Rethinking Black German Studies: Approaches, Interventions and Histories Volume Features Many WiGgies

Drs. Tiffany N. Florvil (University of New Mexico) and Vanessa D. Plumly (SUNY New Paltz) recently published the co-edited volume Rethinking Black German Studies: Approaches, Interventions and Histories (Peter Lang International Academic Publishers: Oxford, 2018). This volume assesses the current field of Black German Studies by exploring how periods of recent German history inform the present and future of the interdisciplinary field. The experiences of current generations of Black Germans, the construction and reimagining of race, the importance of cultural identity and power structures, and the opportunities for counter-narratives are considered.

Congratulations to the editors and all of the contributors on this phenomenal project! View the contents of the volume below.


Introduction: Rethinking Black German Studies, Tiffany N. Florvil and Vanessa D. Plumly

Part I German and Austrian Literature and History

Hergestellt unter ausschließlicher Verwendung von Kakaobohnen deutscher Kolonien’: On Representations of Chocolate Consumption as a Colonial Endeavor, Silke Hackenesch

Here to Stay: Black Austrian Studies, Nancy P. Nenno

Lucia Engombe’s and Stefanie-Lahya Aukongo’s Autobiographical Accounts of Solidaritätspolitik and Life in the GDR as Namibian Children, Meghan O’Dea

Part II Theory and Praxis

Everyday Matters: Haunting and the Black Diasporic Experience, Kimberly Alecia Singletary

Black, People of Color and Migrant Lives Should Matter: Racial Profiling, Police Brutality and Whiteness in Germany, Kevina King

Part III Art and Performance

‘Africa in European Evening Attire’: Defining African American Spirituals and Western Art Music in Central Europe, 1870s–1930s, Kira Thurman

Re-Fashioning Postwar German Masculinity through Hip-Hop: The Man(l)y BlackWhite Identities of Samy Deluxe, Vanessa D. Plumly

Performing Oppression and Empowerment in real life: Deutschland, Jamele Watkins

Afterword, Michelle M. Wright

New Issue of Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies on Precarity/Heimatlosigkeit

Hot off the presses! Check out the latest issue of Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies on Precarity/Heimatlosigkeit (Vol. 54: 4). Co-edited by WiGgies Dr. Gabi Kathöfer and Dr. Beverly Weber, the special issue features work by WiGgies throughout. Find the complete table of contents below.


Seminar, A Journal of Germanic Studies. Vol. 54, No. 4, November 2018

Precarity/Heimatlosigkeit, Special Issue Editors, Gabi Kathöfer and Beverly Weber


Introduction: Precarity/Heimatlosigkeit
Gabi Kathöfer, Beverly Weber


Heimat, Sustainability, Community: A Conversation with Karina Griffith and Peggy Piesche
Gabi Kathöfer, Beverly Weber


Belonging in Black and White: Race, Photography, and the Allure of Heimat in West German Gay Magazines from the 1950s
Bradley Boovy


Refiguring Red Vienna: Alternative Forms of Currency and Community in Michael Riebl’s Planet Ottakring
Susan Ingram


The Berlin Wall in Fernando Pérez’s La pared de las palabras (The Wall of Words): Refiguring Belonging in Precarity
Jennifer Ruth Hosek


Heimat as Communist Utopia or Leerstelle: Yoko Tawada’s Naked Eye
Jette Gindner


The Violence of Precarity and the Appeal of Routine in Jenny Erpenbeck’s Gehen, ging, gegangen
Gary L. Baker


Willkommenskultur Documented: Precarious Heimat in Can’t Be Silent (2013), Land in Sicht (2013), and Willkommen auf Deutsch (2015)
Maria Stehle




Isabell Lorey. State of Insecurity: Government of the Precarious
Kathrin Bower


Alexander G. Weheliye. Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human
Elisa Joy White


Jin Haritaworn. Queer Lovers and Hateful Others: Regenerating Violent Times and Places
Hester Baer


Fatima El-Tayeb. Undeutsch: Die Konstruktion des Anderen in der postmigrantischen Gesellschaft
Vanessa Plumly


Sara Lennox, ed. Remapping Black Germany: New Perspectives on Afro-German History, Politics, and Culture
Kira Thurman


Ipek A Celik. In Permanent Crisis: Ethnicity in Contemporary European Media and Cinema
Berna Gueneli

Publication by Jennifer Askey in Feminists Among Us: Resistance and Advocacy in Library Leadership

Dr. Jennifer Askey co-authored an essay in the award-winning volume Feminists Among Us: Resistance and Advocacy in Library Leadership (Eds. Shirley Lew and Baharak Yousefi, 2017). The essay, titled “One Library, Two Cultures,” is available here. Even though the article speaks directly to library experience, the lessons around leadership and culture are applicable to just most academic working environments. The article asks what kind of unit/department/institution would be the place that attracts a diverse workforce, engaged in diverse work?

