|Starting from the Berlin Conference in 1884, which set the agenda for the major colonial powers to divide Africa among themselves, the aim is to make Berlin visible as a transnational colonial space and investigate the colonial past from the perspective of its present implications: a space where post-colonial constellations confront defence mechanisms against colonial memory.
Nina Berman, Associate Professor in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Nina Berman has taught and researched twentieth-century culture and literature (modernity, minority literature, theatre) as well as comparative literature (post-colonial novel). She focuses on nationalism, colonialism, Orientalism and the relationship between Germany and the Middle East from the Middle Ages to the present (from a historico-cultural perspective). She has also studied, from a variety of angles, the relationship between Germany and Africa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In addition to numerous articles and essays, she has written Orientalismus, Kolonialismus und Moderne: Zum Bild des Orients in der deutschsprachigen Kultur um 1900 (1997). Her latest work, entitled Impossible Missions? German Economic, Military and Humanitarian Efforts in Africa, was published in May 2004. Nina Berman is currently working on a cultural history of Germany and the Middle East in the twentieth century.
Kien Nghi Ha was born in Hanoi and currently lives and works as a political scientist in Berlin, where he is completing a dissertation on hybridity and the cultural self-representations of migrants. He specialises in post-colonial criticism, migration policy, racism and cultural studies. He is the author of Ethnizität und Migration (1999), Ethnizität und Migration Reloaded: Kulturelle Identität, Differenz und Hybridität im postkolonialen Diskurs (2004), and Hype um Hybridität (due out in 2005). Over the last few years, Kien Nghi Ha has written numerous essays on the dissolution of cultural borders, identity policy, colonial presences and racism.