The State of Diversity and Decolonization in North American German Studies
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Recent shifts in the neoliberal North American postsecondary landscape have ushered in German language and culture studies, curricula increasingly aligned with instrumentalist visions for humanities education. While these measures have provided some justification for the existence of German language and culture studies programs at a time when such programs are being eliminated—in some instances they have yielded robust and successful model programs with high enrollments, they are not grounded in principles of diversity and decolonization. This chapter provides an overview of established and emerging diversity and decolonization discourses in postsecondary German language and culture studies programs in North America. It provides an analysis of the parallel developments of instrumentalist and diversity/decolonization models for language and culture study in German, demonstrating the incommensurability between the two models.
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