Futures of German Diasporas

Since the EU referendum of 2016, the rights and legal status of EU citizens in the UK have received considerable scholarly attention. For many German citizens living in the UK, Brexit has called any certainty of the future into question.

The interdisciplinary visiting scholar programme ‘Futures of German Diasporas’ aims to bring into a common frame different disciplinary approaches to the study of diaspora communities’ expectations towards their individual futures and towards the future of their relationship with the state and society they live in. Call for 2022 applications.

The programme will thus initiate a sustained conversation between Germany- and UK-based scholars about German diasporas in times of profound change across modern history and across the globe. It thus promises to make a lasting impact on this field. We aim to promote an inclusive understanding of diasporas by highlighting aspects such as race and gender and by discussing German cases in a relationship with other European and non-European diasporas. Such comparisons with socially idiosyncratic German-speaking communities abroad, such as 19th cet. German settlers in the Americas or in Eastern Europe, and with other European diasporas, such as today’s Polish community in the UK, will significantly enhance our understanding of the specific social and demographic structure, the self-understanding and the ‘Germanness’ of today’s German communities both in the UK and the wider world.

The programme is convened by the Institute for German and European Studies (IGES) with 2 UK-based partner universities (Durham University, University of Lancaster). Over the course of 2 years, 14 visiting scholars, selected on the basis of research excellence, a balance of disciplines and considerations of equality and diversity, will be invited to the UK for 6 weeks each to work closely with UK-based experts in this field.

The programme will lead to two outputs: a thematic issue to be submitted to the interdisciplinary journal Diaspora Studies and a set of pilot episodes for a new podcast series (Channel Crossings) that we seek to establish as a sustained public-outreach format for UK-German scholarly conversations.

Funder: DAAD's Promoting German Studies in the UK programme
Date of project: January 2022 - December 2023

Research Team

Principal investigator

Klaus Richter