News from our Graduate Students: PhD candidate Kristina Pilz

Kristina Pilz
Kristina Pilz

BlackWhite — Experiences and Writing Practices in Contemporary Afro-German Literature    

 

        I am excited to continue working on my dissertation that describes innovative writing practices in contemporary Afro-German literature. My project focuses on rhetorical, intertextual and aesthetic strategies as creative devices for a diasporic literary history. My analysis includes fictional/non-fictional texts comprised of Afro-German poetry and autobiographies.

The greater evolution of Afro-German writing, with roots in poetry (1980s) and the development towards autobiographical narratives (late 1990s/ early 2000s), informs the structure of my project. My analysis illustrates how Afro-German literature emerges and develops across genres and time. I focus on aesthetic considerations and show how different writing practices function as creative devices for a diasporic literary history. I argue that Afro-German writing practices transcend the role of ‘writing from the margins’. I show how biracial, diasporic experiences challenge the antithetical notion of blackness and whiteness in German culture.

After presenting my first dissertation chapter in December 2016, I am now working on my second chapter with a focus on Afro-German activist poetry of the 1980s and 90s. It will be my pleasure to present some of my findings at the 41th Annual GSA Conference in Atlanta, GA. This coming Fall, I will continue to enjoy language teaching. In November 2016, I had the opportunity to participate in the DAAD Teacher Training Seminar, at the University of Victoria. At the annual American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages convention this November, I will have the chance to share my thoughts on how to engage German language students with issues of racial equity through drama pedagogy.