PhD and a Cup of Tea: Crisis, Rescue and Renewal. The Warburg Institute and the Role of Academic Refugees during the Second World War

Leah  Sidebotham's picture
February 14, 2017
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
German History / Studies, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Jewish History / Studies

The Library is pleased to host a talk by Maria Teresa Chicote Pompanin and Hanna Gentili for our PhD and a Cup of Tea series, which provides PhD candidates an opportunity to share their research and gain feedback.

Born as Aby Warburg’s private library, known as the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg (KBW) and originally housed in Hamburg, the famous library that later became the Warburg Institute was moved to London in December 1933 following the rise of the Nazi party. 

Both before and during the war, the Institute promoted a dense cultural programme and improved its public standing by lecturing, publishing, organising and circulating exhibitions in London and across the UK. In a constant effort to maintain a stimulating cultural offer and provide assistance to academic refugees in need, the Warburg Institute established a number of long-lasting collaborations with British institutions such as the Courtauld Institute, the Academic Assistance Council and later the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning (now CARA), the National Buildings Record (NBR) and the Council for the Encouragement of Music and Arts (CEMA).

The research here presented shows how the Warburg Institute and its circle reacted to the international crisis of the Second World War through the lens of a series of micro-stories of academic refugees and it is based on unpublished material from the Warburg Institute Archive, the E. H. Gombrich Archive, the Warburg Institute Photographic Collection and the CARA (Council for At-Risk Academics) Archive. 

Maria Teresa Chicote Pompanin is a PhD student in Cultural and Art History at the Warburg Institute (School of Advanced Study, University of London). The main focus of her research is the manipulation of Spanish historiography and historical memory through acts of patronage. In particular, her analysis focuses on the Marquises of Villena’s efforts to overcome the official negative image projected on certain sectors of the nobility by the monarchs between 1445 and 1529. In 2014, she completed the MA in Art History, Curatorship and Renaissance Culture offered by the Warburg Institute and the National Gallery (Distinction). In 2013, she obtained a BA in Art History from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid (summa cum laude).

Hanna Gentili is a PhD student in Cultural and Intellectual History at the Warburg Institute (School of Advanced Study, University of London). Her research focuses on the dynamics of the interreligious dialogue between Jewish and Christian scholars in the Italian cultural context of the late fifteenth century. Other areas of interest include the Jewish notion of cultural identity and early modern aesthetics. She recently completed a MA in Cultural and Intellectual History (1300-1650) at the Warburg Institute. Prior to this she received a MA (summa cum laude) in Philosophy and Forms of Knowledge and a BA in Philosophy at the University of Pisa.

Tuesday Feb 14: 2:30-3:30pm

Free Registration by visiting The Weiner Library 


Contact Info: 

The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide

29 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5DP

020 7636 7247

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