The Multicultural Germany Project (MGP) seeks to foster cross-disciplinary research that addresses Germany’s changing cultural identity in the era of mass migration, globalization, and European integration. Based in the Department of German at the University of California, Berkeley, we have promoted transatlantic exchange since 2001. While our focus lies on Germany, our research and activities contribute to broader debates on critical multiculturalism and nationalism in a post-national era, political challenges to nation-states, and social change in the face of migration and globalization.
Research is centered on questions of translation and circulation, intermediality, and mobilizing the archives of mobility. Our particular focus is on the intersections between public debates, legal discourses, and artistic interventions. “Multicultural Germany” is not meant to demarcate a particular geopolitical zone or orientation but as a synecdoche, standing for the plurality of international, transnational, and intranational discourses of migration.
Is there something about a European or German national context that determines “migration,” with its cyclical, impermanent connotation, as distinct from the linear finality of “immigration,” which is so constitutive of the myth of US national identity? What is the relevance of positionality with regard to cultural studies and other forms of social research? What epistemological specificities determine the value of the status of being the “outsider looking in”? What benefits are there, what drawbacks? Under what conditions can we even distinguish between the outside and the inside, and how do the two interact?
The MGP aims to provide a platform for ongoing research and exchange on these and other topics. Our website features a bibliography and filmography, both of which contain detailed information on pertinent books and films, and continue to be updated. Our chronology lists key events in Germany’s history from 1955 to the present (available both in English and German), while our links page offers a collection of relevant English and German websites.
Our blog, maintained in large part by students at Berkeley, provides a window into our activities and campus discussions. Check out student reactions to current news, responses to project events, and as well as book and film reviews. Our most recent projects and news are featured on our home page.
Our central publications are two sourcebooks that document Germany’s transition into a multiethnic society: Germany in Transit: Nation and Migration, 1955-2005 and Transit Deutschland: Debatten zu Nation und Migration, a significantly revised and updated edition in German. Please make sure to visit our affiliated journal TRANSIT, which is the first refereed, multidisciplinary online periodical dedicated to the critical inquiry of travel, migration, and multiculturalism in the German-speaking world.
You can become a member of an international research network and contributor to our blog by submitting an application (including contact information, short c.v. , list of publications, and abstract of research project) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
International collaboration with:
Universität Konstanz, Germany, in the context of the Center of Excellence Cultural Foundations of Social Integration.