German Literature, History and the Nation

Papers from the Conference ‘The Fragile Tradition’, Cambridge 2002. Volume 2

by Christian Emden (Volume editor) David Robin Midgley (Volume editor)
©2004 Conference proceedings 398 Pages


This is the second of three volumes based on papers given at the ‘Fragile Tradition’ conference in Cambridge, 2002. Together they provide a conspectus of current research on the cultural, historical and literary imagination of the German-speaking world across the whole of the modern period.
This volume highlights the connections between cultural identity and the sense of nationhood which are to be found in literary writing, the history of ideas, and the interaction between European cultures from the late Middle Ages to the present day. It focuses particularly on the way myths of cultural identity are passed on and transformed historically; on the fashioning of various models of modern German identity with reference to the cultures of Greece, France, England and Renaissance Italy; on the reflection of 19th-century nationalism in literary writing and ideas about language; and on the ways in which cultural values have asserted themselves in relation to moments of catastrophe and abrupt political change in the 1920s, the 1940s, and the 1990s.


ISBN (Softcover)
Kulturwissenschaften Kongress Cambrigde (2002) cultural history national identity interaction between European cultures historical anthropology Geistesgeschichte modern German identity history of ideas literary representations
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2004. 398 pp., 4 ill.

Biographical notes

Christian Emden (Volume editor) David Robin Midgley (Volume editor)

The Editors: Christian Emden studied at Konstanz and Cambridge (Ph.D. 2000), and is now Assistant Professor of German at Rice University, Houston. He was a Research Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, from 2000 to 2003. He is the author of Nietzsche on Language, Consciousness, and the Body (2004), and is now investigating the relation between language and history in 19th-century classical scholarship and the emergence of ‘historische Kulturwissenschaft’ in the early 20th century. David Midgley studied at Oxford (DPhil 1975). He was a Humboldt Scholar in 1979, and is now Reader in German Literature and Culture at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John’s College. He is the author of Writing Weimar (2000) and many other publications in the field of German literary modernism.


Title: German Literature, History and the Nation