15-21 Dec 2015 Felsberg Institute received the visit of an academic delegation from the University of Tennessee/Knoxville. Prof. Tricia Redeker Hepner Ph.D, Department of Anthropology and Director of the Disasters, Displacement and Human Rights Program, sociologist Randal Hepner Ph.D, Department of Religious Studies and Prof. Karla M. McKanders Esq., College of Law and Director of the Law Clinic, arrived from Knoxville to explore on Germany’s current influx of refugees. They were accompanied by students Brook L. Conner, Pacific School of Religion, University of California/Berkeley, and Joshua C. Brown, College Scholars and Haslam Scholars Program at UoT, who currently prepare study projects and thesis writing.

In order to provide a broad picture and open up different vistas FI organised visits in various public and private institutions as well as several meetings with involved professionals and local politicians.


Among others the delegation was able to visit Hessen’s Central Reception Center for Asylum Seekers in Gießen, a townhall meeting on the refugee issue in the city of Eschwege and the catholic CARITAS-reception center at Kassel’s Jägerkaserne. They met and discussed with social workers, psychologists, assigned civil servants, a judge at Kassel administrative court, representatives of Kassel city council, Kassel municipality and Landkreis as well as with scholars from Social Work and German as Second Language departments at Kassel University.


Legal procedures, logistics, political discourse and last not least personal motivations of professionals involved have been issues of high interest for our visitors and further cooperation and research has been agreed upon.




US-Delegation from University of Tennessee visits refugee camps in Germany