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International collaboration for PG training in Transnational German Studies

The Department of German Studies is involved in an international graduate training collaboration in the field of transnational German Studies. This collaboration is a response to far-reaching developments that change our discipline. In a world marked by growing concern about processes of globalization, the disintegration of nation-states, new supranational institutions and expanding migration, the national parameters which have traditionally dominated research in modern languages, literatures and cultures increasingly prove to be inappropriate to answer the intellectual and political questions with which these disciplines are confronted. The resulting shifts in perspective have also stimulated new ways of thinking about past historical, cultural and social phenomena. Research in German Studies is increasingly concerned with issues of transnationalism and inter-cultural contact: minority cultures in history and in present-day German-speaking Europe, borderlands and immigration, colonialisms, imperialisms, cultural conflict as well as linguistic and cultural translation and exchange of knowledge. These challenges require a substantial reorientation, affecting methodological frameworks and the training of emerging scholars.

Our partners since 2011 have been the Departments of German, History and Film at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), one of the leading public universities in the US and renowned for its intellectual vibrancy and intensely interdisciplinary programmes, and the Moses Mendelssohn Centre for European-Jewish Studies at the University of Potsdam, the Department for Germanistik (focus on intercultural Germanistik) at the University of Hamburg, Ben Gurion University and the Departments of German Studies and Film Studies at King’s College London. This collaboration has so far resulted in a first, highly successful one-week workshop with postgraduate students from the participating institutions and from the Universities of Madrid and Istanbul, held at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) in May 2012 - programme and more information below.

Since then, the University of Paderborn, the Institute for Social Sciences at the Humboldt University Berlin, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the IFK (International Research Centre in Cultural Studies) Vienna have joined the cooperation, and a second vacation school was held at the University of Warwick in May 2013, which will also included a visit to archives and museums in Berlin and hands-on training by archival staff (see below).


Graduate Workshop in Transnational German Studies

University of Warwick, May 19-23, 2013/ Berlin, May 24-26, 2013

Organisers: Christine Achinger (University of Warwick), Kader Konuk and Scott Spector (University of Michigan), Irit Dekel (Humboldt University)

We have been awarded grants from the Warwick Institute of Advanced Study (IAS), The Warwick Faculty of Arts and the Rackham Gradute School at the University of Michigan to hold a vacation school at the University of Warwick (19-23 May), followed by a trip to archives and museums in Berlin (23-26 May).

The graduate workshop will have a variety of components that will include:

  • Discussions on issues relating to transnational and intercultural aspects of German Studies today, based on briefs submitted by all participants
  • Presentations of dissertation projects, in conference format, with discussants
  • Workshop talks by faculty
  • Training sessions on job and research grant applications in the UK, the US and Germany.

The Berlin trip will also include

  • Visits to Berlin archives and museums in the field of transnational, postcolonial, German-Turkish, German-Jewish and other minority studies
  • Discussios with Esther Dischereit and Zafer Şenocak
  • Meetings with activists and scholars in the field of migration and transnational studies.

Please click here for the PROGRAMME and a list of PARTICIPANTS

Transnational German Studies Workshop

University of Michigan, May 9-14, 2012


The 2012 Workshop (see programme below) started with the joint participation in a conference at the University of Chicago on May 7th and 8th on “German-Jewish Echoes in the Contemporary Middle East,” and continued at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) with four days of intellectual exchange: presentations of individual research projects in conference panel format, followed by discussion; lectures or presentations of faculty research; and open discussions on a range of methodological and conceptual issues which had been prepared through briefs by participants that were distributed to all and read in advance.

A field trip to Detroit and a reception and garden party including all members of the Michigan German Department gave plenty of opportunity for more informal conversations and exchange and some hands-on cultural production (see picture on the right).

Programme of the Michigan workshop and a list of participants




group admimiring rivera muralsMichigan group looking at Diego Rivera murals in Detroit Institute of Arts

barbara and Jill