UMASS Recognizes Growing Interdisciplinary Study of Black Germans in Academia

Doctoral student Kevina King (far left) on a panel this weekend with Jemele Watkins (far right) at the third Black German Heritage & Research Association International Conference held at Amherst College.

Doctoral student Kevina King (far left) on a panel this weekend with Jemele Watkins (far right) at the third Black German Heritage & Research Association International Conference held at Amherst College.

AMHERST, Mass.—In an effort to recognize a relatively young academic discipline that many in the academy have never heard of before, nearly a hundred students and scholars gathered at Amherst College over the weekend to discuss their research and ideas for how to grow Black German Studies.

This marks the third year that the Black German Heritage & Research Association sponsored the international conference, which highlighted a variety of interdisciplinary topics ranging from Black Germans during the Third Reich to their ongoing presence in German theater.

Like African American, Women and Queer studies, Black German Studies has an admitted social justice focus, says Dr. Sara Lennox, a professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an early founder of the Black German Studies movement in the U.S. “We’ve made the field legitimate. You can now do this work and get tenure,” says Lennox, who was chiefly responsible for jumpstarting the Black German Studies concentration at UMASS Amherst. “It’s kind of a burgeoning field and movement. The other thing that’s really cool is there is a pretty strong connection between activism and scholarship and a really strong connection with the experimental … Black Germans talking about their stories.”

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The ISD Bundestreffen Celebrating 25 Years!

 

ISD BUNDESTREFFEN

Start Time:
Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 2:35pm
End Time:
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 11:35am
Location:
in Helmarshausen Germany
When Federal ISD meeting ISD- meets every year, the Black community in Germany.

In November 1985 called for the first time Black women and men nationwide at a meeting in Wiesbaden, step out to get out of that time experienced isolation in a white society. Many followed this call. That was the impetus for a nation (at the time the time being, the old West Germany) Movement of black people in Germany. A novelty in Germany under the Nazis. Much has changed since those early days. From a manageable number of contacts was a complex network. Black people work on topics with each other to create discussion forums, create knowledge, make their private and public space. There will be workshops, lectures, discussions, exchanges, information stalls, children’s program and lots of room to Selbstgestalten. In the evening there’s pure culture, e.g. Films, performance / reading, DJ and live music. And of course you can with ragga, soul, Soukouss, hip hop and everything else is fun to dance floor. Issues at the federal meetings are black history, black people in education and employment, blacks networks, Black Identities in Germany, strengthening of children and young people, self in everyday life, and much more …