanitarian discourses and practices in the twentieth century. In particular, it analyzes the ways in which constructions and ideologies of gender shaped and were shaped by humanitarian practices, interactions, ideas, bodies, and institutions on local, regional, national and/or global scales. By introducing the analytical category of gender into the historical study of humanitarianism, the conference discusses how (hierarchical) relations between men and women, social and cultural constructions of masculinity/femininity and gendered conceptions of human bodies worked out in the various types of humanitarian organizations (e.g. IOs, NGOs, networks, aid agencies, churches), campaigns, perceptions, works and subjectivities. Focusing on the time between the First World War and the end of the Cold War, the conference concentrates on a period that not only witnessed a great expansion of humanitarian action worldwide but also saw fundamental changes in gender relations and the gradual emergence of gender-sensitive policies in humanitarian organizations in many Western and non-Western settings.

Convenors: Esther Möller (Mainz), Johannes Paulmann (Mainz) and Katharina Stornig (Giessen)

Programmflyer-Gender-and-Humanitarianism (pdf)

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Humanity: A History of European Concepts in Practice

Cross-posted from imperialglobalexeter and humanitarianism & human rights

Fabian Klose and Mirjam Thulin (eds.), Humanity: A History of European Concepts in Practice From the Sixteenth Century to the Present. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016. 324 pp. £75 (hardback), ISBN: 9783525101452

Reviewed by Ben Holmes (University of Exeter)

What Does it Mean to Act With Humanity?

What does it mean to belong to the human race? Does this belonging bring with it particular rights as well as responsibilities? What does it mean to act with humanity? These are some of the big questions lying at the heart of a new edited collection from Fabian Klose and Mirjam Thulin, Humanity: A History of European Concepts in Practice From the Sixteenth Century to the Present (2016). Based on a 2015 conference at the Leibniz Institute in Mainz, the book, as the title suggests, is not a purely conceptual history of the term ‘humanity’.[1] Rather it looks to discover ‘the concrete implications of theoretical discourses on the concept of humanity’ [page 18]. In other words, how did ideas of ‘humanity’ guide European practices in areas like humanism, imperialism, international law, humanitarianism, and human rights?[2] The editors argue that despite the implied timeless, universal nature of the term, humanity is both a changing, dynamic concept, and has been prone to create divisions as much as it promotes commonality. Although the volume is a study of European conceptions of humanity, the contributions are transnational, displaying how conceptions of humanity were practiced in Europe and in the continent’s interactions with the wider world over the course of five-hundred years.

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