Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Stockton University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1998
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, University of Pennsylvania
Confronting Germandom: Colonial Law, African Experience and Identity in Germany, 1884-1945

This dissertation will examine the colonial origins of the Nazi racial state in Germany by focusing on. African encounters with German national identity and racialist state practice from 1884-1945. I will analyze continuities and changes in the way race operated in the everyday life of the state before and after Germany's loss of colonies. This dissertation will thereby contribute to our understanding of the ways in which decolonization affects national identity, social policy regarding minorities and right-wing violence in Europe. I will analyze: (1) the legal and imaginative spaces of 'belonging' and 'exclusion' operative in Germany, in the colonies, and among Germanophone Africans; (2) the way these spaces informed and were informed by state practice regarding Africans; and (3) how this praxis compares with other minorities in Germany during the same time period. I will conduct archival research in Germany and Cameroon and interview Africans whose family members had been in Germany before 1945. I will be looking for evidence of African encounters with German institutions, the discourses surrounding these encounters, and their ultimate outcomes, including: petitions by Africans to the German parliament; parliamentary debates regarding Africans in Germany; court proceedings against Germanophone Africans; newspaper commentaries; African correspondence with German officials, African memoirs and private letters, and police records.