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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.

Sabine Mödersheim is Associate Professor in the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, where she teaches courses on environmentalism in German culture and visual culture. She most recently co-edited Deutsche Geheimgesellschaften (2013) with Jost Hermand.

Scott Moranda is Associate Professor of History at the State University of New York at Cortland, where he teaches central European and environmental history. Previous publications include The People’s Own Landscape: Nature, Tourism, and Dictatorship in East Germany (2014).

Eli Rubin is Professor of History at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he teaches modern European history. He is the author of Synthetic Socialism: Plastics and Dictatorship in the German Democratic Republic (2008) and Amnesiopolis: Modernity, Space, and Memory in East Germany (2016).