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Priscilla Layne
Professor of German; Adjunct Associate Professor of African and Afro-American Studies; Director of the Center for European Studies; Departmental Diversity Liaison


Ph.D., German Studies, University of California at Berkeley

Intellectual Biography & Awards

Priscilla’s first book, White Rebels in Black: German Appropriation of Black Popular Culture, is forthcoming April 2018 with the University of Michigan Press. In this book, she examines how, following WWII, German artists often associated white, rebellious male characters with black popular culture, because black culture functioned as a metaphor for rebellion. Priscilla is currently working on her second book, Out of this World: Afro-German Afrofuturism, which focuses on Afro-German authors’ use of Afrofuturist concepts in literature and theater. In addition to this project, some of the broader themes she is interested in are German national identity, conceptions of race and self/other in Germany, cross-racial empathy, postcolonialism, and rebellion.

Dr. Layne was recently interviewed on about her new book White Rebels in Black: German Appropriation of Black Popular Culture. Read about her interview.

After serving as Vice President from 2020-2021, Dr. Layne is now President of the American Association of Teachers of German through 2023. Visit the website here.

Recent Publications

White Rebels in Black: German Appropriation of Black Popular Culture. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2018.

“Space is the Place: Afrofuturism in Olivia Wenzel’s Mais in Deutschland und anderen Galaxien (2015).” German Life and Letters. 71.4 2018: 511-528.

“Exploring Race and Gender in Anna Seghers’s ‘The Reintroduction of Slavery in Guadeloupe’.”Atlantic Studies 14.4. 2017: 543-564.

“Between Play and Mimicry: The Limits of Humanism in Verrücktes Blut.” Colloquia Germanica. 47. 1-2. 2017. 31-58.

“‘Schwarz ist in’: Racial Fetishism, Sexuality and Black Masculinity in Lothar Lambert’s 1 Berlin Harlem.” German Studies Review. 39.2. 2016. 335-352.

“Regulating and Transgressing the Borders of the Berlin Republic in Doris Dörrie’s Die Friseuse (2010).” Women in German Yearbook 31. 2015. 147-173.


Ideological Rupture in the dffb: An Analysis of Hans-Rüdiger Minow’s Berlin, 2. Juni,” in Celluloid Revolt: German Screen Cultures and the Long Sixties. Edited by Christina Gerhardt and Marco Abel. Camden House. 20 pp. in ms. Forthcoming 2019.

“All that Glitters isn’t Gold: Auma Obama’s Nightmare of Postunification Germany.” Camera Obscura (forthcoming 2018)

“The Darkening of Europe: Afrofuturist Ambitions and Afropessimist Fears in Damir Lukacevic’s Dystopian Film Transfer (2010).” Seminar: A Journal for Germanic Studies (forthcoming 2018)

Frequently Taught Courses

  • GERM 67: Germany and the Black Diaspora
  • GERM 265: Hitler and Hollywood: Cinematic Representations of Nazi Germany


For more about Dr. Layne, see her Curriculum Vitae.