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“I am happy here in Germany…I got tired of being a second class citizen. I feel like a man now, and people treat me like a man –which is more than I can say about the place where I was born.”
A black GI on his decision to stay in Germany after his tour of duty, from Negro Digest (March 1949)
New Article by
Film “The West Point -
Vassar College Initiative“
A Breath of Freedom
By Maria Höhn &
Palgrave Macmillan October 2010
Merema Ahmed (Vassar College)
Merema Ahmed is currently a junior of Vassar College’s Class of 2012 where she studies as a History major focusing on African/African-American History with an additional correlate sequence in French and Francophone Studies.
She is working with Professor Höhn as her Ford Scholar (Summer 2010).
Thea Brophy (Calvin College)
Thea Brophy studied World History, English, and Spanish at Calvin College where her undergraduate thesis examined the role of the student protest movement in the Tlatelolco uprising in Mexico City in 1968.
She did graduate work in Latin American history at Rutgers University, focusing on 20th century grassroots movements and social justice issues. She is currently an academic counselor at Calvin College, and also does freelance editing and manuscript consulting work for various historical projects.
She is the winner of this year's Outstanding Advisors Award of the Michigan Academic Advising Association (MIACADA).
Alexander Holmig (Augsburg)
Alexander Holmig studied History, Political Sciences and Sociology at Humboldt University, Berlin. He received his M.A. in 2004.
Since 2006 he worked as a historian and freelance/graduate researcher for „Facts & Files“ Historisches Forschungsinstitut, Berlin, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Berlin and German Historical Institute (GHI), Washington, DC.
He is currently working on his Ph.D. thesis on „Security Politics Bottom Up“ - Blockades against intermediate range nuclear missiles in Mutlangen 1983-1987. For more, please visit www.nuclearcrisis.org.
Molly Kumar (Vassar College)
Molly Kumar is a senior at Vassar College. She is a History major focusing on nineteenth-century French Republicanism. Her interest in France’s political heritage was sparked by her semester abroad in Paris.
She is currently researching for her thesis, a study on the treatment of ‘Others’ in France. She hopes to pursue a teaching career after college.
Sylvia Landau (University of Mainz)
Sylvia Landau is a student at the Johannes Gutenberg University located in Mainz (Germany). She studies history, journalism and linguistics.
After spending a semester abroad at the University of Auckland (New Zealand) and the University of Dijon (France), she is currently working as an intern for the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC.
Sophie Lorenz (University of Heidelberg)
Sophie Lorenz Sophie Lorenz studied History, Political Science and Public Law at Heidelberg University from 2003 to 2009. In July 2009 she completed her M.A. with a thesis about Black Power, the student protest movement and Black-PantherSolidarity in West Germany during the 1960s and 1970s. Currently, Sophie teaches and works as research associate at the History Department at Heidelberg University. Since October 2009 she is a Ph.D. student in History at Heidelberg University and works on her dissertation project “Transnational Solidarities: The GDR, Angela Davis and Black America.“
On October 13, 1970 Angela Davis was arrested and put on trial for being an accomplice to homicide. After that the German Democratic Republic (GDR) started a wide-ranging state-sponsored solidarity program for Angela Davis through which Davis became an East German heroine of the “Other America.“ This dissertation tracks the various expressions of support for Angela Davis in the GDR in particular and the crossings between the GDR and Black Americans in general both in terms of specific personal interactions and cultural perceptions. Thereby, despite the ostensible political isolation of the GDR by the Iron Curtain dividing East and West, a new dimension of Cold War relations between the U.S.A. and the GDR will become visible. At the same time, the study will add a new perspective to the international history of the black freedom struggle.
Jane Manchon (Vassar College)
Jane Manchon is a senior International Studies major at Vassar College exploring the moral implications and challenges of filming other cultures. She has worked as a junior consultant in Vassar’s Media Cloisters and now works as a Multimedia Developer in the college’s Visual Resource Library with a focus in video editing and graphic design.
Laura Stapane (HCA Heidelberg)
Laura Stapane studied History of Art and Media Studies, History and Political Science at the University of Oldenburg. After finishing her MA thesis about family portraits as a reflection of the bourgeois culture in the late 19th century (“The Wilhelmine Bourgeoisie as Depicted in Art: An Analysis of its Self-Presentation in Family Portraits“), she worked at the KHI (Kunsthistorisches Institut) in Florence (Italy) and the German Historical Institute (GHI) in Washington, DC.
She is currently working for the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) at the University of Heidelberg as a research fellow and project coordinator, where she is responsible for the coordination of the research, digitization, and exhibition project “The Civil Rights Struggle, African-American GIs, and Germany“ as well as for “The Nuclear Crisis - Transatlantic Peace Politics, Rearmament, and the Second Cold War“ (www.nuclearcrisis.org) project.
Adene Wilson (Vassar College)
Adene Wilson attended Vassar College, graduating in 1969 as a music major. After teaching elementary school one year in New Haven, CT, she joined the Spackinkill School System in Poughkeepsie, NY, where she taught first and third grades for thirty-three years, retiring in 2002.
Since retirement, she has studied Italian and German and continues to play the violin. Currently, she tutors students with special academic needs. She is the co-founder of Vassar College’s Modfest, a two-week mini-festival of music, dance, poetry, film and drama now in its eighth year.
For a list of past research associates, please see here.