Dr. Elise Pape was a DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow in July and August 2017. She completed her binational German-French dissertation in the field of sociology of migration at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and at the University of Strasbourg, France, in 2012. She has been an Assistant Professor at the University of Strasbourg (2012-2014) and a postdoc at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris since 2014. Her research interests concern current postcolonial debates in Germany and France, intergenerational transmission in migration processes, social policies, and the use of biographical interviews in social research.
While at AICGS, Dr. Pape conducted research on her project, “Transatlantic Dynamics in Ongoing Postcolonial Negotiations – The Recognition of the Genocide of the Herero and Nama in Germany and in the United States.” The genocide of the Herero and Nama, committed between 1904 and 1908 under German colonial rule in today’s Namibia, is considered the first genocide of the twentieth century. Over the past decades and especially since the commemoration of the genocide’s centennial in 2004, when the German government refused to recognize the crimes committed as such, efforts led by descendants of the survivors to recognize the genocide and negotiate reparations have intensified.
This research focuses on the impact of Herero and Nama activists living in the United States on the ongoing negotiations between the German and the Namibian governments. Based on biographical interviews with Herero and Nama activists living in the United States, it will aim to grasp how the migration path of the interviewees has evolved over time and has affected their strategies, how the U.S. context has impacted their actions and how their transnational experiences and activities have opened up possibilities for transnational or post-national memories.
Made possible by the support of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt - AA)