From Harlem to Hamburg: Exploring the Intersections of German and African-American Cultures

“From Harlem to Hamburg and Back Again: Intersections of German and African-American Culture” is a one-day symposium considering the surprising intersections between German and African American cultures during the 20th century. The symposium will be held on March 28, 2014 from noon – 6 p.m. at the John Hope Franklin Institute, Smith Warehouse, “The Garage”, Duke University (See location).


  • Keynote: Werner Sollors of Harvard University; topic: “‘Are you occupied territory?’ Black G.I.s in Fiction of the American Occupation of Germany after World War II” (at 4:30 p.m.)
  • Michelle Wright of Northwestern University; topic: “Off the Beaten Path: Theorizing Blackness outside the Middle Passage Epistemology” (at 12 noon)
  • Michelle Eley of NC State University; topic: “Bringing New Perspectives of the Black Diaspora to the Classroom” (at 3:30 p.m.)

In addition, there will be a screening of the German film Gottes Zweite Garnitur (at 1:30 p.m.), “a West German drama that tells the story of Claire, a German woman who falls in love with an African American US soldier. The small West German town on the border with the East is scandalized by this unconventional romance; Michelle Eley has prepared English subtitles for this screening, thereby making the film available to an English-speaking audience for the first time” (

For details and a full schedule, please visit the website. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Prof. Jonathan Wipplinger ( for more information.

The event is free and open to the public.

By Samuel F. Sotillo (Lecturer/Webmaster), with Jonathan Wipplinger (German Program).

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