Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Active Participants and Associated Scholars

Active Participants (as of March 2009)
  • Dr. Robbie A i t k e n (Research Fellow, University of Liverpool)
  • Felix A x st e r, MA (Kulturwissenschaftliches Forschungskolleg „Medien und kulturelle Kommunikation,“ SFB/FK 427, Universität zu Köln)
  • Holger D r o e s s l e r, MA (Amerika Institut, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München)
  • Moritz E g e, MA (Institut für Europäische Ethnologie, Humboldt-Universität Berlin)
  • Dr. Cassandra E l l e r b e - D ü c k (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, EU Project "Searching for Neighbors")
  • Maja F i g g e, MA (Graduiertenkolleg "Geschlecht als Wissenskategorie", Humboldt-Universität Berlin)
  • Katharina G e r u n d , MA (Amerikanistik, Bremen)
  • Silke H a c k e n e s c h, MA (Graduate School of North American Studies, John F. Kennedy Institut, Freie Universität Berlin)
  • S. Marina J o n e s (Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • Dr. Sigrid K ö h l e r (Germanistisches Institut, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
  • Susann L e w e r e n z, MA (Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg)
  • Dr. Frank M e h r i n g (Abteilung Kultur, John F. Kennedy Institut, Freie Universität Berlin)
  • Christina O p p e l (Englisches Seminar, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
  • Dr. Damani P a r t r i d g e (Anthropology, Afro-American and African Studies, University of Michigan, USA)
  • Dr. Silke S t r o h (Englisches Seminar, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)

Associated Scholars
  • Dr. Susan A r n d t (Abteilung Neue Englischsprachige Literaturen und Kulturen, Institut für England- und Amerikastudien, J.W. Goethe Universität, Frankfurt/Main)
  • Prof. Dr. Eva B o e s e n b e r g (American Studies, Humboldt-Universität Berlin)
  • Prof. Dr. Claudia B r e g e r (German Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA)
  • Prof. Dr. Sabine B r o e c k (American Studies, Universität Bremen)
  • Prof. Dr. Tina C a m p t (Women's Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA)
  • Prof. Dr. Maria I. D i e d r i c h (American Studies, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
  • Prof. Dr. Maisha-Maureeen E g g e r s (Hochschule Magdeburg, Diversity Studies)
  • Prof. Dr. Heide F e h r e n b a c h (History, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, USA)
  • Prof. Dr. Larry G r e e n e (History, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, USA)
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen H e i n r i c h s (Art History, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, USA)
  • Prof. Dr. Maria H ö h n (History, Vassar College, USA)
  • Dr. Martin K l i m k e (Heidelberg Center for American Studies, German Historical Institute Washington DC, USA)
  • Dr. Wolfram K n a u e r (Jazz Institut, Darmstadt)
  • Karin K o l b e r (Ludwig-Maximilians-University, München)
  • Prof. Dr. Sara L e n n o x (German Studies, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA)
  • Alexandra L i n d h o u t, MA (Amerikanistik, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)
  • Alanna L o c k w a r d, MA (Zentrum für Transdisziplinäre Geschlechterstudien, Humboldt-Universität Berlin)
  • Dr. Stefanie M i c h e l s (Exzellenzcluster "Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen," J.W. Goethe Universität, Frankfurt/Main)
  • Prof. Dr. Randolph O c h s m a n n (Psychology, Universität Mainz)
  • Prof. Dr. Heike P a u l (American Studies, Erlangen-Nürnberg)
  • Prof. Dr. Heike R a f a e l – F e r n a n d e z (English, University of Maryland in Europe, Heidelberg)
  • Dr. Alexander G. W e h e l i y e (African American Studies and English, Northwestern University, Evanston, USA)
  • Dr. Eske W o l l r a d (Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung – ZFG Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg)
  • Prof. Dr. Michelle M. W r i g h t (English Department, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA)

