During the 2019 Diversity, Decolonization, and the German Curriculum Conference, a working group on contingent labor in German studies convened. The working group compiled a set of notes outlining guidelines for DDGC as it plans its programming, which are listed below. These guidelines also have implications beyond DDGC. If you would like to share thoughts on individual components and/or add ideas to the notes below, please be in touch.
Primary principle: The aim is not to make contingency more sustainable but to reduce contingency: number of people in contingent positions, ways in which positions are contingent.
--Visibility is important: contingent faculty should neither be swept under the rug nor be obliged to blend in with non-contingent members of the profession
Our thoughts were grouped into three overlapping areas:
Programming for/work at DDGC events/conferences/workshops:
--finance presence of contingent faculty at DDGC events
--include panels on alt-ac/non-academic positions and on making the decision to leave academia by individuals who have made this decision and are in these work environments
--gather information: who are contingent faculty, where are they, and what demographics (disproportionately BIPOC, women) do they belong to? (Perhaps a task for the "Personalia" section of Monatshefte)
--discuss institutions, policies, contracts that contingent faculty can use for leverage
Activities for DDGC/its members outside conferences
--gather information (see above): important that those NOT contingent take on this labor
--collect and post contracts and policies (redacted as necessary) as well as resources re governance, representation, and power structures at different kinds of institutions for shared learning; bring disciplinary training in careful reading and critique to bear on them
--share knowledge about what decisions happen at the state level, department/school/college level, university level; strategies for how to work with each
At other institutions/conferences:
--organize, promote, and attend panels for, by, and about contingent labor and labor practices within the academy (also a visibility issue)
--reflect on ways of interacting with structures such as unions; discuss options for collective action; state-level lobbying or activism, Committees on Political Education
--discuss how (for example) AATG can advocate for contingent faculty members using its existing status in the profession. Other organizations (GSA, ACTFL, AFT?)
by Vanessa D. Plumly (Lawrence University) and Tiffany N. Florvil (University of New Mexico)
Why does Black German Studies matter now? The question is an interesting one. But it should actually be framed differently: why has Black German Studies not seemingly mattered before? The word matter is of particular interest here. To matter is to signify something of importance. Indeed, what matters in diverse academic settings, which are often the bastions of white cis-heteropatriarchy, is not typically reflective of what is of value to the broader population. What matters is that which is deemed worthy in terms of cultural cache and warrants knowledge production and circulation. Moreover, whoever is in control of that matter subjects it to scrutiny, limits its scope, and circumscribes its meaning.
In many ways, matter is tied to orientation and space, and it dictates what types of representations can exist.
To quote cultural studies scholar Sara Ahmed, Women of Color in higher education/academia are viewed as “‘space invaders’, as invading the spaces reserved for others” (Ahmed, On Being Included, 13). The same conception of invading space could be argued for research conducted by, on, and in collaboration with the Black German community, as well as the growth of the field of Black German Studies within the discipline of German Studies. This research is often seen as an invasion of normative white spaces that are “not reserved” for People of Color (Ahmed 13). It is also rendered as insignificant and lacking in rigor in comparison to more established subfields in German Studies. This is due to the “myth of racelessness” that permeates discourses and practices within and beyond academia and Black German Studies’ minoritized orientation to German Studies that shapes the spaces it inhabits and how it is understood. In this way, Black German Studies is a radical act of emplacement, especially as it shifts its orientation and embeds itself within a predominately white field.
Matter also carries weight.
In German, the word matter has many affiliated words from material to body and from substance to content. Thus, Blackness as simultaneously matter and non-matter is inscribed into and onto the body and contributes to its ontological makeup. For those whom racism impacts daily, its matter manifests on and in the body in ways that become destructive and problematic. Yet, it also necessitates responses to take matters into one’s own hands in order to actively combat racial discrimination. Here, matter is compounded with the Black body as well as responses to that same othered body. Referring to the United States, Keeanga-Yamhatta Taylor writes in From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation, “[t]oday, we are told, that race does not matter” (Taylor 4). And yet, as we know, race is often a matter of life or death in the United States. In postwar Germany, similar claims were made that racism ceased to exist after the fall of the Third Reich. But the Rostock Riots (1992), Solingen (1993), and Oury Jalloh (2005) prove that it is also a matter of life or death in Germany. That is why changing the state of race and racism and advocating for a commitment to social justice and equality must be attended to in the here and now. And Black German Studies affords us an opportunity to do this by forcing us to recognize the persistence of everyday forms of racism in all levels of German society. By doing so, it will embolden us to think and act in a way that matters and incite critical change.
Matter has different properties.
Black German Studies certainly has different properties that contribute to its formation. It is capable of dispersal and bringing in complex interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives as well as new ways of seeing and viewing that have been ignored, or worse, erased, in a field where whiteness dominates. If we are to reconfigure German Studies—and Black German Studies is in this constant process of undoing and redoing—and comprehend it as a liquid or fluid, rather than as a solid or fully formed object, then, as scholars, we must bring in other ways of mattering beyond white cis-heteropatriarchal ones. The solid state of German Studies that is perpetually anchored in whiteness and Christianity must be turned into new matter. In this respect, German Studies should not be seen as an already accomplished fact, but as never complete and always in process–much like Black German Studies. In order to do so, we must change its properties and dominant ways of thinking in the field must experience a paradigm shift.
