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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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Notes on Contributors


julia e. ault is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Utah. She completed her PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015. Her first book project explores East German environmental policy and protest in a transnational, Central European context, with a focus on connections to West Germany and Poland. She has received numerous fellowships, including from the Central European History Society, the Free University’s Berlin Program, and Columbia University’s Council for European Studies. She recently published “Defending God’s Creation: The Environment in State, Church and Society in the GDR, 1975–89” in German History and has a chapter in John R. McNeill and Astrid Mignon Kirchhof’s Nature and the Iron Curtain: Environmental Policy and Social Movements in Communist and Capitalist Countries, 1945–1990 (University of Pittsburgh Press). Her second book-length project explores the importance of water and water management to environmental policy in the “second world.”

michel dupuy is an associate researcher at the Institute of Modern and Contemporary History in Paris. After his PhD on the history of forest ecology in France and in Germany (1880–1980), he worked at the Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin, where he decided to investigate the environmental history of the GDR through different contexts, including scientific discourse on air pollution, especially in the public arena; hunting; forest recreation; and global warming. For 15 years, he has studied the media treatment of environmental issues on French television, with a focus on scientific discourse.

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