MA Student Awarded Affiliated Fellowship Funding

MA student Susanna Cassisa has received Affiliated Fellowship funding for the upcoming academic year. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies offers these awards on the basis of academic excellence to allow meritorious students to focus on their research and contribute to steady progress toward their degrees.

Susanna’s research project is titled “Hidden in Plain Sight: Queer Liberation and the East German Secret Police [aka Stasi].” This project investigates how and why the Stasi, functioning as an organ of the East German regime — that despite decriminalizing homosexuality in 1968 viewed the LGBTQ community as “seductive” predators against juveniles, directly undermining the regime’s goal to raise a generation of youths who conformed to socialist societal norms — surveilled the members and the entire group of the gay liberation movement The Homosexual Interest Community of Berlin (HIB). Susanna’s research will contribute to our understanding of the GDR’s treatment of LGBTQ members and, more generally, to our understanding of how the GDR responded to “nonconforming” citizens who were viewed as adversarial to a socialist society.