Priscilla Layne

The Stakes of Representation and Fantasy in Black German Theater: Simone Dede Ayivi’s First Black Woman in Space

Priscilla Layne is Associate Professor of German at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in 2011. Her publications address topics like representations of blackness in German film, postwar rebellion, and Turkish German culture. She has published essays in the journals German Studies Review, Colloquia Germanica and Women in German Yearbook and presented at conferences such as the German Studies Association, Society for Film and Media Studies and the Collegium for African American Research. She is author of White Rebels in Black: German Appropriation of African American Culture, which was published this year with the University of Michigan Press.

White Rebels in Black: German Appropriation of Black Popular Culture

Investigates the appropriation of black popular culture as a symbol of rebellion in postwar Germany

Analyzing literary texts and films, White Rebels in Black shows how German authors have since the 1950s appropriated black popular culture, particularly music, to distance themselves from the legacy of Nazi Germany, authoritarianism, and racism, and how such appropriation changes over time. Priscilla Layne offers a critique of how blackness came to symbolize a positive escape from the hegemonic masculinity of postwar Germany, and how black identities have been represented as separate from, and in opposition to, German identity, foreclosing the possibility of being both black and German. Citing four autobiographies published by black German authors Hans Jürgen Massaquo, Theodor Michael, Günter Kaufmann, and Charly Graf, Layne considers how black German men have related to hegemonic masculinity since Nazi Germany, and concludes with a discussion on the work of black German poet, Philipp Khabo Köpsell. MORE…