The conference will commemorate both the 20th anniversary of CGES and the centenary of the end of the First World War, marking both the American (and Triple Entente’s) Armistice Day and German (Central Powers) Remembrance Day. World-renowned experts on migration and immigration, hot-button issues in both the U.S. and Germany, will join with UW-Madison researchers to conduct a broad comparative sweep of attitudes toward immigrants in 1914 and in contemporary Germany and the U.S., with a focus on how globalization and other economic factors have been exploited in both historical contexts demonize outsiders and migrants in the name of political ideology. The conference will be interdisciplinary, bringing in sociologists and demographers, political scientists who can provide comparative interpretations of advanced democracies, and historians. The American view of Germans has transformed radically over the past century, ranging from negative stereotypes as “Huns” and “Nazis” to positive models of efficiency, diligence, and academic and cultural innovation. This conference will deepen our understanding of how such stereotyped views of the “enemy” and outsider can quickly change as a result of global events.
Sponsored by the Center for European Studies and the Center for German and European Studies