Black German Studies may not have mattered within the field of German Studies until the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first centuries because that space was one that whiteness had and continues to occupy relentlessly, in which it has coopted, silenced, and exploited. The clasp of whiteness and Christianity on Germanness is also solid matter. Given this, it has made it quite difficult to decolonize the field and to bring new forms of mattering into the picture. It is not without a struggle for space (and place) that Black German Studies comes to matter. Black German Studies’ slow inclusion in German Studies has not come as a given on either side of the Atlantic. This is especially interesting despite the fact that everything that comprises the field is inherently imbricated in the histories of race and racism, colonization, and empire.
Moreover, it is Black Germans themselves who have made the subfield come to matter and solidified its existence. Equally, it is their work, labor, art, culture, activism, ideas, theories, futures, pasts, and presents that have engendered matter for Black German Studies. Their national and international grassroots efforts have often taken place outside the ivory tower of academia and have led to symbolic and social changes. But junior scholars in the United States have also helped to sustain and develop the subfield. As theorist Michelle Wright argues in Physics of Blackness (2015), what she theorizes as “Epiphenomenal time, or the ‘now’” that produces Blackness through a “when” and “where”, the now is not relegated to the present alone, but rather draws on the past and looks to the future (Wright 4). As scholars in the field of German Studies, we must fully assess the past, understand how it impacts the now, and look to a not yet manifested future to envision and produce a decolonized discipline.
Since molecules in solids are close together, much like whiteness and the desire to maintain proximity to it, they move and change state slowly. Thus, the decolonization of solid matter is an arduous and slow process, but certainly not an impossible one, especially if we look to other ways of being in matter. German Studies has the potential to take on a more fluid or malleable form that can extend through and beyond the field to bring in more nuanced ways of knowing/perception/cognition.
So Black German Studies matters. In fact, it has always mattered.
Throughout 2019, we will feature blog posts by scholars working in Black German Studies, Queer German Studies, GDR Studies, German Women’s and Gender Studies, and German Migration Studies. These scholars will outline the relevance of the research in their specific fields with an eye to German Studies broadly, attending to questions of diversity and anti-colonization.
Thus far, the following posts have been published with others on the books for the summer and fall:
If you would like to participate in the discussion, we invite you to reach out to us. We are eager to work with scholars at various stages of their careers and feature their take on the relevance of their field of study for German Studies in particular, but also for the liberal arts broadly speaking. The fields listed above are not exhaustive and are only the beginning. We are eager to support work by scholars working in diverse fields.
This cover letter accompanied the "Open Letter to the AATG: A Ten-Point Program of the Diversity, Decolonization, and the German Curriculum (DDGC) Collective." The AATG Leadership Responded to this letter with a statement.
Dear Board of Directors of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG):
As you are now likely aware, more than 200 college, secondary school, and university teachers of German (many of them longstanding AATG members) in North America, as well as several additional critical friends from other disciplines and from Europe, have signed this appended Open Letter to the leadership of the AATG. The Letter was originally conceived by the 67 attendees of the 2019 Diversity, Decolonization, and the German Studies Curriculum (DDGC) meeting (March 1–3, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN / USA).
This is a complex document, composed collaboratively by scores of professionals with varying experiences, and from various generations and backgrounds as teachers and learners. It seeks to be broad and specific, critical and assistive at the same time. Many of the claims within it are reasonably applicable to other national professional organizations as well, and these will be conveyed to them in due course, in a similar form. We begin with the AATG because it is the organization that has the widest educational reach, from K-12-college-beyond. Moreover, this letter is directed to the AATG because of a number of recent troubling experiences between Scholars of Color and AATG leadership, though we do acknowledge that many other AATG members have been supportive of projects to dismantle racism.
We understand that it will take time, research, reflection, and dialogue for AATG leadership to develop substantive and considered transformative action toward shaping the future of the organization and its diverse membership / stakeholders, as they express themselves in this Open Letter. We also understand that some of the propositions herein will strike various among you, on first inspection, as true or untrue, fair or unfair, realistic or unrealistic, germane or tangential. We encourage you to take time to discuss these differences of viewpoint over the coming months. But we also ask you to explore the propositions in the Letter on their merits, and to presume the credibility of the experiences to which they attest. This means setting aside habits of defensiveness that so often overwhelm such moments of reflection.
The ideas conveyed in this Letter have resonated deeply with over 200 of our professional colleagues in the field, already in the three days since its public consideration, including many leaders involved in organizations like the GSA, WiG, CAUTG, and MLA. This overwhelming response reveals something profound and important about this moment in our educational landscape nationally and internationally, a moment for which we all share responsibility as teachers. It also illustrates the high expectations that our 200 signatories desire to invest in our national organizations—as critical trusts, models for institutional leadership, and guides accompanying us in rigorous ethical action and advocacy in times of ongoing injustice and impunity. Some of those signatories appear, over time, to have lost interest in national organizations like the AATG, and we hope their voices (in the form of this letter) indicate their willingness to participate anew in the transformation of the organization and the profession.
