Reimagining Europe from Its Peripheries: A virtual conversation


Location: Online, Zoom

Reimagining Europe from its Periphieries: A Virtual Conversation

Building upon the conversations that began in the "Reimagining Europe from Its Peripheries" conference in April 2023, this virtual panel will feature discussions about viewing Europe from the context of Syria and nations formerly colonized by Germany. This panel will be moderated by Francisco Robles, assistant professor of English and co-organizer of the previous in-person event, who will help guide the discussion and contextualize it within a "peripheries" framework.

This virtual event is open to all, and your questions and discussion points are most welcome. It will take place over Zoom.

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The event listing includes access information for the Zoom meeting.


Anne-Marie McManus
Anne-Marie McManus
European Research Council Fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin, where she heads “The Prison Narratives of Assad’s Syria” project
Title: Dialogues With Abjected Bodies: Negotiating Syria in/and Europe After 2015
The horrors of the Syrian war have stunned the world since 2011, and a central figure in its imagery is the abjected prisoner. The emaciated corpses displayed in the Caesar photos, leaked in 2015, were accepted as incontrovertible evidence of systematic torture and execution under the Syrian state. This talk juxtaposes two strands of meaning-making in literature and documentation around this violence in Syria, both of which are taking place in Europe: one primarily in French, and the other multilingually, between Arabic, English, and German. It argues that these efforts at interpreting the Syrian prisoner as an historical figure constitute vital, contemporary sites for the negotiation of Europe between mass violences past and present, near and distant.

Sara Pugach
Sara Pugach
Professor, Department of History

Cal State LA

Title: Kinship and Colonialism in Cold War Germany, Cameroon, and Togo
This paper will examine the affective ties of kinship, whether biological or otherwise, between Germany (East as well as West) and Cameroon and Togo - two of its former colonies - during the Cold War era. Formal German colonialism officially ended with World War I, when Germany lost its colonies to Britain, France, Belgium, and South Africa. The bonds connecting Germany with Cameroon and Togo were, however, never really severed. Afro-Germans and their families continued to live in all three places. Moreover, there were Africans who claimed belongingness in Germany not through blood, but through long affiliation with the nation as well as close friendships with Germans. I explore these ties in the context not only of the Cold War, but in the circumstances of late colonialism and early independence in Africa, when new political and social networks were forming, but earlier connections remained strong. This paper was originally meant to be given at the “Reimagining Europe from Its Peripheries” conference in April, and is therefore attentive to the ways that histories of colonialism and imperialism shaped ideas about who did and did not belong in late twentieth- and early twenty-first century Europe.

Francisco Robles

Francisco Robles
Assistant Professor of English
Faculty Affiliate in the Institute for Latino Studies, Concurrent Faculty in the Gender Studies Program
University of Notre Dame

Robles, an organizer of the "Reimagining Europe from Its Peripheries" conference, will moderate the discussion.