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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

318 pages, 7 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-242-7 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (June 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-243-4 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) 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 since German reunification, there remains little understanding of the ways in which experiences overlapped across East-West divides. German Division as Shared Experience considers everyday life across the two Germanies, using perspectives from history, literary and cultural studies, anthropology and art history to explore how interconnections as well as fractures between East and West Germany after 1945 were experienced, lived and felt. Through its novel approach to historical method, the volume points to new understandings of the place of narrative, form and lived sensibility in shaping Germans’ simultaneously shared and separate experiences of belonging during forty years of division from 1945 to 1990.

Erica Carter is Professor of German and Film at King’s College London. Her books include Béla Balázs:  Early Film Theory (2010), Dietrich’s Ghosts: The Sublime and the Beautiful in Third Reich Film (2004) and How German is She? Postwar West German Reconstruction and the Consuming Woman (1997).

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, 1949-1990 is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present Cultural Studies (General)
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 Immigrants 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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