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2020 Campus Weeks — Building Tomorrow | Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
2020 Campus Weeks — Building Tomorrow is an initiative of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. Funding university campus events across the US, the initiative invites a closer look at aspects of Germany’s past, present, and future, as well as the US’ connections to Germany. At UNC-CH, three events are bringing our community closer to the study of Germany. We welcome students, faculty, staff, and community members already interested in Germany — as well as those who would like an introduction to the politics, history, and culture of Europe’s biggest economy and a driving force of European integration. Four UNC faculty are contributing expert analysis — scroll for speaker bios. Our lecture, film screening, and panel discussion are all virtual events.

Speaker Bios


The German flag flies in front of the Reichstag in Berlin with part of the building and dome visible behind the flag.

Thirty Years of German Unification

Friday, September 4 | 12:30pm ET
Featuring Christiane Lemke, with remarks from Konrad Jarausch

Prof. Dr. Christiane Lemke discussed the political, social, and economic implications of unification based on her years of research and teaching. In addition, she also provided a personal perspective on studying, teaching, and living in West Berlin, Leipzig, and Potsdam, and then becoming a full professor in Hannover in 1996. She addressed the following questions: What is the significance of unification in the collective memory? How has unification changed politics and German political parties? Are there still differences between the East and the West? And how is unified Germany viewed by its neighbors?

Film Panel: Datsche

Tuesday, September 22 | 6pm ET
Featuring Priscilla Layne and Dominic Nyhuis

For those who RSVP’ed, a link to the film was provided a week before the panel, so participants could view the film individually. A $5 GrubHub voucher was provided to the first 30 RSVPs. See Datsche Film Panel RSVP page for details.

Datsche provides a modern look at diversity and migration in Germany, as well as insight into cultural differences between the US and Germany.

About the Film

Datsche is a 2018 German film directed by UK citizen Lara Hewitt alongside an international team, including professionals from Germany, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Italy, Nigeria, Portugal, and the US. The film has been selected for showing at festivals including the Snowdance Independent Film Festival, Anchorage International Film Festival, DC Independent Film Festival, and Achtung Berlin Film Festival. Synopsis: When Val, an unemployed New York actor, arrives at a garden allotment outside of Berlin to spend the summer at his dead grandfather’s ‘datsche’ – his summer house – he is faced with a wild garden, a large rule book, an interfering garden allotment president and Adam, a refugee who has been denied asylum in Germany and has been hiding in the datsche attic. And when Val invites some unusual strangers to stay at the datsche, the dream of a peaceful German life is threatened. This film provides a modern look at diversity and migration in Germany.

Germany’s Leadership in the EU Today

A look at Germany’s EU Presidency, its response to COVID-19, and its role in the fight against racism

Friday, November 13 | 12:30pm ET
Featuring Christian Jetzlsperger, Priscilla Layne, Christiane Lemke, and Dominic Nyhuis

On July 1, Germany assumed the Presidency of the Council of the EU with a plan of “going green”. Germany is currently being analyzed and praised for its response to COVID-19, with its very low death rate, while working to keep the economy going. And Germany is quite a diverse country yet anti-immigrant sentiment is present. How is Germany addressing all of these issues? The panelists addressed questions including: How has Germany’s EU presidency gone? What has Chancellor Merkel accomplished? What has Germany done correctly regarding COVID-19 and why have they been so successful? At a time when the protests in the US surrounding anti-Black racism are catching on in Germany, how has Germany responded? How are other EU countries looking to Germany as a positive example?

Promotional flyer for November 13 2020 event on Germany's EU leadership.

Speaker Bios

Konrad Jarausch

Konrad H. Jarausch is the Lurcy Professor of European Civilization in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Jarausch has written or edited about forty books in modern German and European history. Starting with Hitler’s seizure of power and the First World War, his research interests have moved to the social history of German students and professions German unification in 1989/90, with historiography under the Communist GDR, the nature of the East German dictatorship, as well as the debate about historians and the Third Reich. More recently, he has been concerned with the problem of interpreting twentieth-century German history in general, the learning processes after 1945, the issue of cultural democratization, and the relationship between Honecker and Breshnew. Some notable publications include: Out of Ashes: A New History of Europe in the Twentieth Century (Princeton University Press, 2015), Reluctant Accomplice: A Wehrmacht Soldier’s Letters from the Eastern Front (Princeton University Press, 2011), “Das stille Sterben…”: Feldpostbriefe von Konrad Jarausch aus Polen und Russland (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2008), Gebrochene Wissenschaftskulturen: Universität und Politik im 20. Jahrhundert (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010), and Shattered Past: Reconstructing German Histories (Princeton University Press, 2002). Professor Jarausch is co-founder of the UNC Center for European Studies as well as the Leibniz-Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam (ZZF).

Headshot of Konrad Jarausch.

