- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Diversity Related Research
Pavel’s dissertation is entitled The Making of “Jew Clubs”: Performing Jewishness and Antisemitism in European Soccer and Fan Cultures. It examines why the European soccer clubs FC Bayern Munich, Austria Vienna, Ajax Amsterdam, and Tottenham Hotspur (London) are known as “Jew Clubs,” although none of these clubs is explicitly Jewish. Using the “Jew Clubs” as case studies, this study unpacks the connection between collective memories and identity formations in post-1945 Europe through the lens of sports. It shows how “soccer” serves as a contested space for questions of identity, subjectivity, and belonging, including antisemitism, philosemitism, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and xenophobia, as well as other forms of antidiscrimination activities.
Pavel presented a keynote on “Antisemitism in European Football” at the “Changing the Chants Conference” (Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Oświęcim (Poland), 2021).
Pavel has also published several books and articles concerning antisemitism and other forms of discrimination. His book 2021 book Antisemitismus in Fußball-Fankulturen: Der Fall RB Leipzig analyzes resentment against the German soccer club RB Leipzig. It presents an innovative and thought-provoking case study of antisemitism and fan cultures in contemporary Germany. The book shows that although RB Leipzig is not addressed as Jewish, the resentment-based forms of communication nevertheless express various antisemitic stereotypes regarding modernity, globalization, and inauthenticity.
Pavel edited the volume Football and Discrimination: Antisemitism and Beyond (2021), which takes a close look at discrimination in football in order to illuminate our understanding of the interaction between sports and wider society, politics and culture, particularly in terms of the (re)production of identity.
He also co-edited Antigypsyism and Film / Antiziganismus und Film (2020). This book contains academic articles and essays as well as interviews with filmmakers grouped in four thematic sections: antigypsyism in film, the question of ethics, strategies of subversion and antigypsyism in comparison to other forms of racism.
Pavel’s recent articles include:
“Zwischen Anfeindungen und Bildungsprojekten: Antisemitismus und Gegenstrategien im deutschen Fußball.” In Heulen mit den Wölfen: Der 1. FC Nürnberg und der Ausschluss seiner jüdischen Mitglieder, by Bernd Siegler. Fürth: Starfruit Publications, with Robert Claus (2022).
“Antisemitic Metaphors in German Soccer Fan Culture Directed at RB Leipzig.” In Football Nation: The Playing Fields of German Culture, History, and Society, edited by Rebeccah Dawson, Bastian Heinsohn, Oliver Knabe, and Alan McDougall. Spektrum: Publications of the German Studies Association 25. New York: Berghahn Books (2022).
“ ‘Defenders of European Culture’: ‘Refugee Crisis’, Football Hooliganism, and the Right-Wing Shift in Europe.” In Football, Politics and Identity, edited by James Carr, Martin J. Power, Stephen Millar, and Daniel Parnell. Critical Research in Football. Abingdon, Oxon, New York: Routledge, with Peter Römer and Robert Claus (2021).
“Antisemitismus im Fußball — Der Fall RB Leipzig.” Belltower.News. June 1, 2021. https://www.belltower.news/tacheles-antisemitismus-im-fussball-der-fall-rb-leipzig-116497/.
Jon is a LSA Collegiate Fellow and Assistant Professor of German focusing on topics of migration, diversity and trans- and multilingualism in the contemporary German-speaking world. His book project, tentatively titled Resistance, Resilience, Representation: Unmaking the Myths of Post-Wende German Identity traces the intersectional networks of authors, activists, and journalists pushing to reimagine the multidirectional history of Post-Reunification Germany beneath the hegemonic facade of Germany's celebrated memory culture.
In addition to his research, Dr. Cho-Polizzi is also an accomplished literary translator, whose work centers the voices of traditionally marginalized communities in the German-speaking world. Recent and upcoming book length publications include: Djinns by Fatma Aydemir (2024), Ada's Room by Sharon Dodua Otoo (2023), De-Integrate: A Jewish Survival Guide for the 21st Century by Max Czollek (2023), and Your Homeland is our Nightmare: An Antifascist Essay Collection co-edited with Fatma Aydemir and Hengameh Yaghoobifarah (2022). He was recently awarded a Spring 2023 Residency at the Literary Colloquium Berlin through the TOLEDO-Mobilitätsfonds and Aufenthaltsstipendium for the 2023 Internationales Treffen der Übersetzer·innen deutschsprachiger Literatur [The 2023 International Meetup for Translators of German-Language Literature].