We hope for an ongoing, holistic, public conversation that involves all of us, all of our professional organizations, and all of our institutions. We are here to help, to dialogue, and to imagine the future of our work together with you and the AATG as a whole.
Considering the importance of this moment for our profession, we encourage you to take the time you need to engage the Open Letter substantively and in its complexity—and to do so by way of the public venues available to you. We do not expect any immediate response, nor is a response to the Letter itself the most important next step. Rather, we suggest that August 31 of this year would be a good juncture for AATG (and any partner organizations) to publicly address transformations it is undertaking, or planning to undertake, in correspondence with the substance of this Letter. This moment is important enough not to rush hasty or top-down solutions.
Again, we offer you our experience, time, and assistance in developing a plan of action. We have designated contact persons for our Collective below for ease of communication. We look forward to our continued conversation.
Thank you again for your time and consideration.
Beverly Weber (Beverly.Weber@colorado.edu)
Ervin Malakaj (email@example.com)
Priscilla Layne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
David J. Gramling (email@example.com)
Regine Criser (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Andrea Bryant (email@example.com)
Open Letter to the AATG: A Ten-Point Program of the Diversity, Decolonization, and the German Curriculum (DDGC) Collective
The 1992 special “Focus on Diversity” issue of Die Unterrichtspraxis / Teaching German25(2) is widely recognized as a moment of hope, reckoning, and urgency for the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) and its members. That moment appeared to herald a future in which Scholars of Color, women, LGBT people, Jewish people, refugees, immigrants, non-native speakers, and low-income learners would meaningfully count—not as peripheral topics to be discussed and included, but as core makers of the consciousness of German Studies. Not only would our future students, teachers and leaders openly oppose antisemitism, as well as anti-Muslim and anti-Black racism in post-Wall Germany; they would also teach and learn from the work of Scholars of Color, while critically reassessing their own positions in structures of power that weighed heavily on others.
Nearly 30 years later, and despite much effort undertaken, we find that this future remains announced, but not enacted. The problematic notion that racialized and minoritized users and learners of German should be recruited and retained for the sake of enrollment has remained the norm. Indeed, efforts today towards diversity still appear opportunistic and fear-driven, directed more toward an effort to “save German Studies” than toward creating a more just world. The ongoing work to dismantle the ethnonationalist underpinnings of the field—particularly the work undertaken by Scholars of Color—has meanwhile been marginalized in the organization. Furthermore, we now acknowledge that a focus on religious, ethnic, class, and sexual diversity in the past may have neglected additional kinds of diversity that should also be represented, such as people with dis/abilities, as well as transgender, gender-fluid and gender non-conforming folx.
We are a collective of German and German Studies teachers and scholars calling for the organization to set aside diversity-messaging in favor of honest, practical work to dismantle white supremacy, which we understand as the “political, economic and cultural system in which whites overwhelmingly control power and material resources, [where] conscious and unconscious ideas of white superiority and entitlement are widespread, and [where] relations of white dominance and non-white subordination are daily reenacted across a broad array of institutions and social settings” (Ansley 1989: 1024). And such white supremacy is often coupled with heteronormativity, misogyny, and ableism to reinforce a homogenous vision of Germany and German Studies.
We acknowledge and appreciate the complex historical, financial, logistical, and political conditions under which volunteer leaders in the AATG work. Still, we can no longer accept the notion that any and all efforts at diversity are virtuous, especially when these are not conceived collaboratively with Scholars of Color and with other marginalized and marked scholars whom the organization wishes to represent.
The inherent value of defending the teaching of “foreign languages” in a so-called monolingualist United States is not sufficient justification for our representative organizations’ ambivalence and acquiescence toward ethnonationalism, settler colonialism, racist ideologies and uncritical reproduction of spaces and practices that create a hostile environment to marginalized people. Nor does the “foreign-language teaching setting” give justification for the patterns of cultural appropriation—of hip-hop, coffee culture, and klezmer, for instance—the likes of which have been shown to be unethical, as well as pedagogically unsound, in other areas of US American education. Celebrating ethnonational identity with flag-and-castle-emblazoned promotional materials, with a little multikulti on the side, is too high an ethical price to pay for a boost in enrollments.
We put forth the following ten-point plan, so that the next 30 years of work in institutional organizing in German Studies in the United States can imagine and enact the justice and critical consciousness our learners at all levels deserve. We want learners and teachers of very different backgrounds and experiences to truly become free to dwell at, and as, the essential core of the field’s commitments, and not just be “welcomed” through peripheral diversity initiatives. While the current focus of the plan emphasizes ethnic, racial and religious diversity, we recognize that in the future we need to incorporate more inclusive language to address further issues of diversity that cannot be contained in this umbrella.
1. As elsewhere, teachers and researchers in German Studies must work to DISMANTLE WHITE SUPREMACY, in part by learning deeply from the works of Scholars of Color. The theme of racism can’t enter a space first when People of Color do.
