Visiting Instructor of German and Russian Studies Peggy Piesche delivered invited lectures on Nov. 19 and 20 at the University of Bayreuth.
In her first lecture, Piesche presented her ideas for the new Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies with a project titled “Zukunft Internet und afrikanische Diasporas. Transkulturelle und transmediale Umbrüche in einer Literatur (wissenschaft) in Bewegung” (Future Internet and African Diasporas. Transcultural and transmedial shifts in a German studies in motion”). Piesche is a founding member of the Academy.
In her second lecture, “‘Borderless and Brazen’: The Making of a Black German Diaspora in Literature, Activism, and Academia,” Piesche focused on a “diasporic shift in German studies” and “discussed the complicating notion of diaspora and its shift within the last two decades.”
According to Piesche, “The existence of people of color in Germany is widely viewed as a very contemporary phenomenon, usually related to the period after the Second World War, and mainly focused upon the heterogenous experiences of immigrants from various parts of the world. Rooted in a reductionist perception of Germanness this position elucidates an important connection between timidly contested racial stereotypes and the myth of an almost complete absence of people of color during the powerful rise of the German nation-state.”
Piesche added that such thinking “not only overlooks the historical presence of native Germans of African descent but also denies their very specific diasporic survival-knowledge which has been violently marginalized and silenced from the colonial period on until today.”