Deutsches Haus at NYU and Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU present “Berlin Asian Diaspora Anthology Project” a public lecture and conversation with Selma Siew Li Bidlingmaier, DAAD Visiting Scholar and postdoc researcher and teaching fellow at the American Studies Department, Humboldt University Berlin and Feng-Mei Heberer, Assistant Professor in the Department of Cinema Studies at NYU. The talk will introduce the nascent Berlin Asian Diaspora Anthology Project and discusses the goals, methods, mediums, as well as challenges facing this endeavor.
Contemporary public (his)stories of East, South, and South East Asians in Germany often tend to locate the community within disparate migratory “moments”, particularly during the Cold War and the postwar era. The Vietnamese being the largest “Asian” community in Germany are most visible in public discourses. The history of GDR guest workers (“Gastarbeiter”), and refugees who came during the Vietnam War are well documented, often telling larger histories of Germany’s postwar geopolitical positionality and role. However, due to varying reasons, little attention is given to other diasporas such as the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Pakistani, Thai, and Filipinx. The histories of interconnections between the various diasporas that began as early as the 19th leaves a gap not only within the histories of Asians in Germany but also the historiography of Germany as a nation.
In 2020, as Covid raged around the world, anti-Asian racism and hate crimes soared in the US, Canada, and Europe. Asians were once again pitted as the perpetual foreigner and discourses of race and disease regained political and social currency. The Berlin Asian Diaspora Anthology Project emerged during this period to address hegemonic ideologies of Asian foreignness in Berlin and in Germany. The main goal of this project is to collect and publish forgotten cultural works by the Asian diaspora including literature, correspondences, photographs, archival material that establishes these communities’ long presence in Berlin and Germany.
“Berlin Asian Diaspora Anthology Project: A Conversation with Selma Siew Li Bidlingmaier” is funded by the DAAD from funds of the German Federal Foreign Office (AA).
Date and Time: Tuesday, September 26th, 2023, 6:00 PM-7:30 PM
Location: Deutsches Haus at NYU, 42 Washington Mews, New York, NY 10003