It cannot be the responsibility of Scholars of Color to fix racism in organizations and institutional settings, when we/they already combat racism regularly in our/their own positions and lives, in and out of academe and schools. White teachers and scholars need to read, promote, and respond thoughtfully to the work of Teachers and Scholars of Color—on curriculum, on toxic work environments, on tokenization, and on all of the other diversity-unrelated research we/those scholars conduct. German Studies research by Scholars of Color is not there to fulfill diversity imperatives; it is there to transform the field and the world.
• The organization’s personnel can become willing to be transformed by the work of Scholars and Teachers of Color in German Studies. An essential reading list of this work is included at the end of this document.
• There are indeed some People of Color who are professional experts in diversity consulting. Hire them and pay them well, but also note they have other passions and commitments beyond helping predominantly white institutions face the facts of their history and present.
2. We want the organizations that represent us to REJECT ETHNONATIONAL MESSAGING.
Both the US and Germany, currently and historically, are sites of genocidal, colonial, and nationalist violence. While the German, Swiss, Austrian, and US governments may continue to disseminate white supremacist imagery and enforce white supremacist structures, our professional organizations must hold themselves to a higher critical and ethical standard.
• Flags, Oktoberfest, “rent-a-German”, and other trappings of Heimat-nationalism—innocuous-seeming, or even cheerful, to many white teachers at first glance—reinforce a history of racism, enslavement, and colonial settlement, while also erasing the true historical diversity of the lives that make up the subject of German Studies.
• The organization can promote teaching units (biographical readings, literary texts, videos, interviews, etc.) that focus on experiences of People of Color in German-speaking countries for levels K-16 and beyond. Young learners are just as capable of honestly facing these complex histories as are adult experts; indeed, it is our job to teach these complexities.
• Calls for Unterrichtspraxis, German Quarterly, and other institutional endeavors should always be designed so as to seek to engage representation from Scholars of Color.
3. Being an organization of teachers, we want the AATG leadership to use its power to EXTEND CRITICAL FEEDBACK TO PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS and reject alliances with those institutions designed or administered around colonial projects and purposes.
Our organization needs not only to transform itself internally, but to agitate for change in what our partner institutions and counterpart organizations are doing, especially when sharing or accepting materials from these organizations. This means providing persistent feedback and critical friendship, supporting and emboldening justice-and-equity-oriented work, but ultimately rejecting promotional materials that the membership deems unsuitable and complicit with racism and ethnonationalism (see point 2 above).
• Our organization should reach out to organizations like the Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA) and the German Studies Association’s (GSA) Black Diaspora Studies or Asian German Studies Networks, and offer real support to develop sustained, equitable partnerships.
• These partnerships can develop projects specifically designed to support Black German Studies, Queer German Studies, Migration Studies, Ethnic Studies, Women’s Studies and Black, Queer, Migrant, Refugee, Women students and teachers. Symposia and curriculum development scholarships should earmark support for Black, Queer, Migrant, Refugee, and Women scholars in their various fields.
4. We want the AATG to RECOMMIT TO ANTI-NAZI and ANTI-RACIST WORK today. The US, Germany, and Austria are post-genocidal societies that currently house resurgent fascist movements, a fact that North American organizations must vigilantly recognize.
The Nazis intensified the racialization of the German language, and destroyed and murdered 90% of German-speaking Jewry—not to mention 4.5 million Yiddish-speaking Jews, who made up 85-90% of the European population and roughly half of Yiddish speakers worldwide. This genocide was also a linguacide and an epistemicide. Furthermore, the Nazis systemically persecuted and murdered queer people. They also systemically persecuted and murdered Sinti and Roma and systemically pursued disabled people and subjected them to forced sterilization and murder. Yet, these indelible facts are less and less reflected in what AATG and the majority of German organizational programming superficially refer to as Vergangenheitsbewältigung. The US is a nation founded on the exploitation and murder of Indigenous peoples and slaves. The German settlements in the US are part of an extensive network of exploitation and genocide, linguicide, and epistemicide. Ours is a historical moment when knowledge about racialized fascism needs to be deepened, not soft-pedaled.
• An anti-racist stance would also seek to account for the organization’s own various positions on race and racism-in-language (including linguistic imperialism and the attempted extirpation of Yiddish) since its inception in 1926.
• An anti-racist stance would mean helping members, teachers, and learners develop skills around identifying racism and white supremacy in promotional materials that use diversity-messaging for profit, rather than for justice.
5. Whether volunteer or paid, WHITE-ONLY LEADERSHIP IS NEVER AN OPTION in the twenty-first century in our representative organizations, nor is mere leadership by People of Color a silver bullet for overcoming white supremacy.
Colleagues with specialty in and advocacy for diversity, inclusion, and anti-colonization should be engaged for more powerful positions (e.g., on executive and advisory boards, etc.). White AATG executives and personnel must be trained in an ongoing way in racism, anti-colonization, and the interactional phenomena of white fragility (DiAngelo 2011). People from underrepresented groups should be recruited for leadership positions.
• Resources and training materials on identifying and dismantling white supremacy should be available and accessible for all levels of the membership and for all ages of learners.
• In order to communicate better with the entire membership, leaders of the organization need to attend Alle lernen Deutsch committee meetings and take that committee’s guidance on a range of structural, personnel, and curricular questions and issues.
• The organization’s leadership should invite a comprehensive external review of racism and white supremacy within the organization, over the course of its history.
