Student Spotlight: Andrea Rutan Receives Summer Grant

Congratulations Andrea Rutan for receiving a summer grant from the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies ( to conduct research in Germany!  Read below to learn about her plans. 

What will you be researching during fieldwork? 

My dissertation is an attempt to address the concept Heimat [home, homeland, native region] as it is either explicitly or implicitly positioned within various discourses in Germany. The aim of my field research in Germany is to investigate ‘two sites’ visibly enmeshed in local, regional, and transnational spheres of cultural production: The PEGIDA movements and its counter-protests, and the preserved material culture of the 1989 peaceful Monday demonstrations. Overall, the materials to be considered in this investigation consist of ‘two sites’ that are simultaneously engaged in the cultural production of the German idea Heimat and implicated in its workings.

What methods of data collection will you be using? 

I adopt a historical-materialist approach to the phenomenon Heimat and incorporate historical and ethnographic methods and techniques for collecting and recording the data. My plan is to conduct archival research regarding the emergence and development of the PEGIDA movements and its counter-protests, legislative acts and documents from political parties on the PEGIDA movements, debates on immigration control, and surveillance practices at the Berlin State Library and the Federal Archives in Berlin. The ethnographic component includes participatory observation of guided tours at the Dresdner “Peaceful Revolution Trail” and the study of the preserved material culture of the 1989 Monday marches at the Berlin Wall Memorial at Bernauer Straße. The historical and ethnographic research methods allow me to interrogate, in unobtrusive ways, the material, discursive, and imaginary productions of Heimat at ‘two sites.’ The dialectical method works to keep these analytical objects open, fluid, and, most importantly, systematically interconnected.