Passing on the Microphone: Unfurling German History – PANEL DISCUSSION

Date / time: 9 February, 1:30 pm

Passing on the Microphone: Unfurling German History - PANEL DISCUSSION

 

Tiffany N. Florvil (University of New Mexico) in conversation with Patrice G. Poutrus (Osnabrück University)

What is German history today, and where might it be going? This is the topic that will be debated regularly, and from many different angles, in our new Instagram Live series. Each speaker will select their successor and become the next interviewer.

The borders of German history as a field have become more porous and inclusive, looking at the global entanglement of the German lands from medieval to modern times. Colonial history has taken centre stage. Victim groups of Germany’s various violent pasts have long asked for recognition; these previously neglected histories are now increasingly being studied and heard. Queer and gender historians are not simply filling gaps but questioning the categories and methods of German history, as well as challenging the erasures of minoritized communities. The war in Ukraine raises new questions about Germany’s involvement in Europe’s east and its political consequences today, revealing blind spots in public knowledge about the Holocaust. Long-established ruptures have proven to be continuities on the pre- and post-1945 timeline as historians pay more attention to the history of race, racism, and antisemitism. As a result of these new histories, German memory culture is also undergoing a radical shift as an increasingly diverse society demands new forms of commemoration. We will take some of these topics as a starting point, yet we do not want to assume universality. Each of our interviewees will select and interview another expert—a model that will be continued in this new Instagram Live series. The outcome of this long-term debate is open, as historians and other people entering the conversation will reflect not simply on the past, but where the debate might go in the future.

The historian Dr Patrice G. Poutrus has published extensively on the economic and social history of the GDR, migration and flight in both German states during the Cold War, memories of the end of the GDR, and the political upheaval and transformation in East Germany. For several years, he was a research fellow at the (Centre for Contemporary History) in Potsdam and at the University of Erfurt. He was also Senior Fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, and held the Professorship for Contemporary History at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg as well as the Professorship for Comparative Cultural and Social Anthropology of Late Modern Societies at the Europa-Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder. Recently, he was a guest professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies at the Technische Universität Berlin. He is currently a research fellow at the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies at Osnabrück University, working on the project ‘Einwanderungsarchiv Hannover’, which involves the conception and implementation of an ‘immigration archive’ with a focus on the city’s history of migration.

Tiffany N. Florvil is an associate professor of history at the University of New Mexico. She is a 20th century cultural historian of Germany whose work focuses on African/Black diasporic communities, internationalism, race, gender, and sexuality. Her work centers on Black Germans and their creation of new intellectual, cultural, and political practices. Florvil is currently a Joy Foundation Fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute where she is working on a manuscript about the life of May Ayim, among the most important Black German thinkers and writers of her generation. She is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and essays and three books, most recently, Black Germany-Schwarz, deutsch, feministisch-die Geschichte einer Bewegung (Ch. Links Verlag, 2023), a German translation, and Mobilizing Black Germany: Afro-German Women and the Making of a Transnational Movement (University of Illinois Press, 2020), which won the Waterloo Centre for German Studies 2020 Book Prize, among other honors. She has received support from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the American Academy in Berlin, and others.

This event will take place live on the GHIL Instagram Account: @ghi_london