• By its centennial in 2026, the organization should be able to report back on the positive impact these steps above will have demonstrated for members and constituents.
6. Our organization’s personnel must MODEL GOOD INTERACTIONAL / INSTITUTIONAL BEHAVIOR, giving up defensiveness and other symptoms of white fragility that get in the way of meaningful impact for Students and Scholars of Color.
Being a Scholar of Color requires life-long stamina—a fact of experience that white leaders can indeed learn from. Part of the experience of cultivating stamina and tolerance for discomfort means that white leaders become willing not just to amplify virtuous and uncontroversial efforts toward diversity, nor to focus just on the negative effects of specific persons’ actions, but rather assessing—in a sober, fearless way—the structures of the organization that have perpetuated racist practices. Especially when one’s first impulse is to defend the organization or to correct misperceptions, leaders need to focus on listening for opportunities to respond to critical feedback, with questions like “What can we do about this?”, “How has this impacted you, and others?”, and “What can we enable our membership to do about this?”
• The organization can seek out ways to challenge the organization’s traditional framing of Germanness / German culture, and this framing’s passive reliance on linguistic nativism or the fortification of white interests.
• The organization should respond to organizational criticism not with personal defensiveness or an insistent need for reassurance, but with an energetic courage to dialogue in uncomfortable and unsettling ways that will yield true growth. Leaders should ask for help when the circumstances require, which is often.
• The organization should sponsor anti-racism workshops at local and national levels, especially for white instructors.
• The organization should develop a clear feedback structure and a response/accountability protocol for members to use. It should establish clear channels for critical feedback, which may begin at the national or chapter levels. It can utilize the website to provide organizational feedback and criticism.
• The organization should respond to criticism and issues of racism as they occur, and publicly (potentially on the website) so as to engage, and model engagement, in an open manner.
• The organization must recognize that many people in precarious positions may well be cautious about voicing specific concerns publicly, despite insistent pleas from the more powerful that they do so. Anonymity is more important for some than for others. Tenured professors have more of a responsibility than do graduate students and student teachers for calling attention to inequity, violence, or misrepresentation.
• The organization should establish spaces where People of Color, graduate students and contingent labor, and other underrepresented and marginalized groups, can voice concern and provide critiques without fear of professional retribution.
• The organization can ask the membership to help undertake these transformations, rather than assuming the burden is on leadership alone.
7. EMPOWER ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITTEES for autonomous, supported work and real impact.
Committee work within the organization around ending white supremacy, accounting for colonialism, and in developing partnerships with Organizations of Color should be supported by the leadership and be informed by the AATG membership at large.
• The organization can afford resources, autonomy, and funding to the Alle lernen Deutsch committee, so the members have power to effect change for real diversity, including in committee composition.
• Committee members should recruit and retain their cohort semi-autonomously, as opposed to a top-down approach.
• The organization should provide Alle lernen Deutsch committee with funding to coordinate workshops for white educators to examine the microaggressions they may perpetuate, and to acknowledge their own complicity in systems of inequity.
• The organization can organize Alle lernen Deutsch-sponsored panels on constructions of whiteness in German history, German Studies and German programs in the United States.
• The organization should articulate clear goals and actions for Alle lernen Deutsch and give them primary space in AATG future programming to make their discussion and actions a visible priority.
• The committee may consider renaming/reforming Alle lernen Deutsch, if the committee finds it does not reflect a suitable message.
• Again, the organization can ask the membership to help undertake these transformations, rather than assuming the burden is on leadership alone.
8. We must MAKE UP FOR LOST TIME on diversity in German Studies over the past quarter-century, so that we do not find ourselves with a white supremacy problem another thirty years from now.
Diversity has been an explicit theme in German Studies since the 1980s, but the efforts have too often been sporadic, artificial, and opportunistic. While Scholars of Color have made many meaningful contributions towards transformation, they have been tokenized, minimized, and tone-policed. Well-meaning diversity initiatives (see Sara Ahmed in appendix) have focused on efforts rather than effects, affording white leaders reassurance rather than clarity. We must make up for lost time and carry out efforts on all fronts.
• A special summit should be convened that would invite and pay People of Color, differently abled people, and queer constituents of the organization (at all ages) to present and identify concrete steps to move forward.
• A conference with the objective of having AATG’s critical inventory (see Point 5) published by 2025, i.e. ready for its centennial, should be arranged and simulcast.
9. Our representative organization needs clear principles that are ETHICAL, COURAGEOUS, HEALING, and INCLUSIVE. The first priority of the organization should be commitment to anti-racism, diversity, inclusive access, and anti-colonization.
The organization should evaluate its impact on minoritized groups by listening to them. It should cease defending past decisions from a place of white fragility, and instead acknowledge wrongs and areas of complicity, and work toward righting systemic injustices.
• The organization can promote gender-just language.
• The organization should focus on the community of people speaking German (as learners and users of various sorts), as opposed to upholding the myth of the German native speaker.
• The organization should explicitly acknowledge how the organization has been structured around whiteness historically, and describe how that is going to be changed.
• Review of proposals, projects, and grants at AATG should be evaluated based on rubrics that explicitly express diversity and other core justice principles of the organization.
