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Curriculum, German Courses, German Film, German Undergraduate Research, Multiculturalism

Stereotyping Afro-German Actors

In German 340, Afro-German Culture and History, we have moved into the project phase and have begun interviewing an amazing group of volunteers who identify themselves as Afro-Germans: An army soldier who was born in Germany, served in the German army, and then moved to the US to enlist in the army; an Afro-German woman of the first postwar generation who had grown up in a boarding school and moved to the US in her mid-twenties; a middle-aged Afro-German writer who moved to the US as an infant and has only recently begun to reflect on what Afro-German means for her. Look for more information as the project continues.

During one of these conversations we also addressed the still rather stereotypical roles Afro-German actors play on German television. Last year, the Norddeutsche Rundfunk broadcast a short documentary on that. The clip is in German, but it basically states that, with few exceptions, black German actors still play mostly asylum seekers, drug bosses, and other “not-normal” characters.

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About GG

Gundolf Graml is Associate Prof. and Dir. of German Studies at Agnes Scott College. He has a Ph.D. in German Studies from the University of Minnesota and has published articles on German and Austrian film and tourism. He is currently writing a book about tourism and Austrian national identity after 1945. Other research projects include critical whiteness studies and, most recently, investigations into the connection between memory and nature. At ASC, Gundolf Graml teaches courses on a broad range of topics, from German 101 to German and Austrian Cinema and Afro-German History and Culture.

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