Press Releases in December


The project has recently been covered in the following media and press articles:

Official Press Release by the University of Mannheim (9 December 2011):

DRadio Wissen (9 December 2011). 

Campus Radio Köln (12 December 2011). 



Press Releases 2012


Christian Gruber: "Deutscher geht's nicht." In: Die Rheinpfalz am Sonntag, 5 February 2012. [an article dealing with German-Turkish relations and ethnicity in contemporary Germany referencing our research project]

"Weiß ist mehr als nur eine Hautfarbe." Radio interview with Sarah Heinz on Journal am Mittag (SWR2), 9 May 2012.



Workshop Report


   White Spaces Workshop

Postgraduate Workshop with Dr. Shona Hunter (University of Leeds, England)

25th and 26th June 2012

On 25 and 26 June, the Juniorprofessorship for English Literary and Cultural Studies successfully conducted the first postgraduate workshop in the context of the research project "The Colour of Power". The participants mainly had a background in literary and cultural studies (English, German and Comparative Literature) but also included doctoral candidates from the political sciences and came from the universities of Mannheim, Wuppertal and Mainz. Dr. Shona Hunter from the Department of Sociology at the University of Leeds, UK was invited as an international guest lecturer. Dr. Hunter is the co-founder and academic lead of the World Universities Network funded White Spaces Network, an international and interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars ad institutions coming from 23 countries with core members in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and the US. The network engages with ideas from Critical Race and Whiteness Studies to advance multidimensional analysis of processes of gendering and racialisation which form part of the complex and shifting social dynamics in contemporary multicultural societies.

For the White Spaces Workshop, Shona Hunter taught an introductory session on theories, methods and approaches in the field of Critical Whiteness Studies and the work of the White Spaces Network. This session was designed to introduce participants to the core ideas of this field of study and the various academic and non-academic disciplines and areas involved in it. This introduction set the framework for the two following thematic sessions that concentrated on the status and the representation of whiteness within the contexts of contemporary Irish and British society and cultural production. In her session "Whiteness in Visual Culture", Prof. Dr. Sarah Heinz exemplified the crucial role of filmic representations in the making of Irish whiteness, whereas Mark Schmitt's session focussed on the production of white subjects in language, particularly in the context of contemporary British literature.

The workshop continued with an international virtual masterclass, a regular feature of the White Spaces Network's activities. During this teleconference, the workshop participants in Mannheim were connected with Network members in Leeds and South Africa in order to broaden the range of discussion. In this virtual masterclass, the participants specifically focussed on practical consequences of whiteness as a social formation, e.g. in education systems, social institutions and welfare practices. The link-up thus introduced members of the Network to each other and broadened the theoretical as well as literary and cultural studies focus of the previous days' discussions.

A further part of the workshop was devoted to the presentation of work-in-progress by three participants. Denise Trompeter (University of Mannheim) presented her M.A.-theis on the marketing of Guinness beer as a commodification of Irishness ("Selling Liquid Irishness? How Guinness Employs Irish National Identity as a Marketing Instrument"). Lukas Preuß (University of Wuppertal) introduced the participants to his PhD-project on contemporary Irish-American fiction and the narrative construction of Irish-American identity between the poles of whiteness and non-whiteness. Political scientist Sebastian Fietkau presented his work in the research project "Immigration and Voting Behaviour" (University of Mannheim) that, among other aspects, focusses on the role of skin colour in perceiving potential electoral candidates in Germany.


Further information: White Spaces Network