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German Culture, Politics, and Literature into the Twenty-First Century


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This volume features sixteen thought-provoking essays by renowned international experts on German society, culture, and politics that, together, provide a comprehensive study of Germany's postunification process of "normalization." Essays ranging across a variety of disciplines including politics, foreign policy, economics, literature, architecture, and film examine how since 1990 the often contested concept of normalization has become crucial to Germany's self-understanding. Despite the apparent emergence of a "new" Germany, the essays demonstrate that normalization is still in question, and that perennial concerns -- notably the Nazi past and the legacy of the GDR -- remain central to political and cultural discourses and affect the country's efforts to deal with the new challenges of globalization and the instability and polarization it brings. This is the first major study in English or German of the impact of the normalization debate across the range of cultural, political, economic, intellectual, and historical discourses.

Contributors: Stephen Brockmann, Jeremy Leaman, Sebastian Harnisch and Kerry Longhurst, Lothar Probst, Simon Ward, Anna Saunders, Annette Seidel Arpaci, Chris Homewood, Andrew Plowman, Helmut Schmitz, Karoline Von Oppen, William Collins Donahue, Kathrin Schödel, Stuart Taberner, Paul Cooke

Stuart Taberner is Professor of Contemporary German Literature, Culture, and Society and Paul Cooke is Senior Lecturer in German Studies, both at the University of Le.


Whether the Berlin Republic has achieved some form of "normality" comparable to other European nation states or whether Germany's singularity, the "abnormality" of its Holocaust past will persist ... is the focus of the volume's 15 chapters. ... The breadth of viewpoints can be regarded as a model of successful cultural studies.... A first-rate volume. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

With its cross-disciplinary approach, the book provides a good overview of the discursive shifts that have accompanied German identity debates since the 1990s. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

Students will appreciate the clarity of the writing and the information on quite recent developments in Germany.... MONATSHEFTE


First Published: 01 Jul 2011
13 Digit ISBN: 9781571135124
3 black and white illustrations
Pages: 254
Size: 9 x 6
Binding: Paperback
Imprint: Camden House
BIC Class: DSB

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015


  • 1  Introduction
  • 2  "Normalization": Has Helmut Kohl's Vision Been Realized?
  • 3  Coping with Disparity: Continuity and Discontinuity in Economic Policy since Unification
  • 4  Understanding Germany: The Limits of "Normalization" and the Prevalence of Strategic Culture
  • 5  "Normalization" through Europeanization: The Role of the Holocaust
  • 6  "Representing Normality": Architecture in Berlin
  • 7  "Normalizing" the Past: East German Culture and Ostalgie
  • 8  National Memory's Schlüsselkinder: Migration, Pedagogy, and German Remembrance Culture
  • 9  The Return of "Undead" History: The West German Terrorist as Vampire and the Problem of "Normalizing" the Past in Margarethe von Trotta's Die bleierne Zeit (1981) and Christian Petzold's Die innere Sicherheit (2001)
  • 10  "Normalizing" the "Old" Federal Republic? The FRG between 1949 and 1989 in Recent German Fiction
  • 11  Reconciliation between the Generations: The Image of the Ordinary German Soldier in Dieter Wellershoff's Der Ernstfall and Ulla Hahn's Unscharfe Bilder
  • 12  "(un)sägliche Vergleiche": What Germans Remembered (and Forgot) in Former Yugoslavia in the 1990s
  • 13  "Normal" as "Apolitical": Uwe Timm's Rot and Thomas Brussig's Leben bis Männer
  • 14  "Narrative Normalization" and Günter Grass's Im Krebsgang
  • 15  From "Normalization" to Globalization. German Fiction into the New Millennium: Christian Kracht, Ingo Schulze, and Feridun Zaimoglu
  • 16  Abnormal Consensus? The New Internationalism of German Cinema
  • 17  Notes on the Contributors
  • 18  Index

German Memory Contests

German Memory Contests

Debating German Cultural Identity since 1989

Debating German Cultural Identity since 1989

The GDR Remembered

The GDR Remembered