Defining Tensions: A Fresh Look at Germans in Wisconsin

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Concourse Hotel


Concourse Hotel


The Max Kade Foundation The Anonymous and Humanistic Funds Friends of the Max Kade Institute Department of German, UW


A conference to examine how German immigrants to Wisconsin have gone from being seen as an alien group, sometimes even a threat to Anglo-American values, to becoming a major part of Wisconsin’s dominant culture, and even stereotypical of Wisconsin’s image in the state and beyond. Talks and sessons will cover such topics as the German roots of Wisconsin’s Free Thinkers and the broader significance of Wisconsin German-American History (by John O. Holzhueter, State Historical Society), “Ethnicity and Identity,” “Public Life,” and “Social and Political Tensions,” the importance of German-American festivals in Milwaukee from 1870 – 1920 (Heike Bungert, University of Cologne), Milwaukee’s women’s organizations social, cultural and political (Anke Ortlepp, University of Cologne), Ernst Goerner, Nazi Propagandist from Milwaukee (Harry Anderson, Milwaukee Co. Historical Society), and the challenging notions of ethnicity among German-Americans (Brent Peterson, Ripon College). There will also be sessions on German language authors who lived and wrote in Wisconsin and the long, rich life of the German language in the state. Garry Davis of UW-Milwaukee, will focus on the use of German today in Milwaukee’s German-American clubs and organizations, while Mike Lind of UW-Madison will discuss the survival of a Pomeranian dialect, still spoken today in communities in Marathon and Lincoln counties.

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