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Africa, America, Europe
Black Atlantic, Black Atlantic - Platform 3:
Another Modernity
German Colonial History
from a transnational Perspective
Free admission
Black Atlantic
Discussion with Pascal Grosse (Assistent of the Department of Neurology/Historian, Berlin), Heike Paul (American Studies, Berlin/Leipzig), Sebastian Conrad (Historian, Berlin)
Host: Joachim Zeller (Historian, Berlin)

Historians take classic themes in colonial historiography, employing a trans-national perspective to expand them and, in so doing, locating Germany as a single element in a mosaic of a complex, multi-facetted globalisation process. In this spirit, Sebastian Conrad considers how perspectives on German history between 1885 and 1945 shift once German expansionism outside Europe is also given a place within this discourse. Heike Paul takes up the Black Atlantic concept, and in "Travelling to America and seeing Africa" investigates German colonial fantasies around 1900, asking whether German travellers' encounters with Black Americans in the USA can be seen as analogous to the cultural contact German colonists had with the indigenous populations in the German African colonies. Finally, Pascal Grosse contextualises German migration within the wider frame of colonial history in the last years of the 19 century and throughout the 20th century.

Pascal Grosse, Dr. med., born in 1962 in Düsseldorf, studied medicine, history, psychology and the history of medicine at the Free University of Berlin. He is presently teaching neurology at the Charité Hospital and is serving as a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, exploring the link between the brain and gender in a project entitled "Neurobiology, Sexuality and Civil Society, 1750-1900". Over the last few years, Pascal Grosse has steadily become more involved with issues around eugenics, German colonial history and the imperialist imagination, publishing two specific works on these topics: "Eugenik, Kolonialismus und bürgerliche Gesellschaft in Germany, 1850-1918" (2000) and "Zwischen Privatheit und Öffentlichkeit: Kolonialmigration in Germany, 1900-1940" (2003).

Heike Paul teaches at the Department of American Studies, University of Leipzig and is presently a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. Her main research concerns lie in the areas of gender studies, postcolonial studies and Afro-American literature, with one primary focus on deconstructing whiteness in the context of non-European emigration and German colonialism.