Since 2014: Doctoral Candidate at the Graduate School of North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
2010 – 2013: Master of Arts in “History of the 19th and 20th Century”, Freie Universität Berlin
2007 – 2008: Bachelor of Arts in History, University of Edinburgh
2005 – 2009: Bachelor of Arts in History, English Philology, and Education, Freie Universität Berlin
2016: Doctoral Fellow in the History of Race and Ethnicity, German Historical Institute, Washington, DC
2013-2014: PR-Consultant at BIKnetz – Bundesweites Informations- und Kompetenznetz zur Rechtsextremismusprävention; gsub-Projektegesellschaft mbH
2012-2013: Student Adviser, International Doctoral Program TEEME – Text and Event in Early Modern Europe, Freie Universität Berlin
2012-2013: Mentor, Department of History and Cultural Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
2011: Intern at the German Historical Institute, Washington, DC
Dissertation Project: Love, Sex, and Civil Rights: African American soldiers in Germany
“If a Negro boy and a white girl find things in common and desire to associate with each other, we as believers in democratic freedom should support their democratic right to do so,” a reader of the African American magazine Ebony declared in his letter to the editor. His comment referred to a series of reports on the experience of African Americans soldiers stationed in West Germany. Many African Americans remembered their deployment in postwar Germany as a good time – a time, in which they felt like “equals” – a feeling they missed at home. They connected this novel feeling of “equality” with being recognized and accepted as men. It was not only their status as occupation soldier but also the contact with German civilians, which gave them a new perspective on their situation back home in the United States. Most notably intimate relationships between African American soldiers and German women evolved as central themes, and – as I shall argue – contested forms of protest and resistance in personal and collective narratives of African Americans.
Understanding intimacy, sexuality, and love as both emotions and practices of attraction and affection and – in certain circumstances – as subtle forms of protest my dissertation project seeks to trace back the implications the deployment of African American troops in postwar West Germany had for the struggle against racial discrimination in the Untied States. As African Americans summarized the struggle for social justice as a quest for equality, I am particularly interested in the construction of the concept of equality on a subject, as well as collective level, and its entanglement with gender, sex, and emotions such as love.
Broadly speaking my project seeks to contribute to the transnational history of the struggle for social justice in the United States. It approaches the topic from the perspective of gender, sexuality, and emotions, understanding the discourse on intimacy as a forum to address many other issues aside from sex and romance and as an allegory to talk about various political and social conflicts.
Letter to the Editor, in: Ebony, November 1947, p.5.