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Maria Höhn

Professor and Chair of History on the Marion Musser Lloyd '32 Chair

Maria Höhn teaches German history and is an established scholar of the American military presence in Germany. Her book, GIs and Fräuleins, published in 2002 by the University of North Carolina Press was the first book to address the experiences of African American soldiers in Germany. A German translation of her book Amis, Cadillacs, und “Negerliebchen”: GIs im Nachkriegsdeutschland was published with Verlag Berlin-Brandenburg in 2008. That book is currently being translated into the Chinese, forthcoming with Beijing Yanziyue Culture & Art Studio in Beijing.

Together with Seungsook Moon she co-authored and co-edited Over There: Living with The US Military Empire from World War Two to the Present which explores the impact of US military bases on gender and race relations in West Germany, South Korea and Japan (Duke, 2010). A Korean translation of Over There is forthcoming. She is also the co-author (with Martin Klimke) of A Breath of Freedom: African American GIs, the Civil Rights Struggle and Germany (Palgrave 2010). A revised and expanded version of that book, will be published in German in April 2016 as Ein Hauch von Freiheit? Afroamerikanische Soldaten, die US Bürgerrechtsbewegung und Deutschland.

Höhn is the co-founder and co-director of “The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs, and Germany” (https://twitter.com/aacvrgermany), a digital archive and oral history collection that the NAACP honored during the organization’s centennial convention in 2009 with the Julius E. Williams Distinguished Community Service Award. A photography exhibition based on that research project has been shown at universities and museums in the United States, Germany and Great Britain.

Höhn has also served as a historical consultant and co-narrator for a number of television documentaries on the impact of the American military on Germany society, and the experience of African American GIs in that country. She advised filmmaker Maia Wechsler for Melvin and Jean: An American Story, a documentary that aired on French public TV and premiered at the NYC Documentary Film Festival in November 2012. She also collaborated with Annette Baumeister on a documentary on The Germans and the Vietnam War, which aired in May 2013 on German Public TV. Most recently, Broadview TV and Smithsonian Channel produced a 90-minute documentary based on her research. “Breath of Freedom,” directed by Dag Freyer and narrated by Cuba Gooding Jr., which aired on Smithsonian Channel and German public television.

Höhn is the recipient of prestigious grants from the Mellon Foundation, the NEH, the DAAD, and the American Philosophical Society. In 2010, the German Academic Exchange Service and the German Studies Association awarded her essay, “The Black Panther Solidarity Committees and the Voice of the Lumpen” the prize for best article.

Maria’s name also appears online as Maria Hoehn or Maria Hohn. Her name should be listed as Maria Höhn.