The aim of this panel or series of panels is to bring the research fields of migration, family and property history into dialog with each other. Since the 18th century, family networks often extended across different countries as a result of migration, forced relocation, binational marriages, etc. In German, the distant relative became known as the "rich uncle from America" – alluding to male relatives abroad who hopefully became rich enough to support other family members back home. These distant family members were often not part of the nuclear family, but uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces, but were still considered part of the family, reminding us that kinship networks are broader than the nuclear family.
In this panel or series of panels, we would like to examine which factors kept families together across great distances and national borders and under what circumstances family networks eroded? What role did material resource flows play in strengthening family networks and what functions did absent family members fulfill? How were distant family members abroad remembered in literature, portraits and films, material culture and other historical sources? How did transnational families try to stay in touch, and how have these interactions with distant family members shaped our understanding of family and kinship since the 18th century? Broad examinations of how interactions with distant family members shape our understanding of family and kinship since the 18th century are welcome. In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the network, proposals from all disciplines are encouraged.
Please send your abstract of no more than 400 words and a CV by Jan. 6, 2024 to
Margaretmary Daley: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jürgen Dinkel: J.Dinkel@lmu.de
Please note: The GSA requires that panelists have a current membership by the time full panels are submitted. Please be ready to renew your membership—or join—when you receive notice that your abstract has been accepted. For further information regarding fees, resources and travel grands see: https://www.thegsa.org/.
A brief information about the family&kinship network:
The network informs about and promotes interdisciplinary research on family and kinship. Since summer 2023, the network is coordinated by Margaretmary Daley (Case Western Reserve University) and Jürgen Dinkel (LMU Munich/University of Leipzig). We are planning a meeting of all members and interested scholars at the next GSA conference to discuss further activities of the network as well as a panel on kinship history.
Margaretmary Daley is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Case Western Reserve University, where she directed the department of Modern Languages & Literatures and the programs in Women’s and Gender Studies and World Literature. Her scholarship employs a gender studies lens to interpret Goethe’s poetry, Schiller and Goethe’s epistolary writing, eighteenth-century ekphrastic writing, and male-female collaborations, and women’s writing in particular. She is the author of two monographs: Women of Letters: A Study of Self and Genre in the Personal Writing of Caroline Schlegel-Schelling, Rahel Levin Varnhagen, and Bettina von Arnim (1998) and Great Books by German Women in the Age of Emotion, 1770-1820 (2022). With the Family and Kinship Network, she is interested in exploring a new area of research: the problematics of family and domestic relationship in historical fiction.
Jürgen Dinkel is Professor of Contemporary History at LMU Munich and Privatdozent at the University of Leipzig. He is interested in the history of property regimes, kinship networks and inheritance in the US and Europe, as well as cross-border property transfers. In a second project, he is exploring the history of acknowledgments and gratitude. In a broader sense, his research focuses on the history of inequality and social mobility.
Recent publications: Alles bleibt in der Familie. Erbe und Eigentum in Deutschland, Russland und den USA seit dem 19. Jahrhundert, Köln 2023. Dank sagen. Geschichte einer akademischen Kulturtechnik, in: Zeithistorische Forschungen/Studies in Contemporary History, Online-Ausgabe, 19 (2022), H. 3, URL: https://zeithistorische-forschungen.de/3-2022/6083, Druckausgabe: S. 537–559. As part of the Family and Kinship Network, he is interested in discussing the history of transnational families.