Research project

GloVib (junior research group): Global entanglements and racial categorizations. The Iberian Roots of German Racial Thought (16th-20th Century)

The project is being carried out by a team of five historians and history didactics experts at the University of Trier. It is dedicated to an interdisciplinary study of German colonialism and thus pursues two goals: 

  1.  Research into the underexposed facets of German racial thought should strengthen racism research in Germany. 
  2.  Based on research, school materials are produced, and a transfer of scientific knowledge to society is sought to contribute to combating racism. 

The roots of German racial stereotypes in the global circulation of ideas are explored in the project. It examines how ideas of 'miscegenation' from the Iberian colonial empire influenced notions of human difference in early modern and contemporary Germany. German-speaking actors involved in Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese colonial endeavors ensured the adaptation of two visions of 'mixing' in Germany that emerged around 1580: 'racial mixing' as enrichment and as 'degeneration.' 

The traces of these visions in the history of ideas led to the atrocities of the 1940s. In dialogue with the Rhineland-Palatinate State Institute of Education, GloVib will advocate anchoring the history of German colonialism and racism in secondary schools. 

A publicly accessible website will offer materials for teacher training, among other things. With anti-racism experts and the e.V. "For a colorful Trier", GloVib will make its scientific findings available to a broad public at public events.