New Perspectives on Afro-German History, Politics, and Culture
A major contribution to Black-German studies
In 1984 at the Free University of Berlin, the African American poet Audre Lorde asked her Black, German-speaking women students about their identities. The women revealed that they had no common term to describe themselves and had until then lacked a way to identify their shared interests and concerns. Out of Lorde’s seminar emerged both the term “Afro-German” (or “Black German”) and the 1986 publication of the volume that appeared in English translation as Showing Our Colors: Afro-German Women Speak Out. The book launched a movement that has since catalyzed activism and scholarship in Germany.
Remapping Black Germany collects thirteen pieces that consider the wide array of issues facing Black German groups and individuals across turbulent periods, spanning the German colonial period, National Socialism, divided Germany, and the enormous outpouring of Black German creativity after 1986.
In addition to the editor, the contributors include Robert Bernasconi, Tina Campt, Maria I. Diedrich, Maureen Maisha Eggers, Fatima El-Tayeb, Heide Fehrenbach, Dirk Göttsche, Felicitas Jaima, Katja Kinder, Tobias Nagl, Katharina Oguntoye, Peggy Piesche, Christian Rogowski, and Nicola Lauré al-Samarai.
Rosemarie Peña’s essay, “Black Germans: Reunification and Belonging in Diaspora,” opens the edited volume released in paperback and for Kindle Reader on November 1, 2016, just in time for National Adoption Month on Amazon.com.
Guest editors Caroline Schmitt, Linda L. Semu and Matthias D. Witte
Deadline for submission of proposals is October 15, 2016.
In many countries, right-wing parties such as French National Front (FN) in France or Alternative for Germany (AFD) in Germany, racist movements, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant racism are on the rise. In the U.S. ongoing discussions about racist discrimination of Black people got stoked up with critical fatal shootings from White policemen against Blacks. The rejection of refugees and attacks on refugee accommodations in Europe henpeck the political discussions and media attention. Questions such as “who belongs to a nation, who is welcome and who is not?” are discussed with great commotion of the population, who controversially argues about “nation-state cultures” and people supposed to be “the others”. These developments take place simultaneously in different countries – and should be taken into account in their interweaving, e.g. if transnational networks exist between racist movements in different countries. The coincidences of various racist discourses and attacks raise up the question how racial ideologies and practices spread, interact and transform across territorial borders and growing parts of society. At the same time, such developments encounter various resistance and protest of civil society and professionals engaged in anti-racist issues.
Race is a social construct, which distinguishes between people and groups on the basis of given or constructed differences. It ascribes difference to supposedly biological lineages of humans and/or perceived cultural varieties. Differences are maximized and essentialized creating positions of an “us” and a “them”. This binary group structure leads to a hierarchy that positions one group as superior over the inferior “other” group. Racism is not only limited to the individual level, but is institutionally and linguistically incorporated into societal structures. While mechanisms and categorization processes of racism are topics of interdisciplinary research, racism is only rarely discussed in its transnational dimensions.
This special issue on “Racism and Transnationality” aims to further pry this desideratum and to capture worldwide dynamics related to racism. It seeks to give an insight into trends and developments in different countries, and into forms of racism, which interact, transcend and transform across territorial borders. A transnational perspective on racism faces precisely on those translation processes, which emerge over time and space in different contexts.
We invite both empirical and theoretical papers, which focus on(but may not be limited to) one or more of the following questions:
Racism across borders: How do ideologies of racism spread worldwide, cross (national) borders and endure or even refine? How do processes of racialization interact with categories such as nationality, ethnicity, class, gender, disability, or religion?
Ambivalences in a transnationalized world: How is the resurgence of anti-immigrant nationalist and populist political movements in different countries related to an increasing globalization – with its free-flow of knowledge and capital on one side and the simultaneous limitation of people’s movements on the other side?
Forms of racism in transnational networks: Which forms of racism get promoted by racist movements and collectives? Where can we observe historical pathways and where and how does racism transform itself? Which kind of transnational networking exists between racist movements and how do these networks advance the upturn of racism as societal figure?
Anti-racist engagement: As a way out of racism, which different anti-racist-approaches exist and which requirements do they impose upon social work?
Requirements for Submissions
Each proposal abstract should contain no more than 500 words and should address the following: background of the proposed article; content outline; and main discussion points.
For those proposals that are accepted, the deadline for submission of full articles is January 23, 2017. The deadlines for the TSR issue focusing on “Racism and Transnationality” are:
- October 15, 2016 Submission of proposal abstracts
- January 23, 2017 Submission of full articles
- February – April 2017 Peer review
- April – June 2017 Revision of articles, if necessary
- June 5, 2017 Final submission of publishable articles
- September 2017 Publication
Articles should be up to 8,000 words in length. The authors are responsible for submitting proofread and anonymized manuscripts. The instructions for authors are available HERE:
For more information on the journal TSR, please visit the homepage:
Inquiries and proposals should be sent to the guest editors via email:
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Linda L. Semu
McDaniel College Westminster
Matthias D. Witte
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Fostered & Adult Adoptees Claim Their Space
Project: The AN-YA Project is dedicated to empowering the voices of all adopted and persons who were fostered. In their next upcoming manuscript— The AN-YA Project is thrilled to announce that it will co-edit an incredible anthology with nationally known adoption, race educator and activist, Susan Harris O’Connor, on a book solely dedicated to Black Adoptees and Black Persons who were fostered. It will be the first global anthology of its kind to bring together those who are connected by the Black/African Diaspora in adoption and foster care. This includes those who are multi-racial/ethnic who have or believe they have Black/African parentage. This anthology will be a collection of personal encounters, viewpoints, artistic expressions, artistic interpretations, and goals for the direction fostered & adult adoptees are headed.
For submission details, visit HERE.
‘No, we are the people too’ … Sharon Dodua Otoo receives the Bachmann award at the ceremony in Klagenfurt, Austria. Photograph: Susanne Hassler/EPA
Sharon Dodua Otoo takes €25,000 Ingeborg Bachmann prize with Herr Gröttrup Sits Down, about the rocket scientist who worked for the Nazis, then the USSR.
When Sharon Dodua Otoo moved from Ilford to Hanover as an au pair in 1992, her family were concerned. Would a black girl from outer London cope with provincial Germany? “They were really panicked about it. ‘Don’t stay too long,’ they said.”
Twenty-four years later Dodua Otoo not only still lives in Germany, but has just won arguably the most prestigious award in the German language, the Ingeborg Bachmann prize – for the first and only short story she has ever written in the language of her adopted homeland.