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Of Awful Connections, East German Primitives and the New Black Berlin Wall: Germany and German History in African American Literature, 1892-2016

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 GAAL project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the GAAL project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "GAAL" about.

berlin    recent    black    capital    novels    action    world    germany    american    discourses    literature    german    african    history   

Project "GAAL" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: Berlin
postcode: 10117

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 171˙460 €
 EC max contribution 171˙460 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2017
 Funding Scheme /MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-06-01   to  2021-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Darryl Pinckney’s “Black Deutschland” (2016), Paul Beatty’s “Slumberland” (2008), and John A. Williams’ “Clifford’s Blues” (1999) are three recent novels by African American authors and with African American protagonists that are partly set in Germany and that include references to events of German history such as the Holocaust and German Reunification. The research action will take these three novels as points of departure for an investigation that combines an accurate analysis of the images and functions of Germany and German history in African American literature with a transnational, comparative perspective. Drawing on a theoretical framework that connects comparative imagology, black diaspora studies, and the recent academic focus on world literature's “multidirectional memory” and its “cosmopolitan style”, the project will analyze four historically diverse, cross-cultural discourses that have shaped the role of Germany and German history in African American literature: 1) the formation of a ‘canonic’ African American image of postromantic Wilhelminian Germany that can be traced back to Du Bois’ time as a student in Berlin (1892-94); 2) the interwar period and its intertwining sub-discourses of the Old World as “racial haven” for African Americans, and of Berlin as “European capital of sexual libertinage”; 3) National Socialism and its relations and parallels to racism in the U.S.; 4) African American perceptions of Germany as a divided and/or reunified country. The project is based at two institutions in Berlin: the interdisciplinary Zentrum für Literatur- and Kulturforschung (ZfL), where the applicant will be part of the research area on world literature, and the Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the FU Berlin, where a secondment will take place. The project's location in the German capital, which is in itself a major topic of the research action, will be a connecting factor for numerous networking, dissemination and communication activities.

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