Our new fellows
Noa K. Ha was born in West-Germany into an Indo-Dutch-German family. She has directed the Center for Integration Research at the TU Dresden since 2018. After her formation as a landscape gardener, she studied landscape planning at TU Berlin and did her doctorate in architecture on the topic of informality and racism exemplified by street vending in Berlin. She taught and researched in the areas of historical urbanism, urban sociology and the sociology of space at TU Berlin, Center for Metropolitan Studies, and the Humboldt-Universität. Her research investigates processes of urban production from decolonial, critical race theory, feminist and queer theory perspective. She’s a founding member of the “Critical Race, Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies Association” and is active in several organizations such as Migrationsrat Berlin-Brandenburg e.V., of korientation e.V. (an Asian German network), and of Critical Ethnic Studies Association (CESA).
Natasha A. Kelly is a writer, curator and scholar-activist. Her work combines theory and practice to draw connections between art, academia and society. She is artistic director of the theater series “May Sisters” in honor of the Ghanaian-German poet May Ayim. Her debut film, Milli’s Awakening (Millis Erwachen), premiered at the 76th Berlin Biennale in 2018 and has since been exhibited at the Museum for Modern Art in Frankfurt.
Armin Langer studied philosophy and Jewish theology in Budapest, Jerusalem, and Potsdam and is currently writing his doctoral dissertation in sociology at the Humboldt University in Berlin. He is the author of the book "A Jew in Neukoelln" (Ein Jude in Neukoelln) and editor of the collection "Made Foreign & Reoriented: Jewish-Muslim Interconnections" (Fremdgemacht & Reorientiert – jüdisch-muslimische Verflechtungen). He writes freelance for Spiegel Online, Die Zeit, and Deutsche Welle, among other outlets. Since 2013, he coordinates the Jewish-Muslim initiative, Salaam-Shalom.
Our returning fellows
Leonard Schmieding is a historian of Modern Germany. Next to youth, popular culture and music, his research and teaching interests include food and drink, Germans abroad, and museums and material culture. He also works as a public historian curating exhibitions and programs that address discrepancies between private and official memory, help students and teachers come to terms with the most recent past, and counter populism and right-wing extremism. He is currently affiliated with the University of Münster, Germany, where he investigates the history of German Reunification.
Christine Umpfenbach lives in Munich and works as theater director. Her documentary theater projects deal with urban and social realities in the city, her thematic focuses are on migration and belonging. Each project is based on intensive research. In Umpfenbach’s plays, the performers are mostly “real people”: non-actors, people engaged in other professions, old people, children, refugees. Often, Umpfenbach uses site-specific locations to turn the city itself into a stage. Her piece Gleis 11 (Platform 11) took place in a bunker in Munich's central train station. Urteile (Judgments) gave voice to the victims of the National Socialist Underground (NSU), a neo-Nazi cell, in Munich. Umpfenbach has worked in many theaters, including the Volksbühne Berlin, Münchner Kammerspiele, Theater Freiburg, and Residenztheater. In 2014 she was awarded the prestigious Förderpreis Theater Award by the city of Munich.