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Race, Migration, and Critical Whiteness Studies in the German and European Context

Collection Focus

This project examines race in the German context to challenge conceptions of German as a ‘white’ language spoken only by those of (white) German ‘heritage.’  It also sheds light on the particularities and similarities between the construction and experience of race in America and in Europe. Migration studies in the German context has grown in the past decades to a field that focuses on marginalized communities, experiences of flight and asylum seeking, and a variety of genres in addition to personal accounts or ethnographies.

This collection of resources gathers work by scholars, literary authors, graphic novelists, and film directors to support research by faculty members in the German program, as well as related fields including European Studies, International Relations, Folklore, Languages and Cultures of Asia, and African-American Studies. Topics such as African American-German exchange, German immigration and Native American indigenous studies, language and race, and the invention and deployment of categories such as migrant, refugee, and asylum seeker are featured.

The collection includes authors of both dominant/majority and targeted/minority identities across all its categories. It also recognizes that identities are intersectionalthat religion, race, ethnicity, migration status, and language interact with each other as well as with categories such as gender, sexuality, and social class in ways that many of the authors included address directly. Finally, inclusion of a given work in this collection does not mean that its positions are entirely ‘correct’ or above criticism; rather, one of the research areas opened by this collection is the potential to use these works to illuminate one another in both their contributions and their areas of ignorance or inattention.

Support for this collection was provided by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education with funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

Search Terms

"Critical Whiteness" is not a subject term within library catalogs at the moment, although the term may appear in titles or other descriptions, and so is worth searching within catalogs and databases. Below are other search terms useful in discovering resources on the topic of Critical Whiteness in the German and European Context within UW-Madison's Library Catalog and Worldcat

Authors, Black -- Germany
Cultural assimilation
Political culture / Political aspects
Race awareness -- Germany
Racism / Racism in language
Women, Black -- Germany

Related UW–Madison holdings

Below are pertinent resources not purchased with collection funds provided by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (call numbers for Memorial Library unless otherwise noted):

Additional Sources for Research