Das Gerlind Institute Team freut sich über Deine/Ihre Teilnahme an unserem Programm.
The Gerlind Institute Team appreciates your participation in our program.

Upcoming Events
Filmnacht Klnschnack Oral History

Between Racism and Resistance: Afro-German Literature and Film
OLLI at San Francisco State University, 835 Market Street, 6th Floor
Wednesdays at 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM •  October 16 - November 20, 2019 (6 Meeting Days)

Dr. Gerlind is teaching a new course!

This course will familiarize students with a minority population in Germany whose representation has undergone myriad transformations. Media coverage of this group has evolved from racist, indeed colonialist stereotypes, to an aesthetic tolerance of blackness in the service of a pseudo-progressive discourse of difference. Since the 1970s, many Afro-Germans have experienced a growing political awareness of their marginalized status within German society. With regard to contemporary discourses on the Afro-German experience, we will assess personal narratives that document efforts by this population to gain visibility by forming an empowering social and historical identity around the self-label “Afro-German”. We will study historical, scholarly, and autobiographical essays from the groundbreaking book Showing Our Colors, among others, as well as films, poetry, and excerpts from Ika Hügel-Marshall’s memoir Invisible Woman: Growing Up Black in Germany.

Course objectives cultivate an awareness of the historical specificities of the German cultural context. This course promotes critical analysis by decoding racist stereotypes and retracing their construction to underlying insecurities about the parameters of German social and national identity. In the process, the distinction will become increasingly evident between—on the one hand—media (mis)representation and objectification of Afro-German identities, and—on the other hand—the political implications of self-representation.

A Course Reader will be available for purchase.



Dr. Charles Moser
photo courtesy of Dr. Charles Moser

Dr. Charles Moser: Tracing my Parents’ Past Lives
Sunday, August 25 •  2-4 p.m. • Excelsior German Center, 1699 Excelsior Avenue, Oakland, CA 94602 •  RSVP by August 19, 2019

Mündliche Geschichtsreihe / Oral History Series

We are inviting individuals from our community to share their life’s stories and dialogue with participants. Meetings are facilitated by Dr. Marion Gerlind. Order and pre-pay for tickets here. For more information and reservations, email Marion or call (510) 430-2673. To see previous speakers and topics, click here to see pictures of our speakers and click to see their summary.

RSVP required. Teilnahmebeitrag: $20, GICS Mitglieder: $10, wenn möglich, aber nicht obligatorisch. (Suggested contribution: $20, GICS Members: $10, no one turned away for lack of funds.)


Klnschnackers Klönschnack (German Conversation Group)
Saturday, August 17, 2019 • 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. •  Mudrakers Café, Berkeley
RSVP by August 15, 2019

Usually the third Saturday each month in Berkeley. For more information, email Marion or call (510) 430-2673. See the archive for past discussion topics. Download a flier


Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery film poster

Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery | Beltracchi – Die Kunst der Fälschung
2014 | Director: Arne Birkenstock •  September 28, 2019 •  7:30 p.m. • Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies •  RSVP by September 20

Filmnacht (Movie Night)
Click here for the current showing.

Screenings of a German, or German-related, film. We are showing popular, as well as little-known film gems (in German with English subtitles), followed by a moderated discussion. Alternating months, usually the fourth Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. at the Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies.

For more information, email Marion or call (510) 430-2673. Click here for directions.


Audre Lorde’s Berlin
NYTimes •  July 21, 2019 •  By Charly Wilder

Audre Lorde and May Ayim © Dagmar SchultzFollowing in the footsteps of the self-described “black feminist lesbian poet,” whose ideas caught fire in a city she cherished and criticized.

I come here to read my poetry tonight as a black feminist lesbian poet,” said Audre Lorde, standing onstage in a dashiki and head wrap, to a mesmerized West Berlin audience at the Amerika Haus in June 1984.

At the time, the Wall was still standing, and the western part of the divided city was a hotbed of radical politics, Cold War angst and scrappy, state-subsidized bohemia. But it had never seen anything quite like Lorde, the poet, essayist and activist born in New York City’s Harlem to Caribbean parents in 1934, whose ideas about female rage, intersectional feminism and the political dimensions of self-care have perhaps never been as relevant or embraced as they are today. During Pride month in June, Lorde and her politics were frequently invoked, from acknowledgements at the Stonewall Inn rally in New York City to the official landmarking of her Staten Island home.

The 1984 trip was the first of many extended visits Lorde would make to Berlin, a city she depicted in poetry and prose, where she played a pivotal role in the birth of the Afro-German identity movement in the years before she succumbed to liver cancer in 1992 at age 58. Since her death, Lorde’s momentous influence on the American left has become clear. But she also lives on in today’s Berlin, now a truly international city grappling with what it means to be pluralistic and humane.

Read the rest of the article on our Articles page



Germany Study Tour

A member of our 2017 study tour, Carol Picciotto, put together a video montage of our trip! Thanks Carol! For information about our study tours, go to our study tours page here. (photo : 2019 tour participants ©  JB)