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Germans and African AmericansTwo Centuries of Exchange$
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Larry A. Greene and Anke Ortlepp

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604737844

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604737844.001.0001

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Reconstructing “America”

Reconstructing “America”

The Development of African American Studies in the Federal Republic of Germany

(p.218) Reconstructing “America”
Germans and African Americans

Eva Boesenberg

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter explores how African American Studies in the Federal Republic of Germany emerged in the 1950s as an outgrowth of the rise of American Studies in West Germany after World War II. It looks at several “generations” of scholars in African American Studies, including Charles H. Nicholas, Kenneth Stampp, and Edward Clark, and their respective research agendas. The chapter also considers the political and cultural situation in which the scholars‧ respective scholarship was undertaken, along with the impact of American financial support and international exchange programs. After discussing the development of African American Studies in connection with postwar cultural politics, it assesses the role of academic organizations such as the German Association for American Studies and the Collegium on African American Research. The chapter then analyzes the maturation of African American Studies in the Federal Republic of Germany as well as the intersections between African American Studies and gender studies in German academic discourse since the 1980s. Furthermore, it reflects on the increasing internationalization of African American Studies, before concluding with some comments on current developments in the field.

Keywords:   cultural politics, African American Studies, Germany, American Studies, West Germany, Charles H. Nicholas, international exchange programs, German Association, African American Research, gender studies

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