Short Bio-Blurbs of Active Participants

Dr. Robbie Aitken studied Modern History at the University of St Andrews before gaining his doctorate at the University of Liverpool. His doctoral research focused on the historical creation of racial categories in the settler colony of German Southwest Africa during the period 1884-1914 and drew on aspects of post-colonial theory and critical whiteness studies. This was published as part of Peter Lang’s Cultural Identities series in 2007: Exclusion and Inclusion: Gradations of Whiteness and Socio-Economic Engineering in German Southwest Africa 18841914. It was accompanied by a case study of Afrikaner migration into Namibia which focused on their assimilation into the colony’s existing social and racial hierarchy: Looking for Die Besten Boeren: The Normalisation of Afrikaner Settlement in German South West Africa, 1884-1914, in Journal of Southern African Studies, 33/2 (2007), pp.343-360. He is currently a Research Fellow in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies at Liverpool carrying out a large-scale investigation into Germany’s African Diaspora, 1884–1960. In particular the project focuses on survival strategies, political and social networks, and identity construction. He has published a number of articles in connection with this research including, From Cameroon to Germany and Back via Moscow and Paris: The Political Career of Joseph Bilé (1892-1959), in Journal of Contemporary History 43/4 (2008), pp.597-616, which details African anti-colonial activities in Germany during the interwar period. At the University of Liverpool he runs a course on the history of Africans in Germany, Germans in Africa.

Felix Axster has studied History and Anthropology at the University of Hamburg. Until the end of 2008, he has been a research assistant in the project „Koloniale Repräsentationen auf Bildpostkarten in Deutschland (1870-1930)“, which has been located at the „Kulturwissenschaftliches Forschungskolleg Medien und kulturelle Kommunikation“ in Aachen, Bonn and Köln. Currently, Felix Axster is working on his dissertation entitled „Die Angst vor dem ‚Verkaffern’ – Kolonialer Humor auf deutschen Bildpostkarten um 1900.“ Focusing on picture postcards as a new visual mass medium around 1900, he is concerned with phantasms of colonial degeneration defined as ‚Verkafferung’. As these phantasms on the picture postcards were mostly negotiated in the form of visual jokes, the question arises how these jokes relate to the making of whiteness during German colonial history. As a member of the exhibition group of the „Hamburger Institut für Migrations- und Rassismusforschung“ Felix Axster has also – in cooperation with Heike Hartmann, Astrid Kusser and Susann Lewerenz – curated the exhibition „Bilder verkehren. Postkarten in der visuellen Kultur des deutschen Kolonialismus“, which has been shown in Hamburg in 2005 and subsequently in Nürnberg and Berlin.

Holger Droessler studied American Cultural History, American Literary History and Political Science at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich as well as African American Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In fall 2009 he will enter the PhD program in the History of American Civilization at Harvard University. In his master thesis, which he finished in 2008, he analyzed the transatlantic discourse on the Afro-German “occupation children” in postwar Germany and the children’s instrumentalization for the debates about African American civil rights. In fall 2008 he was a fellow of the Bavarian American Academy at the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University in New Haven, CT. His interest in Afro-European history has resulted in an entry on Leonardo Ortíz, a mixed-race lawyer in 17th century-Spain, published in Eric Martone’s two-volume Encyclopedia of Blacks in European History and Culture (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008). Currently, he is doing research for his dissertation, tentatively entitled “Navigating the Crosscurrents of Racism and Nationalism: Interracial Relationships in the United States and Germany, 1877-1914.” Alongside this concrete research project, he is more generally interested in the history of racism and racial science, the challenges of writing global histories and the work of Michel Foucault. In his dissertation with the working title “Navigating the Crosscurrents of Racism and Nationalism: Interracial Relationships in the United States and Germany, 1877-1914”, Holger Droessler extends his interest in interracialism back into a formative period for the interplay of Euro-American racism and nationalism. In an attempt to bridge the gap between scholarship on African American and Afro-German history, he foregrounds the transatlantic interdependencies between national and racial identities around 1900 and connects these with a social history of interracial relationships in the United States and the German colonies. Against the backdrop of Euro-American imperialism, colonialism, and industrialization at the turn of the twentieth century the variegated contacts between white Americans/Germans and African Americans/black Africans received high symbolic significance for the national self-conceptions of the United States and Germany. Studying interracial relationships at the turn of the twentieth century thus offers a historical perspective on the racialized definitions of American and German national belonging that continue to wield political clout at the beginning of the twenty-first.

