Past Event

This is not Germany!: Confronting Blackness in the Fatherland.

November 15, 2022
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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Deutsches Haus, 420 West 116th Street, NY, NY 10027

Please join us for "This is not Germany!: Confronting Blackness in the Fatherland." A talk by Paul Edwards followed by a reception. 

About the event:

In this talk, Paul J. Edwards explores the anti-Black rhetoric that emerged in conservative and right-wing circles in Weimar Germany that continued into the Nazi era. In particular, Edwards is fascinated by the specific propaganda that focused on the anxieties of Black American urban life and its imagined deleterious effects on the German populace. Where scholars have previously noted the legal structures transplanted from America’s Jim Crow South into Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg Laws, Edwards examines the rhetorical strategies and cultural productions that reveal the specific fears of a multiracial cosmopolitan nation: a modern state with Black music and dance as the embodied performance of this new unrecognizable Germany.

About the speaker:

Paul J. Edwards is an Assistant Professor of English and Dramatic Literature at New York University, a faculty affiliate with the Ceneter for Ballet and the Arts, and a book reviews editor for The Black Scholar. His research and teaching span across the fields of African American, gender and sexuality, and performance studies. His current book project, The Black Wave: The New Negro Renaissance in Interwar Germany, reveals the effects of the New Negro/Harlem Renaissance in Germany from 1925 to 1938. Drawing from conversations in global Afro-modernism, the book reflects extensive archival research in Germany, Austria, and the United States. At the heart of this project is the insight that the Black arts renaissance extended beyond the known centers of the Black Atlantic and had a profound effect on the cultures of Weimar and Nazi Germany.

Paul has published “Staging the Great Migration: The Chocolate Kiddies and the German Experience of the New Negro Renaissance” on Modernism/modernity‘s Print Plus platform. “‘Bury the gold again before the Europeans bring us their culture’”: Witzblätter and the Paradox of German Anti-Colonialism,” an article focused on popular images of colonial African subjects, can be found in German Studies Review. His most recent work, “The Circumstances of Color: The Jim Crow Translation of Jonny spielt auf,” is available in Modern Drama.