Inclusion and Diversity in German Studies

The worldwide protests of June, 2020, have expressed the anger of so many who have experienced or witnessed racism in our societies. The death of George Floyd is just one in a long line of racist incidents that must be stopped. It has become clear that more needs to be done to understand the nature of anti-black racism in our societies and to combat anti-black racism and racism against indigenous peoples and people of colour. 
The Waterloo Centre for German Studies condemns the racism and violence directed against people of colour. We wish to do what we can to make inclusion and diversity a hallmark of our corner of the academic world. One step we've taken is to compile this list of resources to help instructors, students, and others educate themselves about anti-black racism and its connections to German studies. In addition, as part of the University of Waterloo's commitment to fulfilling the calls to action of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we're including links that help us better understand the relationship between German studies and the process of reconciliation with indigenous peoples.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list but rather an introduction to the issues, and we will expand it as we learn of new resources. Please contact us at if you have resources you’d like to suggest. 

Being Black and German

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Associations and Research Groups

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German Filmmakers of Colour

The German Screen Studies Network's Facebook Group has started a list of German filmmakers of colour:

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German Studies and Indigenous Peoples

  • Building Transdisciplinary Relationships: Indigenous and German Studies - A special issue of Seminar, the academic journal of the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German. Read it here:
  • Diversity and Decolonization in German Studies - This book, a collection of essays edited by Regine Criser and Ervin Malakaj, “Examines the discipline’s ability to help equip its learners with critical tools to dismantle oppressive forces of our present time.” More info:

  • Indianthusiasm: Indigenous Responses - This book, edited by Hartmut Lutz, Florentine Strzelczyk, and Renae Watchman, is a collection of essays about the “European fascination with, and fantasies about, Indigenous peoples of North America,” an idea that “has its roots in nineteenth-century German colonial imagination.” More information:

  • Lost in Translation: Germany’s Fascination With the American Old West - The interest of Germans in Native American culture is being subjected to increased scrutiny. Read about it here:

  • Searching for Winnetou (2018) by Drew Hayden Taylor - Ojibway author and humorist Drew Hayden Taylor embarks on a quest to understand the roots of the German obsession with Native North Americans. Watch the full documentary here: and you can read more about the documentary from the CBC here:

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General Resources

  • Decolonization Is Not a Metaphor (2012) - Open-access article by Eve Tuck and Wayne Yang. From the abstract: Our goal in this article is to remind readers what is unsettling about decolonization. Decolonization brings about the repatriation of Indigenous land and life; it is not a metaphor for other things we want to do to improve our societies and schools. The easy adoption of decolonizing discourse by educational advocacy and scholarship, evidenced by the increasing number of calls to “decolonize our schools,” or use “decolonizing methods,” or, “decolonize student thinking”, turns decolonization into a metaphor. Read the full article here:
  • The Henceforward by Eve Tuck and graduate students at OISE, University of Toronto, about relationships between Indigenous and Black communities on Turtle Island. Listen here:
  • Seeing White. A Podcast Series from Scene On Radio. The 14 episodes of this podcast discuss the notion of whiteness, especially in the American context.  It's a good introduction to the issues of what whiteness means today.

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