Information about the institute

Zeitgeschichte as Scholarly Discipline

The Institut für Zeitgeschichte, established in 1984, conducts a discipline defined by specific thematic areas, independent theory and its own methodology. The dynamics of the development of this discipline, however, have contributed to the fact that it is no easy task to define Zeitgeschichte simply in chronological terms. At one time it was "histoire contemporaine", "historia contemporánea", "storia contemporanea" or "contemporary history" according to its national context. 1789 (France), 1808 (Spain), 1815 (Italy) or 1776 (USA) and 1832 (Great Britain) were turning points, which at the time were regarded as the beginning of Zeitgeschichte. We define Zeitgeschichte roughly as the history of the 20th century; although in teaching and research we go back frequently to the old definitions.

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