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About Frank Usbeck

I am a researcher in the humanities, and serve as curator for the Americas at the State Art Collections Dresden / Ethnographic Collections Saxony (SKD/SES), a museum collaboration with three cultural-anthropology museums in Leipzig, Dresden, and Herrnhut. I hold an MA (magister artium) in American studies, modern and contemporary history, and journalism from Leipzig University. During my study-abroad year at the University of Arizona, I majored in American Indian Studies. In 2010, I earned my PhD at Leipzig, combining these disciplines in a study on Native American imagery in German periodicals and, particularly, in Nazi propaganda. The book titled Fellow Tribesmen was published with Berghahn (New York) in 2015.

Trying to describe my academic training and interests in a few words I keep coming back to “philology.” The term changed its meaning over the centuries and across different languages; it refers to both history, literature, and learning in a general sense. In some of its historical connotations, it denotes love of argument or being talkative. At some point, people used the term to discuss specifically the history of language. I can identify with all these usages. I love to tell stories, I love listening to them or reading them, and I love to search and dig for them.

This blog primarily discusses stories I come across while doing research and visiting museums and historic sites, but also the actual process of analyzing, interpreting, digging up stories, be they American, German, transatlantic, or other. The different posts will address my research interests in Native American studies, cultural and military history, media, and museums. I will talk about conferences, the progress of my research projects, and developments in the humanities that are relevant to my work. However, since my professional and private interests overlap in so many aspects, I’ll also frequently meander off and indulge in discussing anecdotes, pleasure reads (or screenings), and tell my own stories when they come up.


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