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The GDR Today

New Interdisciplinary Approaches to East German History, Memory and Culture


Edited By Stephan Ehrig, Marcel Thomas and David Zell

The GDR Today promotes interdisciplinary approaches to East Germany by gathering articles from a new generation of scholars in the fields of literary and visual studies, history, sociology, translation studies, political science, museum studies and curating practice. The contributors to this volume argue that it is necessary to transgress disciplinary boundaries to escape the gridlocked categories of GDR scholarship. Exploring East German everyday life, cultural policies, memory and memorialization, the volume aims to reinvigorate the study of the GDR. Through the combination and juxtaposition of different approaches to East Germany, it overcomes intra-disciplinary conceptual binaries and revitalizes debates about the very concepts we use to understand life under late twentieth-century state socialism.

CONTENTS: Richard Slipp: Memory in the Narratives of Christoph Hein – Christoph Hein in Narratives of Memory – Elizabeth M. Ward: «Who is Heinz Stielke?» Questions of Identity in Michael Kann’s Stielke, Heinz, funfzehn – Mary Frank: Investigating the (Un)Translatability of the GDR – Stephan Ehrig: Deconstructing Revolutionary Traditions: Stefan Schütz’s Kohlhaas – Tom Smith: Music, the GDR Military and the GDR Today in the Works of Walter Flegel – Christian Rau: Agent of Socialism? The Knowledge of the East German Academic Librarian – Dirk Thomaschke: The GDR in Ortschroniken and Heimatbucher after 1990 – Marcel Thomas: Beyond Ostalgie: Villagers and Social Change in East and West Germany – Hanna Haag: Memory as Transmission: East German Families Remember the GDR – Daniel Kubiak: Socialization, Downgrading and Othering: The Formation of Identity of Young «East Germans» – Marie Müller-Zetzsche: Classroom Memory Debates on the GDR – Michaela Dixon: (Re)Unifying Narratives: The Political Memory of Opposition at Museums of the GDR – Stefanie Kreibich: Post-Ostalgie: How German Visual Culture Gradually Overcomes Binary Representations of Everyday Life in the GDR – Susanne Wernsing: «Modell DDR»: Performative Memory as Curatorial Practice.