Veronica Cook Williamson
Veronica is broadly interested in migration and translation studies and how major German cultural institutions stage ‘transnational’ or multilingual collaboration in ways that mask siloed understandings of linguistic, ethnic, or national borders, while simultaneously creating opportunities to re-negotiate those same demarcations by individual participants. Her dissertation project, tentatively titled “Postmonolingual Treffpunkte: Dialogic Translation and Participatory Worlding in Contemporary Germany,” takes up literary publications, museum practices, and theater workshops from the past two decades to articulate the productive fluidity of ideas about German cultures, particularly alongside a heightened awareness of newcomers from the Middle East in Germany. Some initiatives she engages with include the literary portal Weiter Schreiben, the theater workshop series IN ZUKUNFT, and the museum-related projects migrantas and Multaka: Treffpunkt Museum.
Since joining the department, she also co-curated the online exhibit for the William L. Clements Library titled ‘No, not even for a picture:’ Re-examining the Native Midwest and Tribes’ Relations to the History of Photography as well as the in-person version of the exhibit on display from October 27, 2021 until February 26, 2022 at the Saginaw Art Museum in Michigan.
Kristin’s book, DisOrientations: German Turkish Cultural Contact in Translation (1811-1946), appeared with Penn State University Press in May 2021. In it, she takes on the discourses of Orientalism and Westernization, each of which asserts a one-way movement of modernity from West to East tied to a simplistic understanding of translation as a mode of one-way transfer from an original to a secondary copy. Within this configuration, German Orientalist translations often served as a mode of gathering knowledge about a Turkish other and discursively fixating it in time and space; meanwhile, late Ottoman and modern Turkish authors translating from western European source texts often understood themselves as doomed to merely replicate what western literature had already accomplished. DisOrientations highlights translations between German and (Ottoman) Turkish from the 19th and early 20th centuries that do not conform to this model of one-way movement. By engaging multiple time frames, overlapping with authorial practice, and linking disparate literary traditions across retroactively applied periodizations, these translations do not merely orient themselves toward an original they are assumed to follow. They serve rather as complex points of connection that upend the distinctions between West/East, original/copy, and past/present.
Together with Yopie Prins, Kristin Dickinson also manages the site Translating Michigan. Highlighting vibrant multilingual and migrant communities from across the state, the projects housed here show that Michigan is far from a monolingual or homogeneous space.
She is also the co-curator of the photography exhibit Visualizing Translation: Homeland and Heimat in Detroit and Dortmund. Featuring photography by Theon Delgado Sr. and Peyman Azhari, this exhibit prompts us to reconsider the meanings of Heimat, home, and homeland from a pluralistic and multilingual perspective.
Duygu is a doctoral student in the department of comparative literature who completed a certificate in German Studies. Her dissertation examines the transnational dimensions of the initial post-war Turkish-German media networks in the contexts of publishing houses, film festivals, literary journals, and television productions from the 1970s onwards. In stark contrast to popular portrayals of the so-called uneducated and speechless migrant, her work shows how Turkish authors, publishers, and producers in West Germany were involved in every aspect of the media landscape at the time—producing their own thoughts and reflections on the “life” of the migrant worker. By doing so, Duygu's research presents an approach to aesthetics as being intrinsic to everyday activity in the context of immigration, which is derived by material possibilities and challenges. Her portrayal of the unexamined media relations also unearths an unofficial archive of Turkish-German daily aesthetic relations, while also highlighting theoretical reflection on the process of archivization and the practices through which archives are created out of individual relations to objects.
Julia's new book project is entitled The Future of Ruins. This project will analyze four contemporary ruin sites: the (Roman and pre-Roman) ruins of Palmyra, Syria; the London Mithraeum; Frankfurt’s Archaeological Garden; and the Pergamon Altar in Berlin’s Pergamonmuseum. Hell connects the (re)framing of these ancient European and non-European sites to the contemporary crisis of the west’s postwar global order. These ruin sites, she argues, are (re)framed at a moment of crisis with the future of this global order in mind. Re-affirming the geopolitical imaginary of this western order, these places function as political-aesthetic markers, reestablishing the spatio-temporal orientation within a specific nomos by fashioning space and mastering time.
