Walking in the Shadows of Digital Palms: German Émigrés in Los Angeles (1932 – 1945)

Center for Digital Humanities Pilot Award
Spring 2019

This project showcases immigration stories of German artists, filmmakers, authors, composers who fled Hitler’s Germany and who sought refuge in the Los Angeles area. It highlights the stories of arrival, loss, and of fractured biographies and the need to reinvent oneself in a new cultural, social, political and linguistic setting. This project highlights the experience of exile. More specifically it refocuses the stories of this group to bring into relief the affective history of displacement and immigration. Moreover, given that these émigrés are leading figures in the cutting-edge media of their time, how can we translate their experience into a contemporary media landscape? My area of expertise prepares me well for this project, which intends to reach a broad audience and be a relevant site-specific resource for lay people, teachers and scholars. Research will be translated into a creative and unique experience of the place where history, biography and location intersect. I plan to develop a digital platform that includes mapping the homes of German immigrants to the Los Angeles area through GIS/Mapping and stage a dramaturgy of hypertexts through Digital Storytelling to create an experience of Los Angeles through the lens of its vibrant past. The project will be multilingual (German, English and Spanish).

Principal Investigator: