I am looking for a partner who would like to collaborate with me in a new program that the German Historical Institute just put on: a binational research tandem. I think it is a wonderful opportunity for new post-docs, tenured faculty on sabbatical, and anyone who can and would like to spend an academic year at the GHI in Washington DC.
I am a German post-doc working on the nexus of food culture, migration, and ethnicity. I am looking for a North American partner. Note that there are two thematic specializations:
- History of Knowledge and Knowledge Cultures: https://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=51978
- Global History and Trans-Regional History: https://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=51979
I am open to either one but would prefer the second.
Here's an abstract of my research proposal:
I examine how San Francisco Germans and their descendants constructed, negotiated, and performed their belonging between the trans-regional spaces of their native country and the New World. My analysis of how immigrants from German-speaking Europe made the San Francisco Bay Area their home in the period between the Gold Rush and the Great Depression contributes to the growing current scholarship on Germans abroad as an integral part of German history. While earlier studies focused on German immigrant populations on the East Coast or the Midwest and analyzed associations, religion, or business and labor to scrutinize ethnicity, assimilation, and acculturation, my inquiry evolves from questions around food culture and its trans-cultural dynamics. I analyze the cultural work of both the labor of procuring, producing, and preparing meals and the leisure of consuming them, asking how San Francisco Germans used these everyday practices at home and in public space to express their simultaneous belonging to America and their imaginary homelands in Germany. In a metropolis that did not develop a “Little Germany” and yet featured a significant population of German stock, I argue that food and drink not only functioned as a gathering ground for Germans, but also as a means to share German culture, more so than in the rather exclusive German clubs, churches, and synagogues in the city. I show how homes, breweries, beer halls, and restaurants changed over time from spaces where German immigrants lived, worked, and dined to spaces of cultural encounters with other San Franciscans, spaces that fostered the peculiar cosmopolitan culture at the Golden Gate.
For those of you who are interested, please e-mail me so we can exchange ideas and potentially submit a proposal--the deadline is soon!
Thank you for your time and consideration,
and best wishes,