Moritz Ege is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute for European Ethnology, Humboldt Universität, Berlin. He studied European Ethnology, Philosophy and American Studies at Humboldt-Universität (M.A. 2005), and was a graduate exchange fellow at Brown University, Department of American Civilization in 2002/2003. Furthermore, he was a researcher at the Institute for Saxon History and Folklore, Dresden, in 2006. He has been a recipient of a German National Academic Foundation Ph.D. fellowship since 2007. His research interests are concerned with popular culture in the U.S. and Germany, cultural theory, “race” and racism, urban studies, and qualitative methods in cultural analysis. He is a member of the editorial committee of Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften and the author of Schwarz werden: "Afroamerikanophilie" in den 1960er und 1970er Jahren.

Dr. Cassandra Ellere-Dück studied at the universities of Paris (VIII) in France and LMU in Munich, Germany (Magister) and completed a PhD in Comparative Cultural Studies/Anthropology at the University of Ghent, Belgium. She has been a member of ADEFRA (Munich) since 1988 and active in various ISD activities in Munich and Cologne. Her research interests include Ethnography, Black European Studies, Gender Studies, German and American Cultural Studies, Migration and Transnational Studies, migration and development, and Western and Eastern classical dance forms. From November 2005-July 2006 she worked as a researcher and co-authored the German report with Judy Gummich “She Gives Back”, Gendered Diasporic Philanthropy, a research project sponsored by the Mama Cash Foundation, (www.mamacash.nl) Amsterdam, The Netherlands. From February 2007 to May 2007 Cassandra worked as a researcher for the EU Sixth Framework NEWS (Network on Ethnicity and Women Scientists) project (The State of Black, Migrant and Refugee Women in Academia in the Netherlands; www.ulb.ac.be/socio/gem) and co-authored the Netherlands research report with Prof. Gloria D. Wekker. Her most recent publications include “Afro-German Identities” in Afroeurope@ns Cultures and Identities (ed.) Marta Sofia López. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing; and “Black European Women in Europe 2008” in Voices of Black European Women 1, Reflections Challenges and Strategies from the First Black European Women’s Congress. July 2007 Cassandra was appointed Post-Doctoral Research Fellow for the EU Sixth Framework Project “Searching for Neighbours”: Dynamics of Mental and Physical Borders in Europe. Her main area of research looks at networks and network practices of African migrants in Germany (Bavaria) and Austria: www.sefone.soton.ac.uk. Dissatisfied with the subordinate positions often ascribed to women within Black liberation movements across the globe, Black females have sought to find their own voices, self-determined identities, and means of self-empowerment. While such movements have been meticulously documented within the African American context, there is still much to be discovered in regard to Black Europe. The 1980s and 1990s saw a proliferation of Black women’s organisations and the spread of Black feminist practices across Europe This, too, was the case with the Black Diaspora in Germany particularly where the lack of predominate Black neighbourhoods points to issues linked to the concepts of community, solidarity, the weaving of networks and the creation of “safe spaces”. Cassandras research project focuses on the grassroots activism and networking of Black women in Germany and Austria, and the formation of the Black European Women’s Council (BEWC) in Vienna, Austria. Moreover, this research looks at the Black lesbian feminist activist Audre Lorde’s role within the Matrilineal (Black feminist) Diaspora and links her activism to Black feminist consciousness- raising and the subsequent creation of Black diasporic “communities” in Germany and Austria.

