The GHI benefits tremendously from the help of its many talented interns. The following post was written by GHDI project intern Milena Kagel, who first learned of this website at the Defining Black European History conference at the GHI in June 2018. — Editorial note, Href
By Milena Kagel
Every spring, Kira Thurman teaches an undergraduate course on “Germany and the Black Diaspora” at the University of Michigan. Since 2016, this course has included a digital history component – Thurman and her students have worked to construct a visual representation of the history of Black people in Central Europe by recording figures, objects, and events related to that history. Each student is required to contribute five entries to an online mapping project entitled Mapping Black Central Europe.
The map currently features around two hundred pins, each of which is connected to a detailed profile on a person, object, or event. The pins are geographically widespread, with the greatest concentration appearing in Germany. As a whole, the map creates a powerful visual representation of the significance of Blackness and Black people as historical players in Central Europe. Professor Thurman plans to expand Mapping Black Central Europe by continuing to plot new pins each year with her students.
One of the contributors to our new German History Intersections project brought our attention to this important project, which touches upon many areas of current research at the GHI, including the histories of migration, knowledge, and religion. We thank our colleagues in Halle for this article. — Editorial note, Href
By Wolfgang Splitter
The Francke Foundations in Halle are currently at work on a DFG-funded project entitled Halle Pastors in Pennsylvania, 1743–1825. A Critical Edition of Sources Relating to Their Ministry in North America. The editors are Mark Häberlein, Thomas Müller-Bahlke and Hermann Wellenreuther.
Whereas research on the history of the Lutheran Church in North America up to the early nineteenth century has concentrated so far on the journals and correspondence of Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg (1711-1787), this project will transcribe and edit the extant curricula vitae, journals, and correspondence of Mühlenberg’s pastoral colleagues – i.e. those Lutheran pastors who were sent from the Francke Foundations in Halle, Prussia, to Pennsylvania between 1744 and 1786. Among other sources, the project will feature letters and reports from the New World sent by these pastors to the directors of the Francke Foundations in Halle and to the Lutheran Court Preacher in London. By moving away from a singular focus on Mühlenberg and considering a larger circle of pastors, this project will substantially expand the base of published documentary materials relating to the Halle pastors’ North American ministry and thereby lay the groundwork for new insights into the history of Pietism in the Atlantic world. The materials shed light on the spread and development of Lutheran congregations in North America, the significance of those congregations to German-speaking immigrants, and the place of the Lutheran Church within the multi-confessional mid-Atlantic region (Pennsylvania and its neighboring colonies or states). They also show how German Protestants in the Old and New Worlds perceived each other. Continue reading Halle Pastors, German Settlers, and Lutheran Congregations in North America→