Tales of Commerce
The Berlin Department Store 1896-1938 / Das Berliner Warenhaus 1896-1938

A conference organised under the auspices of the School of Modern Languages at the University of Exeter and the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies at the University of London

Thursday, 18 and Friday, 19 March 2011

Venue: Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London


By the turn of the nineteenth century the ‘Warenhaus’ had become an established feature in the cityscape. Department stores were welcomed by some in terms of new socio-economic, cultural and aesthetic developments; they were denounced by others as the epitome of a suspect consumerism. The ensuing struggle was particularly obvious in Germany’s capital Berlin.

This interdisciplinary conference aims to establish the current state of research on the early years of the Berlin department stores. The period under investigation reflects the time from the establishment of the first all-under-one-roof stores in the metropolis (e.g. Wertheim, 1896; Tietz, 1900; KaDeWe, 1907) up to the expropriation of the mostly Jewish-owned Berlin department stores under the Hitler regime.

We particularly welcome contributions in the fields of

•        History
•        Sociology
•        Economics
•        Gender Studies
•        Anti-Semitism Research
•        Architecture, Design and Art History
•        Urban Studies

The conference languages are English and German. Contributions to this conference will form the basis of a publication to appear by 2013. The conference is part of a long-term collaborative project between the organisers (IGRS, University of London and the School of Modern Languages, University of Exeter).


200/250-word abstracts for papers of 30 minutes' length should be sent by 31 August 2010 to both:

Dr Godela Weiss-Sussex<mailto:[log in to unmask]> and Dr Ulrike Zitzlsperger<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Jane Lewin

Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies
University of London School of Advanced Study
Room ST 272, Senate House
Malet Street, GB- London WC1E 7HU
Telephone 0044 (0)20 7862 8966


The German Studies Call for Papers List
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Acting Assistant Editor:  Olaf Schmidt
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