Maja Figge, M.A. studied Cultural Studies, Art History and History at the University Bremen and Humboldt-University Berlin and is currently working on a transdisciplinary PhD project „Fading out, Fading in, Cross Fading. (Re-)Production Processes of Germanness in West-German Cinema of the 1950s” as an associate member of PhD research group “Gender as a Category of Knowledge” at Humboldt-University. In her dissertation she examines the correlation of Vision, Knowledge, Race & Gender within 1950s West-German Cinema. Starting point is the hypothesis that the crisis of heteronormative gender relations represented in the postwar movies that worked on the reconstruction of national identity in the early FRG, is not only gendered but that these national (re)production processes are also racialized and intrinsically linked to the cinematographic production of whiteness. White masculinity as intersectional figuration, that is the center of the representation of crisis and stabilization and also the vehicle to maintain/perpetuate the reproduction processes of germanness, is the main focus of the examination of the performative and discursive production of whiteness and gender. In comparative micro analysis of selected movies it is analyzed which racialized and gendered images/imaginations and discourses work on the production of Germanness. The project aims to trace the ambivalent, multi-layered cinematographic movements and discoursive negotiation processes of Germanness between whiteness and becoming black in the 1950s. My research focuses on media and gender, critical whiteness studies, postcolonial studies, intersectionality, film and history, German cinema after 1945. In 2009 two articles are published: „Tanzen zum Soundtrack der Demokratisierung. Zum Verhältnis von Männlichkeit, Weißsein und Deutschsein in »Alle lieben Peter« (BRD 1959, R: Erich Engel)“, in: D. Wentz/ A. Wendler (Hg.): Die Medien und das Neue, Marburg 2009, „Die Heide als weißer Raum: Deutschsein zwischen Erinnern und Vergessen in »Grün ist die Heide« (BRD 1951, R: Hans Deppe)“, in: Chr. v. Braun, D. Dornhof, E. Johach (Hg.): Das Unbewusste. Krisis und Kapital der Wissenschaften, Bielefeld 2009. Maja Figge also worked as project assistant of the interdisciplinary festival Black Atlantic. Travelling Cultures, Counter-Histories, Networked Identities (2004) at the House of World Cultures, Berlin and was also co-curator of the exhibition and lecture series MOV!NG ON. Border Activism – Strategies for Anti-Racist Actions (2005) at Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin.

Katharina Gerund studied American Cultural Studies, Theater and Media Studies, and Psychology at the University of Erlangen and Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison as a DAAD fellow. She was a doctoral fellow at the University of Bremen from 2007-2009 and now works as a lecturer at the University of Düsseldorf. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Bremen and Erlangen University, among other things, on the Black Power movement and African-American literature. Katharina has published an article on Audre Lorde and Afro-German women’s communities, which appeared in the online journal gender forum in 2008 (http://www.genderforum.uni-koeln.de/blackwomenswriting/article_gerund.html), and has contributed to Eric Martone’s Encyclopedia of Blacks in European History and Culture (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2008). She is currently working on her dissertation project entitled “Transatlantic Cultural Exchange: African-American Women’s Art and Activism in Germany.” In her dissertation project entitled “Tansatlantic Cultural Exchange: African-American Women’s Art and Activism,” Katharina Gerund examines how cultural productions (i.e. literature, film, public speeches, and political activism) by African-American women have been received, (re)negotiated, and (re)appropriated in (West-)Germany. Her research focuses primarily on four central figures who gained particular prominence in Germany: Angela Davis, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker. Their reception in and interactions with Germany are viewed on the one hand within the earlier tradition of African-American jazz singers and show stars (e.g. Josephine Baker), on the other hand against the background of post-World War II Americanization processes. The four case studies ranging from 1970 to the early 1990s, then, provide an overview of how African-American art and activism has entered into German social and cultural discourses from the Black Panther solidarity movement to the development of Afro-German communities and the broad attention garnered by such popular texts like The Color Purple. Ultimately, the project aims at complementing German cultural history with the aspects of African-American influences, localizing Germany in the Black diaspora, and contributing to the on-going investigation of the transatlantic cultural exchange with particular focus on race and gender.