• The organization can envision what work it can do to advocate for institutional change to support and advocate for diverse faculty in the field, including around issues of insecure labor, tenure and promotion, etc.
10. Utilize real knowledge about real diversity, and recognize that it costs good money, just like anything else worth fighting for. PAY EXPERTS AND SCHOLARS OF COLOR for their knowledge, efforts and time.
When engaging speakers and guest lecturers of Color, remember that their work as scholars, creative minds, and inquirers varies widely. It is not their responsibility, nor are they interested primarily in serving as fixers for institutional racism, diversity problems, and white supremacy. It is unethical to ask/invite People of Color to do the work of diversifying the organization and discipline without compensating them for their time. Do not ask People of Color to volunteer their time to do this work. Instead, pay experts trained in mediation and diversity, particularly those who come from Black German, People of Color, and Refugee scholarship traditions.
"White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism" by Robin DiAngelo
"Who Can Speak and Who Is Heard/Hurt: Facing Problems of Race, Racism, and Ethnic Diversity in the Humanities in Germany" eds. Mahmoud Arghavan, Nicole Hirschfelder, Luvena Kopp, Katharina Motyl
"On Being Included" by Sara Ahmed
"Living a Feminist Life" by Sara Ahmed
"So you want to talk about Race" by Ijeoma Oluo
"Written/Unwritten: Diversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenure" edited by Patricia Mathews
"Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia" edited by Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs et. al.
"Undeutsch" and "Schwarze Deutsche" by Fatima El-Tayeb
"Habeas Viscus" by Alexander Weheliye
"Remapping Black Germany" edited by Sara Lennox
"‘... weil ihre Kultur so ist.’ Narrative des antimuslimischen Rassismus" by Yasemin Shooman
Ansley, Frances Lee. 1989. “Stirring the Ashes: Race, Class and the Future of Civil Rights Scholarship.” Cornell Law Review 74: 993ff.
Adam J. Toth, Lecturer of German, University of North Carolina- Wilmington
Ervin Malakaj, Assistant Professor of German Studies, University of British Columbia
Juliane Schicker, Assistant Professor of German, Carleton College
Regine Criser, Assistant Professor of German, University of North Carolina Asheville
Kathryn Sederberg, Assistant Professor of German, Kalamazoo College
Emily Frazier-Rath, PhD Student, CU Boulder
Silja Weber, Columbia University
Javier Samper Vendrell, Assistant Professor of German Studies, Grinnell College
Beverly Weber, Associate Professor of German Studies, University of Colorado Boulder
Vance Byrd, Associate Professor of German Studies, Grinnell College
Dr. Vanessa Plumly, German Lecturer & Program Coordinator, SUNY New Paltz
Emina Musanovic, PhD
Tiffany Florvil, Assistant Professor of 20th Century European Women's and Gender History, University of New Mexico
Katrin Bahr, UMass Amherst
Meyer Weinshel, PhD Candidate, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Amanda Randall, Assistant Professor of German, St Olaf College
Amy Young, Associate Professor of German, Central College
Didem Uca, PhD Candidate, University of Pennsylvania
Adrienne Merritt, FIR German, Oberlin
Heike Polster, Associate Professor of German, University of Memphis
Janice McGregor, Assistant Professor of German, University of Arizona
Brett Sterling, Assistant Professor of German, University of Arkansas
Rosemarie Peña, BGHRA President
Seth Hulse, High School Teacher and College Adjunct, Travis HS (Richmond ,TX) and Houston Community College
Maureen Gallagher, Visiting Assistant Professor of German, University of Pittsburgh
Dylan Goldblatt, Instructional Assistant Professor of German, University of Mississippi
Friederike Windel, PhD Student, CUNY Graduate Center
Tiarra Cooper, UMass Amherst graduate student
Sara Lennox, Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts Amherst
David Gramling, Associate Professor of German Studies, University of Arizona
Lauren Hansen, Visiting Assistant Professor, New College of Florida
Donald Muldrow Griffith Prof. Fountainhead Tanz Theatre, Black International Cinema Berlin, THE COLLEGIUM Forum & Television Program Berlin, FootPrints in the SandExhibition Berlin, Producer, Director, Choreographer, Moderator.
