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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.
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This book benefitted from the hard work and dedication of many people. The editors would like to thank first and foremost the German Studies Association. The GSA instituted “interdisciplinary networks” some years ago, as part of its commitment to interdisciplinary German studies. This led to the formation of the Environmental Studies network, and more recently, the German Socialisms network. The GSA also encouraged cooperation between interdisciplinary networks, and this led to a collaboration between the German Socialisms network and the Environmental Studies network. A huge thank you goes to Marc Silberman, who encouraged both the formation of the German Socialisms network, and the cooperation between German Socialisms and Environmental Studies. Also a huge thank you is owed to April Eisman and Benjamin Robinson, who, along with Eli Rubin, helped found the German Socialisms network and oversaw this collaboration with Environmental Studies, led by Scott Moranda and Sabine Mödersheim. Tom Lekan and Katharina Gerstenberger deserve great thanks for helping launch the Environmental Studies network and bringing Sabine and Scott together to continue its work.

Another enormous debt of gratitude belongs to our editor at Peter Lang, Laurel Plapp. It was she who had the idea of publishing the results of our networks’ collaboration. Her encouragement, steady guidance, and patience at our somewhat slow pace meant everything to the successful outcome of this book! And we would be remiss in not thanking Jost Hermand, the editor of this series, who supported this project from the beginning, and...

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