Silke Hackenesch is a Ph.D. student at the Graduate School of North American Studies, John-F.-Kennedy-Institute, Free University Berlin. From 1999 until 2006 she studied American Studies, Anglo-American History and Sociology at the University of Cologne, where she obtained her Master degree with a thesis on the “Political and Cultural Aspects of African American hair(styles).” Endowed with a scholarship by the German Academic Exchange Service, she spent one academic year at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, focusing on Women’s Studies and African American Studies; and one semester as a ERASMUS-student at the Université de La Réunion, St. Denis, Ile de La Réunion, where she concentrated on European colonialism and Atlantic slavery. Silke worked as a student assistant for the project “Koloniale Repräsentation auf Bildpostkarten in Deutschland, 1870-1930“, funded by the German Research Association (DFG), and was a tour guide at the exhibition “Projekt Migration” in Cologne (http://www.koelnischerkunstverein. de/migration/). After teaching classes on African American activism at the Department of Anglo-American History, University of Cologne for one year, she joined the Graduate School of North American Studies and began working on her dissertation project tentatively entitled “Constructing Blackness: Chocolate as a Racial Signifier in Historical and Cultural Perspective,” where she analyzes how “chocolate” operates as a floating signifier to denote “Blackness” and thus not only represents, but produces race. With the help of the “chocolate”-metaphor and other naming practices, one can explore how “Blackness” is constructed, performed and construed, and how it is thus literally made visible and discernible to various audiences. Focusing not only on the U.S., but taking the German context into account, allows one to detect what different, even conflicting notions of “Blackness” the signifier chocolate produces in the Black Diaspora.

S. Marina Jones studied translation at the Johannes Gutenberg University, School of Applied Linguistics and Cultural Science at Germersheim, Germany, completing an M.A. in Translation at Kent State University in Kent, OH, USA. Moreover, she has studied German Literature, Modern European and Gender History, and Race Relations at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, where she received an M.A. in German Literature in 2005. In 2008, she received fellowships from the German Historical Institute, Washington, DC, to conduct research at the National Archives II and at the Library of Congress. A Graduate Student Summer Travel Research Grant from the UNC-Center for European Studies and an Off-Campus Dissertation Fellowship for the fall of 2008 enabled her to research for her dissertation project tentatively titled "'Outsiders Within': Afro-Germans in West Germany - Discourses, Perceptions and Experiences, 1949-1989." Marina is currently completing her research in Germany and writing her dissertation.

Dr. Sigrid Köhler is Assistant Professor at the German Department of the University of Münster. Her research areas include Law and Literature, Postcolonial Studies – Forms of Speech about Africa, Literary Theory, Concepts of Materiality in Literature, Philosophy and Science, and Literatures from the 18th to the 21st Century. Her PhD Thesis was published 2006 under the title Körper mit Gesicht. Rhetorische Performanz und postkoloniale Repräsentation in der Literatur am Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts. Currently she works on her second book project ‘The Fiction of Contract around 1800’. Within the network her research interest focuses on the racially founded white discourse of self-cultivation (Bildung) in German literature. Departing from literary genres such as the novel of self-cultivation (Bildungsroman) and the autobiography, both closely linked to this discourse, she analyses the discursive mechanisms of exclusion due to the racial foundation. She will study how theses mechanisms, which have their roots in the 18th century, still continue to show their effects in literary discourse today. She has already worked on the subject of the network in a scientific context as well as in an artistic one. As dramaturge she was engaged in the theatre productions Zungen – Eine Klangkomposition in 10 Sprachen (first performance 2006) and Agathas Kind based on the novel Le fils d’Agatha Moudio written by Francis Bebey (first performance 2003). Her publications on the subject of the network include articles and book chapters on Herder (forthcoming), Claire Goll, Calixthe Beyala, and Amadou Hampâté Bâ.