Christian Jetzlsperger

Christian Jetzlsperger currently serves as Minister Counselor and Deputy Head of the Political Department of the German Embassy in Washington, DC. He previously headed the Division for Stabilization Policy within the newly created Directorate-General for Crisis Prevention, Stabilization, Post-Conflict Peacebuilding, and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. Christian Jetzlsperger joined the Federal Foreign Service in 2003 and has since served at the German Embassies in Albania (2004-2007) and Afghanistan (2009-2011). From 2011 to 2013, he was Deputy Head of Mission at the German Representative Office in Ramallah, and between 2013 and 2014, Head of Political Section and Chargé d’affaires a.i. at the European Union Delegation in Yemen. Christian Jetzlsperger holds an M.A. in history and political science from Ludwig Maximilians-Universität in Munich. Before joining the foreign service, he worked as assistant professor at the Universities of Bonn and Erfurt; from 2003 to 2004, he was a research fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

Christian Jetzlsperger.

Priscilla Layne

Priscilla Layne is Associate Professor of German in the Department of German and Slavic Languages and Literatures; and Adjunct Associate Professor of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Layne has guest lectured at Tübingen University and at the University of Bremen. Professor Layne focuses on sci-fi, cinema, and Black culture in Germany and Europe. Her first book, White Rebels in Black: German Appropriation of Black Popular Culture was published in 2018 by the University of Michigan Press. She is also the co-editor of the volume Rebellion and Revolution: Defiance in German Language, History and Art (2008). She is currently working on a monograph, Out of this World: Afro-German Afrofuturism. She held a Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin in fall 2018. She has published articles on German film, literature, translation and music in German Studies Review, the Women in German Yearbook and Colloquia Germanica. Professor Layne is on the Board of the German Studies Association and Vice President of the American Association of Teachers of German.

Headshot of Priscilla Layne.

Christiane Lemke

Christiane Lemke is Professor of Political Science and Director of International Relations and European Studies at the Institute of Political Science at Leibniz University Hannover. Professor Lemke has been very involved in Center for European Studies teaching, research, and conferences for many years. She has been teaching in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Transatlantic Masters (TAM) program for over a decade and has been a recurring DAAD Visiting Scholar to UNC since 1988. In addition to her current position, Christiane Lemke, from 2010-14, held the Max Weber Chair at New York University. Professor Lemke received her Ph.D. from the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences at the Free University in Berlin and went on to earn her Habilitation Venia legendi in Political Science from the same institution. Professor Lemke has been a visiting scholar at a number of US institutions over the years as she has maintained her permanent faculty positions in Germany. She has taught courses at UNC-Chapel Hill, Stanford University, Harvard University, and Suffolk University. In addition, while on a leave from the University of Hannover from 2006 to 2007, Professor Lemke served as the Director of State Parliament, Lower Saxony. Professor Lemke’s academic areas of expertise include: European Politics, Democracy and Governance in the EU, Transatlantic Relations, Comparative Politics and Political Theory, and American Politics. She is the author/editor of numerous books and articles, including: Internationale Beziehungen: Grundkonzepte, Theorien und Problemfelder, 4th ed. (International Relations: Concepts, Theories, and Key Issues, 2018); Germany Today. Politics and Policies in a Changing World, 2018; Europäische Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik (European Foreign and Security Policy, 2010), Menschenrechte und Migration (Human Rights and Migration, 2009).

Headshot of Christiane Lemke.

Dominic Nyhuis

Dominic Nyhuis is Visiting DAAD Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Nyhuis received his PhD from the University of Mannheim for a project on the link between district preferences and candidate communication in German elections. His research on European and German politics focuses on party politics, legislatures, and subnational politics. With a background in quantitative methods, he is particularly interested in how the digital transformation changes research practices in the social sciences. To this end, he has worked on the automated collection of large-scale web data, as well as tools for the analysis of text and video data. Professor Nyhuis currently teaches undergraduate European Studies and Political Science majors as well as students in the TransAtlantic Masters Program.

Headshot of Dominic Nyhuis.


Diversity in Germany Today

How Germans Deal with Cultural Diversity
Bertelsmann Stiftung | Dr. Yasemin El-Menouar

Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany
Bundesministerium der Justiz and fur Verbraucherschutz

Talking about Cultural Diversity in Germany
Natascha Zeljko

Germany’s Real Political Divide is Generational
Jagoda Marinic

Virtual Migration Museum
Jahre Domid

Germany Needs Immigrants to Stay Competitive: Economist
Dmytro Kaniewski

Lessons From Germany’s Refugee Crisis: Integration, Costs, and Benefits
Stefan Trines, Research Editor, World Education News & Reviews

COVID-19 and Queer Asylum Symposium
Queer European Asylum Network

Photo of a mural with many people of various cultural backgrounds.

German Presidency

The Presidency of the Council of the EU
European Council | Council of the European Union

The European Council
European Council | Council of the European Union

Germany at the Helm: Can it Bring Europe Together in 2020?
European Council on Foreign Relations | André Hein

Pulling Together or Pulling Apart: The Coronavirus Crisis and Political Participation
European Council on Foreign Relations | Milica Delevic

Photo of the German Federal Council in Berlin.

Technology and Science from Germany

The German Energiewende
Federal Foreign Office | Energiewende

Germany Exceeds 50% Renewable Energy Use Milestone
EcoWatch | Deutsche Welle

Photo of solar panels and a blue sky with white fluffy clouds.

Logos of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and building Tomorrow Campus Week initiative plus Twitter handle GermanyUSA.