GERM 335
Afro-Germans: History, Culture, and Literature Spring 2023
Division I
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Even though Afro-Germans have been a part of Germany for centuries and have undergone efforts at establishing themselves as an organized cultural group, their culture and literature have been often dismissed, relegated at the margins of dominant white German culture. In the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter movement in Germany, the country’s belated debate about German colonialism, and its recent reckoning with race and racism, Afro-Germans have lately gained an unprecedented visibility in the German public sphere. Through their work, Afro-German journalists, writers, activists, and artists are all contributing to questioning and redefining German identity, culture, and history. Focusing primarily on Afro-German history, culture, and literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, this upper-level seminar starts by examining acts of racist violence in German history (the Herero and Namaqua genocide in Namibia in 1904, the “schwarze Schmach” campaign in 1920’s, the killing of Black French soldiers by the Wehrmacht in 1940). We will address issues of race, bi-racialism, and racism in a post-war context in West as well as East Germany through the poems by May Ayim, the essays by Aubre Lorde and Alice Hasters, the memoirs by Hans-Jürgen Massaquoi, Theodor Michael, Lucia Engombe, Stefanie Lahya-Aukongo, and Ika-Hügel Marshall, the novels by Harald Gerunde, Noah Sow, Sharon Dodua, Olivia Wenzel, Ijoma Mangold, the documentary films by Nadja Ofuatey-Alazard, and the artworks by Marc Brandenburg.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 12
Expected: 10
Class#: 3263
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Short oral presentations, active participation in the discussion, two 2-3-page papers and three 3-5-page papers
Prerequisites: GERM 202 and GERM 300
Enrollment Preferences: German Majors and German Certificate
Distributions: Division I

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