Immediately after arriving on April 24, 2019, the group members from Helsinki, Minneapolis and Bochum met with the teachers for dinner in a typical American bar. Finally, the group members who had worked together for such a long period of time could get to know each other face to face.
The visit to the Anderson Library and the archive exhibition Calling to Question, was a successful start to the content program. The controversial exhibition led to the establishment of a commission of inquiry to investigate the allegations of racist and anti-Semitic university policies in the 1960s and to draw conclusions from them. The Commission’s archive work should play a major role in the course of the excursion.
Anderson Library, Calling to Question
The guided archivist’s tour of the archives of the University Archives, deep below the Mississippi, was very enlightening with regard to the questions of materiality and techniques of archiving
The invitation of the Center of German and European Studies to lunch and the presentation of current research projects by the participating teachers was a welcome framework for exchange, also regarding possible future cooperation between the universities.
Another aspect of memory, memory and archive was illuminated by the visit to the Hennepin County Museum: This was about the memories of Afro-Americans in Minneapolis who have so far found little access to public archives, but which are found in private collections, association registers, etc. let it be found. Here, too, organized leadership was helpful in reflecting on the complex relationships between politics and memory as well as private and public.
The jointly developed research projects were surprisingly high. Much attention has been paid to this and future work. The space for discussion and suggestions by the teachers as well as advice on theses or future projects was used intensively and.
In the afternoon of April 26th, 19, the university management invited to vote on the proposals of the commission of inquiry. Since Prof. Leslie Morris was not only a lecturer for the project but also part of this commission of inquiry, we were able to experience current political debates and political consequences of archive research during the Regents Meeting. Members of the investigative commission demanded the right to speak, and the police threatened to clear the assembly until a spokesman for the commission was finally granted the right to speak. The instructions of the commission to rename individual buildings of the university were rejected by the regents in protest of those present.
As part of an invitation to dinner in the private house of Prof. MJ Maynes, the events of the exciting day and the Regents Meeting could be arranged, discussed and the following TV coverage followed. The hospitality of our hosts was also a great gift that evening. The evening in a typical Minnesotan Wood House was an irretrievable experience.
A tour along the Green Line enabled us to understand urban space and urban planning aspects as an archive. Through the expert guidance, we experienced architecture and traffic routes as materializations of the social and migration history of the city.
The visit to Fort Snelling and the memorial of the Dakota Concentration Camp located here was an insight into the history of Dakota after the settlement of the first European settlers as part of the history of the USA and the state of Minnesota.
The excursion to Minneapolis was an intensive personal and professional experience for all participants. Through the promotion of the promos, an international and interdisciplinary exchange was possible, which will inspire or produce future scientific projects in various ways. We thank you for the support and the trust placed in us!