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Saturday, November 2 • 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Colonial Legacies in the US and Germany

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2019 marks the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. In the US, modern-day Germany is often celebrated for its culture of commemoration. However, Germany’s colonial past is not widely understood, the colonial legacy remaining all but illegible to most Germans. At the same time, the renaming of streets, the return of cultural artifacts, and the question of reparations, have become contentious political issues that rhyme with current and past debates in the US. Black Germans have taken the lead on many of these issues but are often rendered invisible in mainstream transatlantic debates. In this panel, we want to unpack how Germany’s colonial legacy is shaping attitudes and policy today. To do so, we want to examine the connections between the US and Germany during the imperial period and look at some of the parallels and differences between German and US history, where de-colonization and the struggle for racial justice were once deeply intertwined.

In doing so, we want to help a younger generation break down the barriers of understanding that have prevented unified Germany from addressing racism, and expand the transatlantic debate.

avatar for SOPHIA BECKER


MPP’19, Harvard Kennedy School


Political Scientist University of Kassel
Joshua Kwesi Aikins is a political scientist, human rights activist and researcher at University of Kassel's Department of Development and Postcolonial Studies, where he is completing his PhD. His research interests include the interaction between western-style and indigenous political... Read More →
avatar for MICHELLE R. MOYD


Associate Director Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society, Indiana University
Michelle Moyd is Associate Professor of History at Indiana University – Bloomington. Her book, Violent Intermediaries: African Soldiers, Conquest, and Everyday Colonialism in German East Africa was published in 2014 by Ohio University Press. She is currently the Associate Director... Read More →

Saturday November 2, 2019 3:45pm - 4:45pm PDT
HKS: Stage 2