Maria Grewe, John Jay College-CUNY
Jason Williamson, Senior Lecturer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Joela Jacobs, Assistant Professor of German Studies, University of Arizona
Krsna Santos, PhD Candidate, Michigan State University
Jason Groves, Assistant Professor of Germanics, University of Washington
Natasha A. Kelly, academic activist, author, artist
Evan Torner, Assistant Professor of German, University of Cincinnati
Beth Ann Muellner, Associate Professor, College of Wooster, Ohio
Nadine Moore, Secondary ELA Teacher, DoDEA and German Studies student, Oregon State
Nichole M. Neuman, Postdoctoral Fellow, Freie Universät Berlin
Paul Buchholz, Assistant Professor of German Studies, Emory University
Sonya Donaldson, Associate Professor of World Literature, New Jersey City University
Vanessa Hester, PhD Student, German Language Instructor, University of Washington
Mariah Ligas, Antietam MHS
Andrea Bryant, PhD Candidate in German, Georgetown University
Brenna Byrd, Assistant Professor, U of Kentucky
Carol Anne Costabile-Heming, Professor of German, University of North Texas, AATG President (2010-2011)
Lindsay Preseau, Assistant Professor - Educator of German, University of Cincinnati
Catherine Grimm, Assistant Teaching Professor, Miami University
Helga Druxes, Professor of German, Williams College
Priscilla Layne, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Gabriel Cooper, Assistant Professor of German, Oberlin College
Karen R. Achberger, Professor of German, St. Olaf College
Sigrid Fertig, Lecturer of German, University at Buffalo
Katherine Arens, Professor, U of Texas at Austin
Kiley Kost, Graduate Instructor, University of Minnesota
Gizem Arslan, Lecturer in German, Southern Methodist University
Claire E. Scott, Teaching Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Hannah Vandegrift Eldridge, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Christiane Steckenbiller, Assistant Professor of German, Colorado College
Petra Watzke, Visiting Assistant Professor of German, Skidmore College
Ian W. Wilson, Associate Professor of German and Humanities, Centre College
Nalan Erbil, PhD, Lecturer in Turkish, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Tammis Thomas, Professor, University of Houston Downtown
Necia Chronister, Associate Professor, Kansas State University
Carola Daffner, Associate Professor of German, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Kristin Dickinson, Assistant Professor of German Studies, University of Michigan
Chantelle Warner, Associate Professor, University of Arizona
Doria Killian, PhD Candidate in German, Georgetown University
Robin Ellis, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Virginia
Arne Koch, Assoc Prof German and Dean of Global Engagement, Colby College
Leigh York, PhD candidate, Cornell University
Sabine Gross, Professor of German, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Karin Maxey, Visiting Lecturer of German and Writing, Northeastern University
Bradley Boovy, Assistant Professor, Oregon State University
Carrie Collenberg-Gonzalez, Assistant Professor, Portland State University
Jonathan Wipplinger, Associate Professor of German, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Devon Donohue-Bergeler, Senior Lecturer and Director of the German Program, University of Texas at San Antonio
Olivia Albiero, Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University
Kyle Frackman, Assistant Professor of German & Scandinavian Studies, University of British Columbia
Maria Stehle, Associate Professor, University of Tennessee Knoxville
Gabi Kathöfer, Associate Professor, University of Denver
Sebastian Heiduschke, Associate Professor, Oregon State University
Ilinca Iurascu, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia
Verena Hutter, Lecturer, Portland State University
Andrea Schmidt, Instructor, Portland State University
Angelica Fenner, Associate Professor, University of Toronto
Laurie McLary, Professor of German, University of Portland
Valerie Weinstein, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati
Daniel Gilfillan, Associate Professor, Arizona State University
Heather I. Sullivan, Professor of German, Trinity University
Sonja Fritzsche, Associate Dean and Professor of German, Michigan State University
Carrie Smith, Professor and Chair of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta
Susan Bernofsky, Associate Professor of Writing and Director, Literary Translation at Columbia, Columbia University
Anna Zimmer, Assistant Professor of German, International Studies, & Honors, Northern Michigan University
Lauren Shizuko Stone, Assistant Professor of German, CU Boulder
Anna Holian, Associate Professor of Modern European History, Arizona State University
Maggie Rosenau, PhD Candidate, CU Boulder
Anna Parkinson, Associate Professor of German, Northwestern University
Sara Hall, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Rebekka White, Graduate Instructor, Florida State University
Jamele Watkins, Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University
Marion Gerlind, Director, Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies
Elizabeth Mittman, Associate Professor of German, Michigan State University
Julie Shoults, Lecturer in German, Muhlenberg College
Tianyi Kou, PhD Candidate, Michigan State University
Leslie Morris, Professor of German, University of Minnesota
Carol A. Leibiger, Associate Professor, University of South Dakota
Erin McGlothlin, Associate Professor, Washington University in St. Louis
Jill Suzanne Smith, Associate Professor of German, Bowdoin College
Kate Brooks, PhD candidate, University of Minnesota
Daniel Nemeth, MA Student, Michigan State University
Steven Helock, Graduate Instructor, Florida State University
Jette Gindner, PhD Candidate, Cornell University
Sarah L. Richardson, PhD student, Anthropology, The George Washington University
Helga Thorson, Associate Professor, University of Victoria
Per Urlaub, Associate Professor & Associate Dean of the Language Schools, Middlebury College
Michael Hutchins, Associate Professor of German and International Studies, Indiana University Southeast
Jasmin Krakenberg, Visiting Lecturer in Germanics, University of Washington
Scott Denham, Charles A. Dana Professor of German Studies, Davidson College
