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Debating German Cultural Identity since 1989

Debating German Cultural Identity since 1989 by Anne Fuchs
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The events of 1989 and German unification were seismic historical moments. Although 1989 appeared to signify a healing of the war-torn history of the twentieth century, unification posed the question of German cultural identity afresh. Politicians, historians, writers, filmmakers, architects, and the wider public engaged in "memory contests" over such questions as the legitimacy of alternative biographies, West German hegemony, and the normalization of German history. This dynamic, contested, and still ongoing transformation of German cultural identity is the topic of this volume of new essays by an international team of scholars.
Exploring German cultural identity over the past two decades through a diversity of disciplines including history, film studies, architectural history, literary criticism, memory studies, and anthropology, the volume resists the danger of producing a homogenized interpretation. Charting the complex and often contradictory processes of cultural identity formation, it reveals the diversity of responses that continue to accompany the project of unification. While it provides multiple, sometimes contradictory interpretations of German cultural identity, the volume is nevertheless characterized by strong thematic coherence arising from its focus on the changing mental maps of Germany since 1989.

Anne Fuchs is Professor of German Literature at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Kathleen James-Chakraborty is Professor of Art History at University College Dublin. Linda Shortt is Lecturer in German at Bangor University.The events of 1989 and German unification were seismic historical moments. Although 1989 appeared to signify a healing of the war-torn history of the twentieth century, unification posed the question of German cultural identity afresh. Politicians, historians, writers, filmmakers, architects, and the wider public engaged in "memory contests" over such questions as the legitimacy of alternative biographies, West German hegemony, and the normalization of German history. This dynamic, contested, and still ongoing transformation of German cultural identity is the topic of this volume of new essays by an international team of scholars.
Exploring German cultural identity over the past two decades through a diversity of disciplines including history, film studies, architectural history, literary criticism, memory studies, and anthropology, the volume resists the danger of producing a homogenized interpretation. Charting the complex and often contradictory processes of cultural identity formation, it reveals the diversity of responses that continue to accompany the project of unification. While it provides multiple, sometimes contradictory interpretations of German cultural identity, the volume is nevertheless characterized by strong thematic coherence arising from its focus on the changing mental maps of Germany since 1989.

Anne Fuchs is Professor of German Literature at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Kathleen James-Chakraborty is Professor of Art History at University College Dublin. Linda Shortt is Lecturer in German at Bangor University.
Boydell & Brewer; December 2011
266 pages; ISBN 9781571137869
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Title: Debating German Cultural Identity since 1989
Author: Anne Fuchs; Kathleen James-Chakraborty; Linda Shortt
 
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Excerpt
The events of 1989 and German unification were seismic historical moments. Although 1989 appeared to signify a healing of the war-torn history of the twentieth century, unification posed the question of German cultural identity afresh. Politicians, historians, writers, filmmakers, architects, and the wider public engaged in "memory contests" over such questions as the legitimacy of alternative biographies, West German hegemony, and the normalization of German history. This dynamic, contested, and still ongoing transformation of German cultural identity is the topic of this volume of new essays by an international team of scholars.Exploring German cultural identity over the past two decades through a diversity of disciplines including history, film studies, architectural history, literary criticism, memory studies, and anthropology, the volume resists the danger of producing a homogenized interpretation. Charting the complex and often contradictory processes of cultural identity formation, it reveals the diversity of responses that continue to accompany the project of unification. While it provides multiple, sometimes contradictory interpretations of German cultural identity, the volume is nevertheless characterized by strong thematic coherence arising from its focus on the changing mental maps of Germany since 1989.Anne Fuchs is Professor of German Literature at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Kathleen James-Chakraborty is Professor of Art History at University College Dublin. Linda Shortt is Lecturer in German at Bangor University.The events of 1989 and German unification were seismic historical moments. Although 1989 appeared to signify a healing of the war-torn history of the twentieth century, unification posed the question of German cultural identity afresh. Politicians, historians, writers, filmmakers, architects, and the wider public engaged in "memory contests" over such questions as the legitimacy of alternative biographies, West German hegemony, and the normalization of German history. This dynamic, contested, and still ongoing transformation of German cultural identity is the topic of this volume of new essays by an international team of scholars.
Exploring German cultural identity over the past two decades through a diversity of disciplines including history, film studies, architectural history, literary criticism, memory studies, and anthropology, the volume resists the danger of producing a homogenized interpretation. Charting the complex and often contradictory processes of cultural identity formation, it reveals the diversity of responses that continue to accompany the project of unification. While it provides multiple, sometimes contradictory interpretations of German cultural identity, the volume is nevertheless characterized by strong thematic coherence arising from its focus on the changing mental maps of Germany since 1989.Anne Fuchs is Professor of German Literature at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Kathleen James-Chakraborty is Professor of Art History at University College Dublin. Linda Shortt is Lecturer in German at Bangor University.