Faculty-Student Discussion on European Refugee Crisis and its Global Links

Tens of thousands of refugees have crossed into the EU, into Austria and Germany in the last couple of weeks. Migrants have died on the highways of Austria, on the rail tracks of Serbia, and in the tunnel linking the UK to the European mainland. European member nations react very differently, from opening up the borders (Germany) to calling for an immediate halt and deportations (Hungary). German chancellor Merkel is alternately vilified and declared a saint, as the recent Spiegel cover suggests.

What are the historical, political, human rights, and global connections here? Join a faculty/student discussion on Tuesday, September 22, 5-6pm, in Lower Evans Dining Hall to learn more, contribute your perspectives and experiences. Start the discussion now by contributing links, photos, etc. via #agnesglobal.

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New German Studies Courses 2015-16

We hope everyone had a great Spring Break. Since advising will start soon, here is an overview of the various courses for 2015-16. Please do not hesitate to e-mail Prof. Gundolf Graml with any questions about course selections (ggraml[AT]agnesscott.edu). Click on the pics to read the various course descriptions, or download the information as pdf here.

“Migration, Memory, and Diversity in Germany”

Emory U will host a conference under this title on Sep 22-23. The keynote speaker is Rita Chin, Professor of History, who delivered the Halle German Studies Lecture in 2011.

The detailed conference program is attached, here’s an excerpt from the official conference announcement:

“Since its founding as a nation state, Germany has underscored the cultural differences of its immigrants and minorities in an attempt to construct unity among the majority. Coining “immigrants” as “alien” and a threat to its cultural—and, at times, racial—identity, became a pattern in modern Germany history. In this two day research conference, 11 highly esteemed international scholars will explore how the nation’s identity and historic memory have failed to posit migration and diversity as beneficial elements of a modern society, especially after 1945 when West Germany was strongly “Westernized.” Speakers will examine how the Cold War, separation into two nation states, and coping with its Holocaust past affected Germany’s path to cultural diversity, as well as how the 1990 reunification opened new venues for cultural identity.
*Unless otherwise noted, all presentations will take place in the Jones Room of the Robert W. Woodruff Library.”

For more information, conference registration and parking please go to

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A New Wave of “Gastarbeiter”?

In 2011 Germany celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first guest worker treaty. (At ASC we marked that historical moment with two lectures by historian Rita Chin and German-Turkish author Yadé Kara.)

In 2012 it seems as if history will repeat itself, albeit in a different context. Following the great recession that began in 2008, Europe’s governing bodies have imposed stringent austerity measures on the EU’s member nations. These measures hit the already weak economies around the Mediterranean the most, resulting in 20+ percent unemployment rates in Greece, Spain, and areas of Portugal. Germany, in the meantime, is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers and has begun looking south once again to increase its labor pool:

In the last 18 months, it has recruited thousands of the Continent’s best and brightest to this postcard-perfect town and many others like it, a migration of highly qualified young job-seekers that could set back Europe’s stragglers even more, while giving Germany a further leg up.

Read more about this new wave of labor migration in this NYT article.