Reseach Prof. Dr. Diedrich, em.

African American and Black German Studies

Springing from the main research interest African American Studies, and from the German contexts in which it has been applied, the development of the new project Crossovers: African American and German Interactions has been instigated in collaboration with CAAR. Crossovers explores and documents the multiple, reciprocal forms of impact and transformative processes which are traceable in the people and views being exchanged within German and African American contexts (18th century till present). Partaking scholars aim at establishing a transatlantic and interdisciplinary research team, which will additionally work in cooperation with the projects of The African American Civil Rights Project Abroad: Material Development Project (WWUM, Vassar College, University of Bremen). After receiving encouraging feedback from both the European American Studies and the USA, this main research area has assumed a pioneering quality and serves as model for a number of comparable projects in Europe and the Unites States.

Currently, several dissertation theses are further developing the Crossovers project under the auspices of the American Studies Chair in Münster, in part supervised by American research institutions.
Furthermore, in close collaboration with Crossovers, a transnationally and interdisciplinarily oriented academic network of younger scholars is presently taking shape under the heading Black Diaspora and Germany; the network is planning six workshops, a conference, and two book publications in the forthcoming three years. Its goal is to investigate "black" presence in Germany and representations of Germany in the "black" diaspora, bringing together researchers from the fields of African American and Black German Studies who are intent on creating a critical interdisciplinary discussion and developing innovative paradigms in cultural theory.

Literature and Science

The history of technology, medicine, and science, a likewise interdisciplinary, transnational, and transcultural field integrated into the American Studies Chair activities, approaches bioethical problems from a literary and cultural studies perspective. At present, the focus is set on the manifold implications of the neurobiological turn. Application areas include the Crossovers project as well as the broader field of contemporary literature and culture. These research activities have led to an active involvement in the project Literature and Medicine led by Prof. Dr. Annette Kern-Stähler (Duisburg/Essen) and Prof. Dr. Bettina Schöne-Seifert (Münster).