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German Division as Shared Experience: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Postwar Everyday

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German Division as Shared Experience

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Postwar Everyday

Edited by Erica Carter, Jan Palmowski, and Katrin Schreiter

360 pages, 7 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-242-7 $130.00/£92.00 Hb Not Yet Published (June 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-243-4 eBook Not Yet Published

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“A refreshing, enlightening read across a good range of topics. This collection shows itself to be as integrated across disciplinary approaches as it shows the German experience to have been during and after the period of division.” • Mark Allinson, University of Bristol

“This genuinely engaging book offers an intriguing exploration of the diverse cultural practices that shaped experiences of postwar Germany.” • Paul Steege, Villanova University


Despite the nearly three decades that have passed since Reunification, we still have little understanding of the ways in which the everyday experiences of Germans overlapped during forty years of political and ideological division. German Division as Shared Experience shows the extent to which the story of East and West Germany was one of mutual entanglement after 1945. By subsuming political considerations into the historical domain of the social and cultural, each of the innovative studies presented here analyzes moments of connection at the level of lived experience across the East-West divide.

Erica Carter is Professor of German and Film and the Head of the German Department at King’s College London. Her books include Béla Balázs:  Early Film Theory (2010) and Dietrich’s Ghosts: The Sublime and the Beautiful in Third Reich Film (2004).

Jan Palmowski is Pro Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate and Transnational Education at the University of Warwick. His most recent book is Inventing a Socialist Nation: Heimat and the Politics of Everyday Life in the GDR, 1945–90 (2009).

Katrin Schreiter is Lecturer in German and European Studies at King’s College London. Her monograph Designing One Nation: The Politics of Economic Culture and Trade in Divided Germany, 19491990 is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.

Subject: Postwar History General Cultural Studies
Area: Germany


List of Figures
List of Abbreviations

Introduction: German Division as Shared Experience
Erica Carter, Jan Palmowski and Katrin Schreiter

Chapter 1. Narrating the Everyday: Television, Memory and the Subjunctive in the GDR, 1969–89
Jan Palmowski

Chapter 2. Tension of Germanness in the Global South: German Immigration in Namibia
Heidi Armbruster

Chapter 3. ‘Ich bin parteilich, subjektiv und emotional’: Eigensinn and the Narrative (Re)construction of Political Agency in Inge Viett’s Nie war ich furchtloser
Katharina Karcher

Chapter 4. Asymmetrical (Be)longing: Villagers, Spatial Practices and the German ‘Other’
Marcel Thomas

Chapter 5. Everyday Displacements in Cold War Berlin: Short Prose from East and West
Áine McMurtry

Chapter 6. DEFA’s ‘Home-made’ Experiment: Traces of GDR Reality and International Avant-garde Film in Jürgen Böttcher’s Transformations (1981)
Franziska Nössig

Chapter 7. Style Identities and Individualization in 1980s East and West Germany
Alissa Bellotti

Chapter 8. Cultivating the Past: The Schrebergarten as a Political Space in Postwar German Literature
Katrin Schreiter

Chapter 9. Painting in East Germany: An Elite Art for the Everyday (and Everyone)
April Eisman

Chapter 10. The Perceptual Fabric and Everyday Practices of Jazz and Pop in East and West Germany
Michael J. Schmidt

Chapter 11. Alles Geschmackssache? Shaping (Gustatory) Tastes in East and West Germany
Alice Weinreb

Erica Carter, Jan Palmowski, and Katrin Schreiter

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