Silke Hackenesch

Dr. Silke Hackenesch is an assistant professor (Akademische Rätin) at the Institute of North American History at the University of Cologne. She specializes in 20th century Childhood and Adoption Studies, African American History, Commodity History, and Black Diaspora Studies. Silke is the author of Adoption Across Race and Nation: US Histories and Legacies (Ohio State University Press, 2022) and of Chocolate and Blackness: A Cultural History (Campus, 2017). She has published articles in Historische Anthropologie, Food and History, and Comparativ: Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung, and has written chapters for Rethinking Black German Studies, Kinder des Zweiten Weltkrieges (Campus), and Race & Sex as well as a chapter on Sojourner Truth for the volume Geschichte des Politischen Denkens (Suhrkamp). Currently, she is working on a manuscript titled “Colorblind Love or Racial Responsibility? The Adoption of Black German Children to Postwar America,” which analyzes the contested debates the transnational adoption of Black German children elicited in the (African) American community, from civil rights organizations, to social work professionals and individual adoption advocates. Silke serves as a board member for the book series “Imagining Black Europe” at Peter Lang Publishing and is an advisory board member for the Black German Heritage and Research Association. Her research has been supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Thyssen Foundation, the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Society for the History of Children and Youth (SHCY), the Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture (ASAC), the University of Cologne, and the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC.