Mapping Transnational (Hi)Stories: Mapping and Visualising Transnational Flows and Connections
Dr Bernhard Struck, Dr Tomasz Kamusella, Dr Konrad Lawson

This is currently the Institute’s central project featuring multiple conferences, workshops, reading groups and involving most members. Click on the link to access more details.

Heirs to the Throne in the Constitutional Monarchies of Nineteenth-Century Europe (1815-1914)
Prof Frank Lorenz Müller | A Research Project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council

On the eve of the First World War Europe was a continent of monarchies. A long 19th century of revolutions, wars, growing literacy, an expanding public sphere, political parties appealing to enlarged electorates, changes in social, economic, intellectual and technological life and imperial expansion lay behind them, but the continent’s monarchical systems had survived these changes in surprisingly rude health. That monarchies had flourished throughout these profound transformations points to their suppleness and ingenuity.

This research project will, for the first time, focus systematically and comparatively on the roles played and contributions made by those waiting to come into the glittering inheritance of a European crown. The biological realities of hereditary rule made heirs to the throne a crucial part of monarchical systems. By analysing the heirs to the continent’s many thrones, the project will offer a new perspective on the political culture of the states and societies of 19th-century Europe.

The project will build on the rich body of recent research that engages with 19th-century monarchy in the fields of media history, cultural history and transnational history. It will address thematic questions across several constitutional monarchies: Did heirs to the throne stabilise monarchical government or were they corrosive of the current reign? What were the international and military roles of heirs? Did heirs function as intermediaries between the sovereign and the people? How important were new “bourgeois” styles of princely comportment and the creation of a celebrity public image through various media? Were heirs perceived as embodying generational change? Were heirs engaged in generating “soft power”?

The project will explore the resourcefulness, media acumen and societal integration of 19th-century monarchies. It will complement and challenge interpretations which emphasize their allegedly oppressive elements and help to explain the lasting popularity of monarchy.


Euroscientia. Localisation and Circulation of State Relevant Forms of Knowledge, 1750-1850

Bernhard Struck (project partner) | A Research Project funded by the the German Science Foundation and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France)

The collaborative project “Euroscientia“, located at the Université Paris I and University of Cologne around a group of German and French scholars, focuses on the circulation and exchange process of state relevant knowledge, including statistics, geography, mining practices or cartography. Members of the project focus on the shaping of forms of knowledge mainly through the lens of state-related actors. It is key to the project to investigate the transformation of an Enlightenment form of cosmopolitan knowledge towards more nation- and state-centreed forms and construction of knowledge between the second half of the eighteenth to the mid nineteenth century.


The liberal schism: Liberal scholars, the student revolt of ‘1968’ and the re-coding of the political culture in West Germany and the United States
Dr Riccardo Bavaj

This project is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship) from September 2009.

This project investigates reactions of liberal scholars to the student revolt in West Germany and the United States in the mid- and late 1960s. Dr Bavaj’s project argues that the student revolts of ‘1968’ made a considerable contribution to a ‘liberal schism’ that was at the heart of a significant re-coding of the political culture in both West Germany and the United States at that time. In both countries, liberal scholars reacting to the student revolt were prime examples of the bifurcation of a ‘liberal consensus’ which had proved culturally hegemonic in the US since the 1940s, and had been about to become established in West Germany since the late 1950s. Contrary to journalists and writers, for instance, this particular group of major representatives of ‘consensus liberalism’ were directly and immediately confronted with student activism. Since his study aims to capture the larger impact of the liberal scholars’ reactions to the revolt, Dr Bavaj will focus on academics who equally were intellectuals, i.e. scholars whose commentaries were targeted at a wider public, and whose readership transcended the boundaries of the university. The central hypothesis of his study is that the response pattern of liberal scholars vis-à-vis the student revolt was similar in both countries despite the striking differences between two political cultures characterized by recent pasts which in many respects were diametrically opposed to each other. The similarity of the response pattern can be largely attributed to significant transfers of knowledge and political ideas between US-American and (West) German scholars from the late 1930s to the early 1960s.

For further information see here.

Model republic: Images of the United States in late nineteenth century Spain
Dr Kate Ferris

The research project explores the ways in which the United States was imagined by Spanish liberal elites in the closing three decades of the nineteenth century and how these images informed and helped shape notions of identity, nationhood and modernity in Spain. This project forms part of a wider AHRC-funded collaborative project with colleagues form UCL looking at the images of the United States in 10th century Europe and Latin America.