H-TGS Relaunch

by Josh Brown

Dear subscribers,

H-Transnational German Studies has been quiet for a while, but we are hoping to relaunch the network as a site for scholarly interaction, reviews, and networking across disciplinary lines.

H-TGS provides a moderated interdisciplinary network for the discussion of topics relevant to the study of German migration and diaspora and intercultural transfer between German and non-German societies from the seventeenth century to the present. Its scope is intentionally broader than that of its predecessor, H-GAGCS (German-American and German-Canadian Studies), and the new editors are particularly interested in covering regions outside of North America. One of our objectives is to encourage consideration of the interconnections between German emigration and other German activities abroad, including imperialism and colonialism.

The new editors come from different disciplinary backgrounds and have different research interests. Let us introduce ourselves:

Josh Brown is an associate professor of German at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is co-editor ofPennsylvania Germans: An Interpretive Encyclopedia (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017). His primary research interests are: heritage languages and the interactions of language and identity from sociolinguistic and linguistic anthropologic perspectives. His academic website is: http://www.joshuarbrown.com/

Benjamin Bryce is an assistant professor of history at the University of Northern British Columbia. His first book, Citizenship and Belonging: Germans, Argentines, and the Meaning of Ethnicity in Buenos Aires, 1880-1930, is currently under review. Focusing on education, religion, and social welfare, it charts German-speaking Argentines’ competing visions of Germanness and Argentine belonging. He is also the co-editor of Making Citizens in Argentina (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017) and Entangling Migration History: Borderlands and Transnationalism in the United States and Canada (University Press of Florida, 2015).

Alison Clark Efford is an associate professor of history at Marquette University, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her first book, German Immigrants, Race, and Citizenship in the Civil War Era (2013) focused on the period following the US Civil War, and she continues to publish and present on nineteenth-century German Americans. Her current research on suicide pushes into the twentieth century and includes other immigrant groups.

We would like to enlist your help too! We welcome suggestions, and please encourage colleagues to join the network using the “subscribe” icon at the lower right of our homepage: https://networks.h-net.org/h-tgs. Most importantly, please notify us of relevant calls for papers, conference and event announcements, digital projects, and fellowship opportunities.

All the best,

Josh, Ben, and Alison

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The Beginnings of German-Canadian Historiography After the Second World War: The Case of Gottlieb Leibbrandt

In 1986, historian Gerhard Bassler described Gottlieb Leibbrandt’s study on the German Canadians of Waterloo County from 1800 to 1975 as the “most informative and richly documented regional history of any German-Canadian community.” Trained as a political scientist, Leibbrandt contributed to the field of German-Canadian studies as a newly arrived Russian German emigrant in 1952 until his death in 1989. Leibbrandt’s scholarly efforts for the German-Canadian community in the post-war years have made him an important contributor, but little is known about his pre-war past and wartime activities. An ethnic German from the Ukraine, Leibbrandt immigrated to Germany in the inter-war period where he graduated with his doctorate degree in 1935. Young and ambitious, he poured his academic talents into furthering Nazi racial and anti-Bolshevik research on the East, first with the Anti-Komintern, an organization under Joseph Goebbels’ Reich Ministry for Propaganda, and then as an organizational leader for the Verband der Rußlanddeutschen (Association of Russian Germans).

In order to investigate the beginnings of German-Canadian historiography through an examination of the life of Gottlieb Leibbrandt, I will be headed out on two separate research trips this summer. I will travel to the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia in Lincoln, Nebraska to uncover Leibbrandt’s writings in the Deutsche Post aus dem Osten, a periodical that was devoted to the plight of ethnic Germans in Russia that became a Nazi propaganda piece by the late 1930s. The other trip is planned in August when I will go to Ottawa to conduct an oral history interview with Leibbrandt’s son, Wolfram Leibbrandt to discuss his memories of his father’s life. The results of this research study, which is funded by a German-Canadian Studies research grant, will be published as a chapter in an upcoming essay collection tentatively planned for early 2017.

Karen Brglez, M.A., is a researcher in German-Canadian Studies and research assistant at the Chair in German-Canadian Studies at the University of Winnipeg. She is recipient of a 2016 German-Canadian Studies Research Grant. She can be reached at k.brglez@uwinnipeg.ca