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Anna von Rath

Doctoral Fellow


Campus Neues Palais
building 2, room 1.15

University of Potsdam
Am Neuen Palais 10
14469 Potsdam

Dissertation Project

Afropolitan Encounters

Afropolitanism is still a rather new concept, at the core of which are questions of borders and spaces of (new) African identities, ways of self-definition and (artistic) expression. Taiye Selasi and Achille Mbembe are the two cultural critics who are immediately associated with the term. While their approaches differ, both of them present Afropolitanism as a critical stance towards the self and the contemporary world. In my project, I intend to explore theories and practices of Afropolitanism and their potential for a different kind of negotiation of categories of identity (mainly focusing on ‘race’, gender, and class). I will read several cultural texts expressing versions and variations of Afropolitanism, texts which are produced and/or set in Berlin - Germany, and London - UK. In my readings, I will consider the contemporary phenomenon of Afropolitanism in relation to the contemporary political climate in Europe. My analyses of the sporadic and quite recent appearances of Afropolitanism in Europe will also always ask, if they – or the discourses they incite – could serve as interventions into structures of inequality.


I studied at the University of Potsdam (Germany), the English and Foreign Languages University in Hyderabad (India) and Westminster University, London (UK). After finishing my M.A. in Anglophone Modernities in Literature and Culture at the University of Potsdam, I joined the Chair of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures at the Department of English and American Studies as a lecturer. In October 2016, I became a fellow of the RTG Minor Cosmopolitanisms.



Editorial Work

Just Politics? Ökokritische Perspektiven im Postkolonialen Raum. Edited by: Lina Fricke, Elisabeth Nechutnys, Christoph Senft and Anna von Rath. Münster: Unrast. 2014.


Book Chapters

“Strategic Label: Afropolitan Literature in Germany”. In: James Hodapp (ed.). Afropolitan Literature as World Literature. New York: Bloomsbury, 2020.

“Ethical Aspirations in Contemporary Travel Writing”. In: Felicitas Schweiker, Anna Rasokat and Jessica Homberg-Schramm (eds.). #N3rdM: Negotiating Narratives in/for the Third Millenium. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2016. 97-115.

with Elisabeth Nechutnys. “Unnatürliche Zuschreibungen und die Falle der Repräsentation”. In: Lina Fricke, Elisabeth Nechutnys, Christoph Senft and Anna von Rath (eds.). Just Politics? Ökokritische Perspektiven im Postkolonialen Raum. Münster: Unrast. 2014. 139-152.

(with Lina Fricke, Elisabeth Nechutnys and Christoph Senft) „Vorwort“. In: Lina Fricke, Elisabeth Nechutnys, Christoph Senft and Anna von Rath (eds.). Just Politics? Ökokritische Perspektiven im Postkolonialen Raum. Münster: Unrast. 2014. 7-16. 



„Felwine Sarr. Afrotopia. Berlin: Matthes und Seitz. 2019.“ In:, 2019. Link to Article

 „Margarete Stokowski. Die letzten Tage des Patriarchats. Hamburg: Rohwolt. 2018.“, 2019. Link to Article

“Stephanie Affeldt. Consuming Whiteness: Australian Racism and the White Sugar Campaign. Berlin: Lit Verlag. 2015.“ In: ZfA 29. 2015.



Susan K. Martin. "Ludwig Leichhardt in der australischen Literatur". Trans. Elisabeth Nechutnys und Anna von Rath. In: Heike Hartmann (ed.). Der Australienforscher Ludwig Leichhardt. Spuren eines Verschollenen. Berlin: be.bra Wissenschaft Verlag, 2013. 119-129. 



“Potsdam 2015: Das Sinterklaas Fest im Holländischen Viertel – Zwarte Piet is Racism“. In: Kolonialrassismus und Widerstand. Globales (Geschichts-)Lernen in Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig und Potsdam. 2018. 

“Mister Achmed of Glienicke”. In: Postcolonial Potsdam (blog), 2018. Link to Article


In the past, I have been involved in the organization of numerous events, such as a summer school on "Postcolonial Ecocriticism between Imagination and Occupation" (2013), an international conference on "Postcolonial Justice" (2014) and a literature festival entitled "Carnival of Literatures - Planet Crime" (2016).

In addition to my academic work, which focuses, broadly speaking, on the area of postcolonial justice, I am trying to connect theory with practice. I am a certified social justice and diversity trainer, and cofounder of Postcolonial Potsdam. Postcolonial Potsdam is an organization that tries to contextualize the past and make invisible parts of history visible. We write a blog, offer postcolonial tours through Potsdam and organize events and workshops. All of this serves to open up discussion of how to deal responsibly with the legacies of traumatic histories of colonial injustices.

Additionally, in the year 2020, I also co-founded, a bilingual platform for postcolonial literatures.