Susann Lewerenz studied History and English Literature and Culture at the University of Hamburg. In 2006, her master’s thesis was published under the title „Die ‚Deutsche Afrika-Schau‘ (1935-1940). Rassismus, Kolo­nialrevisionismus und postkolo­niale Aus­einan­dersetzungen im nationalsozia­listischen Deutschland“. Susann Lewerenz does her PhD at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg as a scholarship holder of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung. In her PhD thesis, she deals with the presence of artists of African and African American as well as of Asian and Arabian descent working in the German show business between 1920 and 1960. She analyses the show business as a field in which social hierarchies, political and racial power relations and national identites are negotiated and symbolic as well as actual borders are drawn. Combining questions of social and cultural history, she investigates the forms, functions, and effects of visual displays of the ‚exotic‘ as well as the living and working conditions and the agency of artists of color in Germany. In several articles as well as in a publication accompanying the exhibition „Zwischen Völkerschau und Kolonialin­stitut. Afrika­nerIn­nen im kolonialen Hamburg“ (2006), which she wrote in collaboration with Heiko Möhle and Susanne Heyn, she addresses the migration of Africans to Germany, racism in German visual culture, as well as the living conditions and the agency of black people in Nazi Germany. As a member of the exhibition group of the Institut für Migrations- und Rassismusforschung (Hamburg), Susann Lewerenz curated the exhibition „Bilder verkehren. Postkarten in der visuellen Kultur des deutschen Kolonialismus“, which was shown in Hamburg (2005), Nuremberg (2006), and Berlin (2006/2007). As a member of the network, Susann Lewerenz engages in the organization of the workshop on Authenticity, Performance and (Black) Popular Culture in 20th-Century Germany. In her own particular project, she is concerned with the question how the categories of race, class, and gender were negotiated and visualized in German popular culture of the 20th century. In connection with this, she investigates in what way German colonialism influenced presentations of black and white bodies and how elements of African American culture were received, appropriated and (re)contextualized on German stages.

Dr. Frank Mehring is a research fellow and Adjunct lecturer at the Department of Cultural Studies of the John-F.-Kennedy-Institute for North American Studies at the Free University Berlin. He studied English and American literature, history, and musicology at the Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, and currently holds an MA and a PhD of the University of Giessen. Furthermore, he has been awarded postdoctoral visiting fellowships at the Universities of Madison Wisconsin (1995/6) and Harvard (2004/5). His research interests are concerned with transatlantic frictions regarding the gap between the principle and performance of the American promise of democracy. His latest research project is dedicated to patterns of conflict in German-American discourses during the last two centuries. Frank Mehring analyzes patriotic dissent of naturalized immigrants like Charles Follen, Ottilie Assing, Franz Boas, Kurt Weill, Hans-Jürgen Massaquoi, and Hannah Arendt to address the discrepancy between principle and performance of American democracy. Within the Young Scholar’s Network “Black Diaspora and Germany” he proposes to focus on autobiographies, documentary films, and HipHop culture to address transcultural negotiations and dialogues of identity formation in the 20th century. He is particularly interested in processes of reception, appropriation, and (patriotic) dissent. His book publications include Sphere Melodies: Die Manifestation Transzendentalistischen Gedankenguts in der Musik von Charles Ives und John Cage and Sight & Sound: Naturbilder in der Englischen und Amerikanischen Romantik.