Onyx’s dissertation, “Exploring Blackness in Postwar German Children’s and Youth Literature” critically analyzes Blackness in German-language children’s and youth literature published from 1945 to the present. Onyx also recently presented on the role(s) of Blackness in postwar Mädchenliteratur (literature for girls) at the 2022 German Studies Association. She also completed a practicum at the Goethe Institute in Atlanta as part of the University of Michigan museum studies certificate program. There, she organized a hybrid event called "Fighting Colonialism in the Streets of Berlin" and the virtual talk "Traveling While Black."
There are inherent problems with DEI missions in departments and at institutions that are predominantly white. One such problem is that the careers of white people involved with DEI or anti-racist work indirectly benefit from racism when their work is disseminated or otherwise positively valued. We add this work to our resumes, describe it in our review portfolios, and put it on websites. While I believe it is important that this work is shared, the benefit we receive from this sharing constitutes a new form of exploitation. I encourage my institution to acknowledge this and think through solutions.
Annemarie is a Chomskyan linguist. She teaches and writes within a Chomskyan-inspired model of political and academic activism that challenges colonial power structures in the Dutch-speaking world and beyond. As director of the Dutch Studies program, she takes her students on a journey toward a decolonial language program, the first of its kind on our campus and a model for other language programs. Toebosch is the director of Dutch Studies and affiliate faculty in Judaic Studies and in the Michigan Community Scholars Program. Her teaching focus in language and culture courses includes comparative Holocaust studies and decoloniality.
You can find a link to her faculty profile with Judaic studies here.
She has also published articles, delivered lectures, and organized an exhibit relating to issues of race and memorialization:
Report: "Connecting Language Programs around Student-Informed Anti-racist Teaching." Research working group with Samer Ali, Kristen Bagdasarian, Corey Dulin, Julie Evershed, Silan Fadlallah, Marisol Fila, Myla Lyons, Philomena Meechan, Vannessa Mkwe, Teresa Satterfield, Mayna Tyrrell, Harrison Watson, Rachel Willis, and Kourtney Young. Report submitted on February 7, 2022. https://lsa.umich.edu/lrc/language-teaching/anti-racism-and-language-classes.html
"Dutch Studies: A Decolonial Revision", with Mars De Ritis, Tiffany Ng, Mieke Zuiderweg, Ton Broos, and Karla Vandersypen. Exhibit at the University of Michigan Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library. January 17-April 4, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q08gjSF0DVs.
Yom HaShoah address. Invited presentation at Yom HaShoah/Holocaust Observance, Beth Tikvah Congregation, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, USA, 6 April, 2021. (lsa.umich.edu/german/undergraduate-students/dutch-flemish-studies/yom-hashoah-address.html).
“Transcending Borders to Global Authorship”. With Lucy Scott and Denice Gravenstijn, . In Shenandoah, The Peak. https://shenandoahliterary.org/thepeak/transcending-borders-to-global-authorship/. Text accompanying “Flame Trees”, translation by Lucy Scott and Denice Gravensijn of Vamba Sherif’s short story “Flamboyante Bomen”. June 2020.
"Translating Anti-Racism." Research working group with Olga Panteleeva, Tiffany Ng, Bryan Roby, Henrike Florusbosch, Larry Gant, Naomi André et al. Humanities Collaboratory, 5x5 Incubator Grant. https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/collaboratory/2020/02/03/translating-anti-racism/. University of Michigan 2019-2020.
“De President die de Verenigde Staten Zou Moeten Kiezen.” Joop (BNNVARA). 3 November. 2020. Web.https://joop.bnnvara.nl/opinies/de-president-die-de-verenigde-staten-zou-moeten-kiezen.
“De Ene Standrechtelijke Executie Is De Andere Niet.” Joop (BNNVARA). 2 July. 2019. Web.https://joop.bnnvara.nl/opinies/de-ene-standrechtelijke-executie-is-de-andere-niet. Reprinted in Histori Bersamain English as “Not All Summary Executions Are Created Equal” (Translation Toebosch) https://historibersama.com/not-all-summary-executions-are-created-equal/ and in Bahasa Indonesia as “Tak Semua Eksekusi Singkat Dianggap Sama”. https://historibersama.com/tak-semua-eksekusi-singkat-dianggap-sama-joop-nl/?lang=id
“Questions for NIOD by Dr. Annemarie Toebosch”. Histori Bersama. Played at a closed round table discussion to raise concerns about the 4-year research program ‘Independence, decolonisation, violence and war in Indonesia, 1945-1950.’ NIOD, Amsterdam, 31 Jan. 2019. https://historibersama.com/questions-for-niod-by-dr-annemarie-toebosch/ and “Diskusi Meja Bundar dengan Tim Peneliti 1945-1949.”
