Markus Hallensleben

Wall Associate


Associate Professor


Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice





Geographic Location

Markus Hallensleben

My research project, situated within the wider context of the global mobility turn and critical European Culture Studies, investigates narratives of forced migration in contemporary German-language literature. Since the recent surge of asylum seekers into Europe, German-language literatures and cultural practices have changed dramatically and can thus be seen as exemplary in representing the transition of Germany towards a post-migration society of multeity (Terkessidis). The purpose of my research project is to utilize the sociological concepts of post-migration and superdiverse societies for an analysis of literary narratives as counter-narratives to Eurocentric, ethnically and nationally centred models of belonging. How do they perform transcultural and transnational identities, including memories of colonial history, genocides and wars that go across borders? My goal is to demonstrate how a trans-civic desire manifests itself in German-language literature and what its performative effects might be in understanding culture as an open transitional space, which allows for practicing civic diversity, gender and racial equality. 

Primary Recipient Awards

Markus Hallensleben – Theme Development Workshop – 2020
As part of the research facilitated by the UBC Excellence Cluster on Migration, our workshop will discuss social, political, and theoretical implications pertaining to narratives of belonging. For instance, narratives of social belonging have, in public and academic debates. long conceived of Vancouver society only in multicultural, rather than in settler colonial, terms. While popular understandings of multiculturalism can indeed provide a positive framework for immigrant inclusion, they stand in the way of decolonization as they fail to grapple with the past and present realities of settler colonialism. We frame our inquiry in terms of “belonging,” rather than “integration.” Because the notion of “integration” makes settler Canadians the reference point against which newcomers’ success (or failure) is measured, it will inadvertently reproduce settler colonialism.