Christina Oppel is a doctoral candidate in American Studies at the English Department at the University of Münster, Germany. She graduated from the University of Münster with a degree (Staatsexamen) in History, English and Paedagogics and worked as the DAAD German Language Assistant at the Department of German at the University of Bristol, GB in 2005/6. She further worked as a research and teaching assistant at the English Department (WWU Münster) from 2007 to 2008 and was endowed an eight month doctoral grant by the German Academic Language Service (DAAD). Her main fields of research and teaching include (African) American Cultural Studies, the History of Human Rights, African American and German History, Black Atlantic and Diaspora Studies. In her doctoral dissertation, which she conducts under transnational interdisciplinary supervision at the Universities of Münster, Germany, and Seton Hall, USA, (Harnessing Germany. African Americans, Nazi Germany and Human Rights) she works on Germany and Human Rights in the African American literary and historical discourse. Christina Oppel initiated the research network in spring/summer 2007. She has published three articles in the thematic scope of the network: „(Re)writing 20th Century Slavery: Postmodern Representations of African American Third Reich Experience(s),“ From Black To Schwartz. Cultural Crossovers between African America and Germany, ed. Maria I. Diedrich, Juergen Heinrichs (2009). „W.E.B. Du Bois, Nazi Germany and the Black Atlantic,“ Beyond the Nation. American History in Transnational Perspective, e.d Uwe Luebken, Thomas Adams (Bulletin of the German Historical Insstitute Washington DC, Supplement 5) 2008. Next to representations of Nazi Germany in African American texts, her interests also include representations of Germany in the larger postcolonial „Black Holocaust“ and slavery discourse (Cf. "(Re)writing 20th Century Slavery: Maillet's L'Étoile Noire," Postcolonial Slavery: Colonialism's Legacy, eds. Charlotte Baker and Jennifer Jahn (Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies), Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2008).

Dr. Ph.D. Damani Partridge is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and at the Center for Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Michigan. He received his B.A. cum laude in Political Science at Amherst College in 1995, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, in May 2003. In addition to teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses on "Race and Displacement," "Citizenship and Non-Citizens," "Urban Anthropology," "The Races of Sexuality and the Sexualities of Race," "Diasporic Aesthetics," and "The Anthropology of Europe," he is currently completing his book manuscript: “Becoming non-citizens: racialized subjects and exclusionary incorporation into post-wall Berlin.” His research and writing have examined questions of citizenship and exclusion in contemporary Germany through the experiences of labor migrants, racialized subjects and refugees in the midst of the fallen Berlin Wall and through the contradictions of post-Cold War “freedom.” In particular, since he initially left for Germany as a Fulbright Scholar in 1995, he has been engaging the politics and literature in “Black” German and by extension “Black” European studies as a window onto citizenship and exclusion. This position has allowed him to get beyond the stunted discourse of “immigration politics” and “xenophobic violence,” to examine the roots of a problematic of non-citizenship that is neither purely legal nor solely cultural.

Dr. Silke Stroh is a research and teaching assistant at the English Department at the University of Münster. Silke Stroh studied English, German, Political Science and Celtic Studies at the Universities of Aberdeen and Frankfurt, where she graduated in 2000 with a Magistra Artium and, in 2006, with her doctoral dissertation on "(Post)Colonial Scotland? Literature, Gaelicness and the Nation". She currently works on a post-dcotoral project (Habilitation) on colonial settler cultures. Further key aspects of her research and teaching include postcolonial theory, Black/Asian British and African literature and culture, English literature and film, as well as transcultural teaching strategies in EFL classes. In the context of her Habilitation and her participation in a research group on "Transmigration: Cultures of Movement" (http://www.anglistik.uni-muenster.de/en/ptts/Muenster/transmigration.html), Silke Stroh has intensively and interdisciplinarily dealt with comparative diaspora theory and Diaspora Studies in the fields of English Literary and Cultural Studies, as well as Sociology. As part of her doctoral project she developed a theoretical concept that bridges transnational and postcolonial concepts and newer forms of transculturalism and that also proves applicable in the scope of diaspora studies where it can lead to new approaches. She is a member of an informal academic network on "Postcolonial Britain & Germany". In the scope of the network "Black Diaspora and Germany", Silke Stroh puts her emphasis on theoretical work, investigating comparative perspectives with regard to diaspora studies and theory, with a special focus on transperipherality. Her critical interest lies with the transferability of postcolonial concepts from the British context to the domain of German Studies and investigations of main problem areas in the comparative transfer of postcolonial theories to other regions.

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