An office in the tropics in Linie 4
What did German consuls actually do in South America in the 19th century? And how can this be researched? Tim Rieke explores these questions in the public lecture series Linie 4, organised by the BGHS together with the vhs Bielefeld. In his lecture “German bureaucracy in tropical climes - How can historians research German consuls in South America in the 19th century?” he accompanies 19th century German state representatives overseas using various source documents. The documents show the manifold activities of the consuls, who conveyed information to authorities and companies, were supposed to promote trade and were contact persons for their compatriots abroad. Like a jigsaw puzzle, the aim is to piece together these sources. However, the lecture not only provides insights into the activities of the consuls, but also into the working methods of a historian in the field of transnational history.
Tim Rieke studied history and German studies in Bielefeld and Bologna and has been working on his doctorate in history at the BGHS since 2021 on the topic of "The socio-cultural role of German consuls in 19th century South America". He holds a doctoral scholarship of the Gerda Henkel Foundation and came to his topic quite unbureaucratically through the chance discovery of a source text.
The lecture will take place on Monday, 2 May 2022 at 6.15 pm in the Murnau-Saal at the vhs Bielefeld, Ravensberger Park 1. The event will be held in German.
Here you can find information about Line 4 and the lectures in the series.