Matt Harring, German Teacher, Plainfield South High School
Elizabeth Bridges, Associate Professor of German, Rhodes College, President of the Coalition of Women in German
Hester Baer, Associate Professor and Head of Germanic Studies, University of Maryland, College Park
Charlotte Schallié, Associate Professor, University of Victoria
Diane F. Richardson, Visiting Assistant Professor, US Military Academy West Point
Hazel Rhodes, PhD student, Columbia University
Friederike Fichtner, Assistant Professor, California State University, Chico
Julie Larson-Guenette, Faculty Associate, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Moritz W. Meutzner, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Minnesota
David Limburg, Professor of German, Guilford College
Burkhard Henke, Professor of German Studies, Davidson College
Jennifer Zahrt, PhD, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Barbara Nagel, Assistant Prof, Princeton
Simon Schoch, PhD Student, NYU
Helena Ruf, Director of Language Instruction, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Cori Crane, Associate Professor of the Practice and German Language Program Director, Duke University
Brigetta (Britt) Abel, Assistant Professor (NTT) of German Studies, Macalester College
Brigitte Woloszyn, Former High School Teacher of German
Mary Allison, Instructional Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University
Alison Phipps, Unesco Chair RILA, University of Glasgow
Richard Watts, Associate Professor of French, University of Washington Seattle
Jan Behrs, Visiting DAAD Professor, Northwestern University
Yannleon Chen, PhD Candidate, University of Arizona
Jeanne Schueller, Faculty Associate, Language Program Director and Director of Undergraduate Studies, WI-AATG Chapter President, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Matthew J. Sherman, PhD Candidate, UT at Austin
Stephanie Galasso, Visiting Assistant Professor, Brown University
Andrea Dortmann, Language Program Director at New York University
Nathan Taylor, wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Goethe University Frankfurt
Alys George, Assistant Professor of German, New York University
Jana Gierden, PhD Student & German Language Instructor, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Barbara Kosta, Professor and Head, University of Arizona
Barbara Schmenk, Professor, University of Waterloo
Britta Kallin, Associate Professor of German, Georgia Institute of Technology
B. Venkat Mani, Professor of German and Director of Center for South Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Karin Bauer, Professor of German Studies, McGill University
Tobias Wilczek, PhD Student, University of Toronto
John L. Plews, Professor of German, Saint Mary's University
Stefan Soldovieri, Associate Professor of German
Miriam Rainer, PhD Candidate, Brown University
Karolina May-Chu, Assistant Professor of German, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Geoffrey Winthrop-Young, Professor and Head, University of British Columbia
Peter Woods-Adjunct Professor of German, Diablo Valley College
Ulrike Kugler, Deputy Director, Goethe-Institut Toronto
Bryan Klausmeyer, Assistant Professor of German, Virginia Tech
Friedhelm Bertulies, Assistant Professor, Daegu University
Delene Case White, Lecturer of German, Keene State College
Hunter Bivens, Associate Professor of Literature, UC Santa Cruz
Katherine Bowers, Assistant Professor of Slavic Studies, University of British Columbia
Jessica Wood, Lecturer of German, Northern Arizona University
Holly Yanacek, Assistant Professor of German, James Madison University
Dylan Lewis, German MA student, Texas Tech University
Jeremy Redlich, Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Fuji Women's University
Tanvi Solanki, Assistant Professor of German & Comparative Literature, Yonsei University
Melissa Elliot, PhD Candidate in German Studies, Michigan State University
Gabriela Fischer, Language Lab Director, Instructor for German, Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Culture, Mount Allison University
Karin James, Instructor, University of Manitoba
Sun-Young Kim, Faculty Lecturer of German, McGill University
Ilona Vandergriff, Professor of German, San Francisco State University
Lisa Jennings, Director, Valparaiso Core Program, Valparaiso University
Dr. Jessica Riviere, instructional consultant, the Ohio State University
Sara Marsh, German Teacher and PhD Student, Germanic & Slavic Studies, University of Waterloo
Michaela J. Ruppert Smith, Ph.D, Adjunct Faculty Member, German Studies, College of Charleston, Charleston , SC
Dr. Aurora Romero, Pre-Major Advisor and Lecturer of German, Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN
Alec Cattell, Assistant Professor of Practice in Humanities and Applied Linguistics, Texas Tech University
Allison Bajt, German Sessional Instructor, University of Calgary
Paul Fleming, Director, Society for the Humanities, Cornell University
Jacy Tackett, PhD Candidate, Cornell University
Matthew H. Birkhold, Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University
Seth Peabody, Visiting Assistant Professor, St. Olaf College
Thomas Baginski, Professor Emeritus, College of Charleston
Mariaenrica Giannuzzi, PhD student, Cornell University
Elizabeth Loentz, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Brandy E. Wilcox, PhD Candidate, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Melissa Sheedy, Lecturer, University of California, Santa Barbara
Brigitte Prutti, Professor of German and Chair, University of Washington
Richard Block, Associate Professor, University of Washington
Ellwood Wiggins, Assistant Professor, University of Washington, Seattle
Julius Rodriguez, MA student, University of Washington
S. Kye Terrasi, Lecturer, University of Washington
Caroline Kita, Assistant Professor of German, Washington University in St. Louis
Kira Thurman, Assistant Professor of German and History, University of Michigan
Dr Leanne Dawson, University of Edinburgh
Adrian Daub, Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature, Stanford University
Suzuko Knott Assistant Professor Connecticut College
Saskia Hintz, Senior Instructor, CU Boulder
Alexander L. Compton, Doctoral Student in History, Emory University
Annegret Oehme, Assistant Professor, University of Washington, Seattle