Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Cologne, History Department, Institute for North American Studies (
Website URL
Adoption Studies, Childhood Studies, Cultural History, North American History, African American History, Critical Race Theory, Gender Studies, Black German History, Commodity & Consumption
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Silke is an Assistant professor at the Department of North American History at University of Cologne, Germany. She specializes in 20th century family and adoption studies, African American history, gender and race, and Black diaspora studies. Hackenesch has worked as an assistant for the research project “Colonial Representations on Picture Postcards in Germany, 1870-1930“ at the University of Cologne. She is a member of the Young Scholars Network “Black Diaspora and Germany,” funded by the German Research Foundation. Currently, Silke Hackenesch is working on a manuscript that explores the contested terrain of transnational adoptions into the United States after World War II. Her work 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), and the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC.

Recent Publications

A selection of her publications include Chocolate and Blackness: A Cultural History (Campus, 2017); “’These Black Americans Appear to Be the Color of Chocolate or Walnut or Caramel‘. Zu Schokolade als racial signifier und Konstruktionen von Schwarzsein in den USA des 20. Jahrhunderts” in Historische Anthropologie, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2017; “’I identify primarily as a Black German in America:’ Race, Bürgerrechte und Adoptionen in den USA der 1950er Jahre,“ in Kinder des Zweiten Weltkrieges – Stigmatisierung, Ausgrenzung und Bewältigungsstrategien (Campus, 2016); “Der Sarotti-M*** (1918/1922), oder: Was hat Konsum mit Rassismus zu tun?“ in Race & Sex: Eine Geschichte der Neuzeit (Neofelis Verlag, 2016); “’To Highlight my Beautiful Chocolate Skin.’ The Cultural Politics of the Racial Epidermis,” in Probing the Skin: Cultural Representations of our Contact Zone (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015); “In the Doing of Hair, One Does Race: Afroamerikanische Hairstyles als Technologien des Selbst” in Das schöne Selbst. Zur Genealogie des modernen Subjekts zwischen Ethik und Ästhetik (Transcript, 2009).

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
Germany, United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Children & Youth, Family, Food History, Gender, Race