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Natalia King Rasmussen

ph.d. candidate



Dissertation Title: "Friends of Freedom, Allies of Peace: East Germany and the African-American Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1989"

Dissertation Committee: Devin Pendas (Advisor), Jonathan Zatlin, Davarian Baldwin


MA, Boston College
BA, Colby College

Research Interests:

My research examines the relationship between East Germany and the African American Civil Rights Movement, investigating the motives behind this relationship for both East Germany and the black Americans involved.  In examining this relationship, my dissertation looks to shed more light on East German notions of race, as well as racism in a state which declared itself to be anti-racist, while contributing to the discourse surrounding East German efforts at state legitimization. 

Awards and Fellowships: 

  • Boston College Diversity Fellowship
  • German Historical Institute's Doctoral Fellowship in the History of African Americans and Germans/Germany
  • Honorable Mention, Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship Program