Toebosch, A. "Dutch Memorial Day: Erasing people after death." In The Conversation. q15 August, 2018.
Toebosch, A. "Mars Voor Ons Leven." [March For Our Lives]. In Joop. 29 March, 2018.
Toebosch, A. "De Gladgestreken Symboliek van Anne Frank en Martin Luther King." [The whitewashed symbolism of Anne Frank and Martin Luther King]. In Joop. 09 February, 2018.
You can also find her translations relating to questions of antiracism and anticolonialism on Histori Bersama.
Domenic received a PhD in German Studies from the University of Michigan in 2021. He is currently Assistant Professor of Instruction at Northwestern University. His dissertation, “The Times of Their Lives: Queer and Female Modernism, 1910-1934,” examines women and queer subjects in relation to questions of time, sexuality and subjectivity, which have been central to traditional understandings of modernism. Women and queers are frequently positioned in scholarly accounts as objects and symbols of these concepts rather than as agential subjects who also exert force on them with their own intentions, experiences, and perspectives. Addressing this scholarly limitation, Domenic’s dissertation examines early twentieth-century German-language modernist literature of queer and female authors to explore the relationships between sexuality, time, and subjectivity during an era of unprecedented freedom and opportunities for these groups.
Emily received a PhD in German Studies from the University of Michigan in 2022. Her dissertation, “Composing the Musicking Woman: Gender and Nationalism in the writings of Johanna Kinkel,” examines literary representations of women in music in nineteenth-century Germany to consider how musical life at this time contributed to constructions of gendered and national identity. Building on feminist scholarship in the fields of German studies and musicology, her project examines how women perceived of and represented themselves in terms of music, how literature symbolically constructed the musicking woman, which spaces musicking women had or were denied access to, and how women wrote themselves into national and social narratives through participation in musical culture.
Andrea received a PhD in German Studies from the University of MIchigan in 2019. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the project "Human Rights, Queer Genders and Sexualities since the 1970s" at the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut at Freie Universität Berlin. Her dissertation, "Queer Home Berlin? Making Queer Selves and Spaces in the Divided City, 1945-1970," won the 2020 dissertation prizes of the Coalition of Women in German and the Arbeitskreis Historische Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung. She is currently revising it for publication.
Andrea has also researched and published on queer spaces, on sexuality and gender in museums, on the politics of queer history and the LGBTIQ movement in Germany and the US. With Martin Lücke (FU Berlin) and Benno Gammerl (EUI Florence) she coordinates the network "Queer Contemporary Histories of German-speaking Europe," which brings together queer history scholars from the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Emma received a PhD in History and German Studies from the University of Michigan in 2019. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Laureate Centre for History & Population at UNSW, Sydney. Her dissertation, “Contested Labors: New Guinean Women and the German Colonial Indenture, 1884-1914,” was awarded the Arthur Fondiler Prize for best doctoral dissertation in the Department of History at the University of Michigan in 2019, as well as the Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize for the best doctoral dissertation on a topic in German history written at a North American university by the German Historical Institute, Washington, DC, in 2020. In it, she examines the social, cultural, and political worlds occupied by indentured New Guinean women under German colonial rule, and situates the indentured labor system within the contexts of evolving, often conflicting, colonial understandings of gender, sexuality, and race. With a focus on the lived experiences of indentured women and those close to them, her dissertation shows how New Guineans negotiated European claims to their laboring—sometimes eroticized—bodies and confronted German efforts to align vernacular understandings of gender, sexuality, family, and labor with imperial concerns.
Kira Thurman (affiliated faculty member)
Kira's book, Singing Like Germans: Black Musicians in the Land of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms, traces the history of black classical musicians in Central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It argues that Germans and Austrians located their national identities in music, championing musicians such as Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms as national heroes. The presence of black musicians performing the works of “great German masters,” however, complicated audiences’ understanding of national identity and who had the right to express it. Audiences oscillated between seeing black musicians as the rightful heirs and dangerous outsiders to Austro-German musical culture.