Spring 2023

Race and Migration in German Cinema

Listed in: European Studies, as EUST-239  |  Film and Media Studies, as FAMS-270  |  German, as GERM-230


Christian Rogowski (Section 01)


(Offered as GERM 230, EUST 239 and FAMS 270) How to talk about “race” in a culture where the concept is taboo? The “racial state” of the Third Reich has discredited the concept in public discourse, yet racialized assumptions continue to permeate German culture. What is the impact of historically and culturally determined preconceptions on the challenges posed by an increasingly demographically diverse society? Who defines who does and who doesn’t belong to the “national community,” and on what basis?  If German identity is implicitly associated with “whiteness,” for instance, where does this leave people perceived as “non-white"? Our course explores how German filmmakers, both those with and without what is now called a “migration background,” tackle questions of belonging, assimilation, inclusion and exclusion in feature films. Works by filmmakers such as Thomas Arslan, Fatih Akin, Mo Asumang, Pepe Danquart, Doris Dörrie, R. W. Fassbinder, M. W. Kimmich, Angelina Maccarone, Branwen Okpako, Burhan Qurbani, Jan Schuette, R. A. Stemmle, and Simon Verhoeven will be discussed in a variety of historical and social contexts. Screenings will be supplemented by readings on questions of non-white German national identity from scholars and writers such as Tina Campt, Fatima El-Tayeb, Ika Hügel-Marshall, Hans Massaquoi, Katharina Oguntoye, Damani Partridge, and Alexander Weheliye.

Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Sophomores will have priority. Spring semester: Professor Rogowski.

How to handle overenrollment: Sophomores will have priority.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Regular writing assignments in response to film screenings and readings; participation in classroom discussion; oral presentation.

EUST 239 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM CHAP 119
Th 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM CHAP 119


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2023