Dr. Askey is Advisor for Leadership Development at the University of Alberta and presented on a fabulous panel on feminist mentorship practices at our last conference.

WiG Webinar, 2018: Teaching and Working for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our Classrooms and at our Institutions.

Monday, November 26, 8pm-10pm EST  (Note Date Change!) 

Presenters: Nicole Coleman, Lisabeth Hock, Amy Young

Women in German members know from our work as scholars, teachers, providers of countless hours of service work, and activists, that forms of structural inequality disadvantage target groups while granting advantages and privileges to members of non-target groups. These forms of inequality include, but are not limited to: ableism, ageism, colorism, the elitism of the tenure system, heterosexism, racism, and sexism. They support often-invisible systems of power, privilege, and oppression that work at personal, interpersonal, institutional, and cultural levels to limit diversity, equity and inclusion in our classrooms and at our institutions. 

Through our research and through curricular changes, WiG members have worked to make once invisible power systems visible, especially within the contexts of German culture and our colleges and universities. This WiG Webinar will focus on broader concepts and strategies related both to destabilizing the foundations of personal, interpersonal and institutional oppression and to supporting equity and inclusion for our students and colleagues. The Webinar will have two parts. Our theoretical section will address privilege and unconscious bias, allyship and its discontents, stereotype threat, inclusive classrooms, and diversifying faculty with intentionality. Our praxis section will address strategies for creating an inclusive classroom.

Participation limited to 100. Please Register at:

Related materials available in:

 Questions to:

#FeminismToMe Initiative at the Goethe-Institut Washington

The Goethe-Institut Washington is initiating a social media campaign using the hashtag #FeminismToMe as part of an event series on the topic of feminism in the digital age. Beginning in late October, posts made to Instagram using this hashtag will be displayed in their gallery space in D.C. If you would like to post but use a private Instagram account, you can email a screenshot of your post to announcements[at]

Gegenwartsliteratur Theme Issue: Emine Sevgi Özdamar

The latest issue of Gegenwartsliteraturedited by Paul Michael Lützeler and Thomas W. Kniesche, focuses on the work of Emine Sevgi Özdamar and features contributions by several WiGgies, including Leslie A. Adelson of Cornell University, Beverly M. Weber of University of Colorado Boulder, and Claire Amanda Ross of Washington University in St. Louis. Find abstracts of their work below and the complete table of contents here.

LESLIE A. ADELSON, “Future Narrative as Contested Ground: Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s “Bahnfahrt” and Michael Götting’s Contrapunctus.

Opening with Adorno’s 20th-century reflections “from damaged life” on exilic writing as a break in time, this essay analyzes innovative forms of radical futurity in little known 21st-century fiction by Emine Sevgi Özdamar, who holds emblematic status on Germany’s path from Turkish migration to transcultural Europe, and Michael Götting, who has authored the first sustained novel about Black German experience in contemporary Berlin. Minoritarian future-making in Özdamar’s “Bahnfahrt” (2008) and Götting’s Contrapunctus (2015) is illuminated in formal and social terms with the narratological concept of “future narrative” and Hannah Arendt’s philosophical insistence on a structural breach in the “heart of time.” The literary comparison demonstrates in turn Özdamar’s and Götting’s cutting-edge German-language contributions to future studies and narrative theory today

BEVERLY M. WEBER, “Precarious Intimacies: Politics and Solidarities in Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s Die Brücke vom Goldenen Horn.”

In this article I propose the notion of precarious intimacies as entry point into the representation of the political in Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s work. Through an analysis of Die Brücke vom Goldenen Horn, I explore intimacies as sites of transformation and political potentiality in the novel, as spaces that nurture political solidarities and spaces in which their loss is most keenly felt. Reading for precarious intimacies reveals aesthetic strategies that highlight the politically generative capacity of intimacy in the face of precarity, but also enacts a politics of interpretation that might challenge the conditions of precarity. I thus both examine the politics and aesthetics of intimacy as represented in the text, and consider the interpretive work of reading intimacy politically.

CLAIRE AMANDA ROSS, “The Avian Muttermund in Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s Das Leben ist eine Karawanserei.

The mother-son narratives told by paternal grandmother Ayşe in Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s Das Leben ist eine Karawanserei, which draw on two versions of the mythic mouth-vulva analogy, perpetuate more often than undermine dominant phallocentric discourse on motherhood. Her regular stories celebrate mothers who brutally combat the threat that non-mothers’ vaginae dentatae (devouring sexuality) pose to their sons and fathers. Yet, in her outlier, a divine mother bird acquires a loving tongue, enabling a womb-like relationship with a boy. The intersubjective relationship between boy and bird, based on an organ (tongue) that is present as a possibility, even when absent, undercuts the phallocentrism of Ayşe’s other tales and the (protagonist’s) world, and invites a feminist reconceptualization of even the penis itself.