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Narratives in the Making
Writing the East German Past in the Democratic Present
242 pages, 3 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78533-302-6 $110.00/£78.00 Hb Published (November 2016)
eISBN 978-1-78533-303-3 eBook
“Gallinat suggests the importance of competing narratives, not to downplay the experience of suffering under the SED regime, but, by producing a more nuanced picture, to honor those who lived through it.” • German Studies Review
“This important and timely study offers fascinating insights into the behind-the-scenes production of public narratives. It makes a significant contribution not only to anthropological studies of socialism and post-socialism, but also to the exploration of these public discourses in museum studies and other disciplines.” • Sara Jones, University of Birmingham
Despite the three decades that have passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the historical narrative of East Germany is hardly fixed in public memory, as German society continues to grapple with the legacies of the Cold War. This fascinating ethnography looks at two very different types of local institutions in one eastern German state that take divergent approaches to those legacies: while publicly funded organizations reliably cast the GDR as a dictatorship, a main regional newspaper offers a more ambivalent perspective colored by the experiences and concerns of its readers. As author Anselma Gallinat shows, such memory work—initially undertaken after fundamental regime change—inevitably shapes citizenship and democracy in the present.
Anselma Gallinat is a senior lecturer in anthropology at Newcastle University. She is the co-editor of The Ethnographic Self as Resource with Peter Collins (Berghahn 2013) and the author of numerous articles, which have appeared in Identities, Social Anthropology, and Ethnos, among others.
Subject: Postwar History General Anthropology
Introduction: Questions of Discourse, Narrative and Memory after Fundamental Regime-Change
Chapter 1. Remembering East Germany in the United Nation – The Second German Dictatorship and Dual History
Chapter 2. Institutions that Write History – The Working Group Aufarbeitung and the Daily Paper Introduced
Chapter 3. Debating the Past at the Daily Paper – The East German Border Regime
Chapter 4. Ordering Memory for Government – Everyday Life in East Germany
Chapter 5. What Makes an Aufarbeiter, a Journalist?
Chapter 6. Democracy in Trouble – Remembering to Safeguard the Future
Chapter 7. Memory for Citizenship – the Trouble with Democracy
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