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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2019/20 Prof. Dr. Andrew I. Port

Prof. Dr. Andrew I. Port

Wayne State University
External Senior Fellow (Marie S. Curie FCFP)
January - July 2016


Andrew I. Port is an associate professor of history at Wayne State University in Detroit. He previously taught as a Lecturer at Harvard University and at Yale University, and also worked as a Project Coordinator at the Office of Human Rights in Nuremberg. He received a Ph.D. in modern European history from Harvard, a B.A. in history from Yale, and a degree in political science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris. Port won the DAAD Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in German and European Studies from the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) at Johns Hopkins University, where he is now a non-resident Fellow. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Central European History and formerly served as Review Editor of the German Studies Review. His research focuses on modern Germany, communism and state socialism, social protest, popular resistance under autocratic regimes, and comparative genocide. His first book, Conflict and Stability in the German Democratic Republic, appeared in 2007 with Cambridge University Press. A German translation, Die rätselhafte Stabilität der DDR, appeared with Christoph Links Verlag and the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung in 2010-2011, and received a great deal of media attention in Germany. He also co-edited with Mary Fulbrook Becoming East German: Socialist Structures and Sensibilities after Hitler. Port’s current project is entitled “What Germans Talk About When They Talk About Genocide,” which looks at German reactions to genocide in other parts of the world since 1945, with a special focus on Cambodia, Bosnia, and Rwanda.


Selected Publications

  • Conflict and Stability in the German Democratic Republic (Cambridge University Press, 2007; paperback, 2008)
  • Die rätselhafte Stabilität der DDR. Arbeit und Alltag im sozialistischen            Deutschland (Ch. Links Verlag, 2010) (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2011).
  • Becoming East German: Socialist Structures and Sensibilities after Hitler (Berghahn Books, 2013; paperback, 2015) (co-edited with Mary Fulbrook).
  • “Democracy and Dictatorship in the Cold War: The Two Germanies, 1949-1961,” in The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History, ed. Helmut W. Smith (Oxford University Press, 2011), 619-643.
  • “Courting China, Condemning China: East and West German Cold War Diplomacy in the Shadow of the Cambodian Genocide,” German History (2015).


FRIAS Research Project

What Germans Talk About When They Talk About Genocide: German Reactions to Post-Holocaust Genocide

My current project, “What Germans Talk about When They Talk about Genocide,” explores the ways in which Germans have responded to acts of state-sponsored mass murder that have taken place elsewhere in the world since 1945, concentrating primarily on German reactions to the genocides that occurred in Cambodia, Rwanda, and the Balkans. The object of my investigation – which focuses on the German media and human rights groups, as well as on the political, diplomatic, and intellectual establishments – is twofold: first, to delineate and account for the evolution of German foreign policy and especially its increasingly interventionist role abroad, ostensibly for humanitarian reasons; and second, to complicate our understanding of how the country most closely associated with genocide has, through the prism of genocide elsewhere, dealt (also discursively) with its own tarnished past. In essence, the project examines the intersection between domestic debates about the Nazi period and the evolving nature of postwar German foreign policy, and embeds this in a comparison of the eastern and western halves of Germany both before and after unification, as well as in an investigation of the resurgent international attention given to human rights issues over the past three decades. All of this reflects my sustained interest in one of the most important directions I hope the study of modern Germany will take in the future, namely a more integrative approach to the history of the two postwar states, especially in an international context.