Reparations: A Global German Affair
A Trans-Atlantic Summer Institutes for doctoral students, held at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (July 18-29, 2022)
Germany’s recent acknowledgement of the genocide perpetrated by its colonial regime against the Herero and Nama people has sparked debates surrounding appropriate measures of compensation. Disputes concerning the restitution of looted artifacts and repatriation of human remains, the discursive and material distinctions between proposed development aid and reparations, and the power relations inherent in the diplomatic negotiations between Germany and the Global South all echo familiar questions in modern German history: What role does remuneration play in the aftermath of mass violence? Who gets to determine the parameters of these exchanges and who is left out of the conversation? How do reparations shape historical memory – in the communities representing victimized groups as well as in those compensating for past crimes? This Trans-Atlantic Summer Institute takes a comparative, multidisciplinary lens to critically explore these questions. Taking into consideration Germany’s historical confrontation with the crimes of National Socialism and the various reparations programs created as part of this process, can these existing reparations schemes offer practical or discursive lessons for the current moment? At a time when calls to “learn from the Germans” spark debates about memory politics throughout the world, what can Germany learn from its own past?
We invite applications from doctoral students whose research touches upon these questions and others concerned with reparations in the aftermath of genocide, mass violence, state violence and colonial crimes. While the seminar will highlight reparations in German-speaking contexts, we welcome proposals from students whose interest in the theme relates to other geographies as well, approaching the topic from various disciplinary perspectives, including history, literature, performance, ethnic studies, art history, law, anthropology and others. We aim to link our conversations with local discussions surrounding reparations and social justice in the context of Indigenous dispossession, anti-Black violence and structural racism. Doctoral students from all countries and regions are encouraged to apply. Seminar discussions will be facilitated by a multidisciplinary team of experts, including Adam Blackler, Zoé Samudzi, Jamele Watkins and Sheer Ganor.
The seminar will take place at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, between July 18-29, 2022. Our program will include discussions of published material, presentations from guest speakers (scholars, legal experts and local community organizers) and discussions of drafts written by group participants. Advanced doctoral students may share a chapter or article draft while students in earlier stages may present a dissertation prospectus or an equivalent text. Travel costs will be reimbursed, and accommodations and most meals will be covered.
To apply, please email a title and abstract of your paper or project (350-500 words) and your CV to email@example.com by May 1, 2022. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by May 10, 2022.
Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
This seminar is co-organized by Adam Blackler (U of Wyoming, History), Sheer Ganor (U of Minnesota, History) and Jamele Watkins (U of Minnesota, German), and is sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and by the Center for German and European Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.