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Research


 

In my most recent research I expose changing American attitudes toward race by following the material objects used at various times to represent Germans in the United States. To modern eyes, Germans seem unambiguously “white.” But to many in the 19th century, Germans were a “colored” race. Their “whiteness” developed only over time. Using archival photos, old toys, architectural drawings, world’s fair travel guides, and site visits to German-American tourist towns, I chart the material things that come to substitute for and communicate German racial difference.