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Ecologies of Socialisms

Germany, Nature, and the Left in History, Politics, and Culture


Edited By Sabine Mödersheim, Scott Moranda and Eli Rubin

This volume explores the complex webs of interaction between the environmental movement, socialism, and the «natural» environment in Germany, and beyond, in the twentieth century. There has long been a divide between the environmental, or «green,» movement and socialist movements in Germany, a divide that has expressed itself in scholarship and intellectual discourse. And yet, upon closer inspection, the split between «red» and «green» is not as clear as it might at first seem. Indeed, little about the interaction between socialism and environmentalism, or socialism and the environment, fits into a neat binary. In a way, the discourses, positions, and policies
that structure the interactions between environmentalism, nature, and socialism in German history and culture can be said to constitute a kind of ecology – a complex and interdependent web of relations, which can appear as antagonisms, but which can also contain deeper, less immediately visible, interdependencies. Ecologies of Socialisms attempts to combine the work of scholars from a wide range of disciplines (history, literature, German/Austrian studies, philosophy, geography) in order to contribute to a better and more nuanced understanding of how «green» and «red» have clashed and also merged in German history and culture.

CONTENTS: Eli Rubin/Scott Moranda: Introduction – Scott Moranda: A Garden of Small Plots or Factory Farms? Early Cold War Agricultural Planning in East Germany – Tobias Huff: Environmental Policy in the GDR: Principles, Restrictions, Failure, and Legacy – Astrid Mignon Kirchhof: Counterworlds: The Pioneers of Nature Conservation and Life Reform in East Germany – Michel Dupuy: Justifying Air Pollution in the GDR, 1949–1989 – Gernot Waldner: Ecology and its Discontents: The Concept of Nature in Elfriede Jelinek’s Oh Wildnis, oh Schutz vor ihr –Eli Rubin: The Greens, the Left, and the GDR: A Critical Reassessment – Julie Ault: Aquatic Conundrums: The GDR’s Water Woes and Soviet Bloc Cooperation, 1963–1989 – Thomas Fleischman: The Half-Life of State Socialism: What Radioactive Wild Boars Tell Us About the Environmental History of Reunified Germany – Christina Schwenkel: Shrinking Green Cities: Trees and the Afterlife of Eco-Socialist Planning in Vietnam – Katrina Nousek: “Zweige, Nadeln, Dreck”: Dwelling on the Social in Simple Storys by Ingo Schulze – Bettina Stoetzer: Wildes Brandenburg: Engaging “Unruly Nature” in Berlin’s Peripheries