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Course Catalog

CANCELED - Between Racism and Resistance: Afro-German Literature and Film  

This interactive course familiarizes students with a minority population in Germany whose representation has undergone myriad transformations. We will assess personal narratives that document efforts by this population to gain visibility by forming an empowering socio-historical identity around the self-label "Afro-German." Our study includes historical, scholarly, and autobiographical essays from the groundbreaking book Showing Our Colors, excerpts from Ika Hügel-Marshall’s memoir Invisible Woman, poetry, and film screenings. We’ll discuss literature and films with partners in groups and short lectures. Although not required, recommended readings of 40-65 pages per week will be discussed in classes. A Course Reader will be available. Week by Week Outline First Week: Introduction (Pre-)Colonial Images of Africa in Germany Session One - Introduction to Afro-German studies (lecture) Opitz, “Precolonial Images of Africa, Colonialism, and Fascism” (pp. 3-17) and “The Germans in the Colonies” (pp. 19-40) Film screening in class: Black on Europe, followed by discussion Second Week: Weimar Republic and National Socialism Session Two - Opitz, “African and Afro-German Women in the Weimar Republic and under National Socialism” (pp. 41-55) Opitz, Personal Narratives, Showing Our Colors (pp. 56-76) Stark, Martha. “My 13 Years Under the Nazi Terror: Amazing, True Life Story of a Negro Girl.” Sara Lennox, ed. Remapping Black Germany: New Perspectives on Afro-German History, Politics, and Culture (pp. 179-202) Third Week: Afro-Germans after 1945 Session Three - Opitz, “Afro-Germans after 1945: The So-Called Occupation Babies” (pp. 79-100) Opitz, Personal Narratives, Showing Our Colors (pp. 101-123) Fourth Week: (In)Visible in Germany Session Four - Ika Hügel-Marshall, Invisible Woman (pp. 13-44, 144-158) Poem: Olumide Popoola “lagos 1996 - a long way home?” (pp. 56-58) Fifth Week: May Ayim’s Legacy Session Five - May Opitz (in Opitz Poem: “Blues in Black-and-White” (pp. 232-233) May Ayim, Blues in Black and White, Essay “White Stress/Black Nerves” (pp. 73-95) and Poems “afro-german I,” “afro-german II” (pp.14-17), “autumn in germany” (pp. 109-111), “nightsong” (pp. 163-165), “departure” (p. 166) Film screening in class: Hope in My Heart: The May Ayim Story Sixth Week: Everyday Racism and Resistance Session Six - Sharon Dodua Otoo. “Reclaiming Innocence. Unmasking Representations of Whiteness in German Theatre.” Sandrine Micossé-Aikins, Sharon Dodua Otoo, eds. The Little Book of Big Visions: How to be an Artist and Revolutionize the World (pp. 54-70) Film Screening in class: Alles wird gut (Everything will be Fine). Dir. Angelina Maccarone. Discussion and Conclusion Objectives of the Course • To familiarize participants with texts and films of an active minority population in Germany. • To cultivate an awareness of the historical specificities of the German cultural context. • To promote critical analyses by decoding racist stereotypes and retracing their construction to underlying insecurities about the parameters of German social and national identity. • To provide evidence of the distinction between—on the one hand—media (mis)representation and objectification of Afro-German identities, and—on the other hand—the political implications of self-representation


This class is not available at this time.