This collection of fifteen essays by scholars from the UK, the US,
Germany, and Scandinavia revisits the question of German identity.
Unlike previous books on this topic, however, the focus is not
exclusively on national identity in the aftermath of Hitler.
Instead, the concentration is upon the plurality of ethnic, sexual,
political, geographical, and cultural identities in modern Germany,
and on their often fragmentary nature as the country struggles with
the challenges of unification and international developments such
as globalization, multiculturalism, and postmodernism. The
multifaceted nature of German identity demands a variety of
approaches: thus the essays are interdisciplinary, drawing upon
historical, sociological, and literary sources. They are organized
with reference to three distinct sections: Berlin, Political
Formations, and Difference; yet at the same time they illuminate
one another across the volume, offering a nuanced understanding of
the complex question of identity in today's Germany. Topics include
the new self-understanding of the Berlin Republic, Berlin as a
public showcase, the Berlin architecture debate, the Walser-Bubis
debate, fictions of German history and the end of the GDR, the
impact of the German student movement on the FRG, Prime Minister
Biedenkopf and the myth of Saxon identity, women in post-1989
Germany, trains as symbols and the function of the foreign in
post-1989 fiction, identity construction among Turks in Germany and
Turkish self-representation in post-1989 fiction, the state of
German literature today. Contributors: Frank Brunssen, Ulrike
Zitzlsperger Janet Stewart, Kathrin Schödel, Karen Leeder, Ingo
Cornils, Peter Thompson, Chris Szejnmann, Sabine Lang, Simon Ward,
Roswitha Skare, Eva Kolinsky, Margaret Littler, Katharina
Gerstenberger, and Stuart Parkes.
Stuart Taberner is Lecturer in German, and Frank Finlay is
Professor of German and Head of the Department of German, both at
the University of Leeds, UK.
Subjects: Language & Literature, Sociology
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