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Booking Form

Please register for the keynote (Thursday 5th November, 17:30 GMT) using the form at the bottom of this page. The deadline for registration is Tuesday 3rd November. Once registration has closed, you will be sent a link to join the virtual keynote.

Rosemarie H. Peña holds a PhD in Childhood Studies from Rutgers University-Camden where she also earned her MA in Childhood Studies and BAs in German and Psychology. She identifies as a dual heritage Black (Senegalese) German American transnational adoptee and is the founder and president of the Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA).

Rosemarie has published in several academic journals, The SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies (2020), and is a contributing author in five edited volumes. Her most recent essay, “Stories Matter: Contextualizing the Black German American Adoptee Experience(s)” is included in Marion Kraft’s edited volume Children of the Liberation: Transatlantic Experiences of Black Germans of the Postwar Generation (2019).

"Scholarly Activism: The Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA) and Black German Studies in the United States"

Black Germans were among the first children whose natural lives would be forever altered by postwar “child-saving” initiatives that inspired the institutionalization of transnational adoption in the United States. The adoptees are thereby among the experiential pioneers of the juristic process effectuating multicultural families by awarding guardianship of children born to mothers in one country and culture to genetically unrelated persons living in another. For nearly three decades, Black Germans born in the wake of the World War II who grew up in Germany, Denmark, and the United States have been searching for their original families and sharing their life experiences.

As this postwar cohort re-emerges as a topic of academic interest, the adoptees and their non-adopted peers who grew up in Germany without their fathers are reconnecting with their biological kin. The U.S. adoptees are, therefore, concomitantly reuniting in discourse and actuality with other Black Germans having disparate backgrounds, cultural roots, and connections to Germany. Many of the adoptees, whose ages now range from the early sixties to mid-seventies, are learning about their German ancestral roots in dialogue with journalists, academics, and filmmakers who are eager to hear their stories, write about them, and portray their adoption experiences in documentary films.

In her keynote, Rosemarie Peña will discuss the role of the Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA) with respect to Black German family and community reunification, and the expansion of Black German Studies in the U.S. as an interdisciplinary field of academic research.

Please register for the keynote lecture by Tuesday 3rd November. Once registration has closed, you will be sent a link to join the virtual keynote.

This form is closed and is no longer accepting any submissions. Thank you for your time.