GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW: Volume XXXI, Number 1 (February 2008)
    Dangerous Monuments: Günter Grass and German Memory Culture

    Nicole Thesz
    Miami University

    Unification in 1990 intensified the latent preoccupation with memory in Germany. Günter Grass’ recent novels testify to the divisive nature of collective remembrance, which is also reflected in the debate surrounding the Berlin Holocaust Memorial. Grass describes a number of derailed monumental endeavors, such as the memorial cemeteries of Unkenrufe, the Fontane statue in Ein weites Feld, and the neo-Nazi Web site of Im Krebsgang. These texts suggest that a memory culture which cultivates monumental representation can be co-opted for political purposes. In Grass’ literary world, the search for immortality in materiality ultimately eclipses any self-reflective perspective on the past.
    Fin-de-siècle Artistic Modernism and the Nobility:
    The Case of Nicholas Count Seebach

    J. Trygve Has-Ellison
    University of Texas at Dallas

    Nobles have been prominent among the bogeymen considered responsible for the disasters of twentieth-century German history. This questionable historical judgment has obscured the longstanding and critical relationship between the greater German nobility and the arts. The example of Nicholas Count von Seebach, last director of the Royal Saxon Court Opera and Theater, is illustrative of a much wider trend—the active engagement of nobles with artistic and philosophical modernism during the Jahrhundertwende. Understanding Seebach’s role as a cultural arbiter restores nuance and subtlety to our conception of the nobility and fin-de-siècle artistic culture.
    Civilization and Its Technological Discontents in René Pollesch’s world wide web-slums

    Paul A. Youngman
    The University of North Carolina-Charlotte

    “Wir laufen auf einen Abgrund zu wie hirnlose Lemminge,” declares one of the characters in René Pollesch’s world wide web-slums (2001). This prognosis sets the tone for Pollesch’s postdramatic look at the impact of computing technologies on contemporary civilization. His work includes pessimistically nuanced discussions of implanted computers, information, and virtuality. These central features of the digital age are depicted by Pollesch as incursions on the boundaries of the liberal humanist subject. Looked at from a philosophy of technology espoused by the likes of Katherine Hayles and Donna Haraway, however, those boundaries have never been that starkly drawn, thereby mitigating the idea of technological incursions.
    An Austrian Roma Family Remembers:
    Trauma and Gender in Autobiographies by Ceija, Karl, and Mongo Stojka

    Lorely French
    Pacific University

    Over 80 percent of Austrian Roma perished under Nazi persecution. Of the few survivors who have published on their experiences, the most prolific family has been the Stojkas. But the autobiographies by three of the siblings, when read as a collective, are not without complexities. Two stories about shared tragedies stand out for their discrepancies. Trauma and gender socialization in the family members’ lives divulge reasons behind what scholars observe as the “fragile power” of memory to select, revise, and recount lived events. Readers must be careful, however, not to valorize one sex over the other when analyzing victims’ accounts of traumatic events.
    Race Made Visible:
    the Transformation of Museum Exhibits in Early-twentieth-century German Anthropology

    Andrew D. Evans
    State University of New York at New Paltz

    An examination of the two major museum exhibits in German physical anthropology in the early twentieth century reveals that the tone and goals of the discipline changed significantly from the pre- to post-World War I period. The Munich anthropological exhibit of 1912 remained cautious and anti-hierarchical in its presentation of race, while the Hamburg Rassenkunde exhibit of 1928 sought to educate the public in a eugenic and physiognomic “racial vision.” The change was caused by methodological crises within the discipline and the desire to make the science of anthropology more relevant to national goals during and after World War I.
    Imperialismus durch auswärtige Kulturpolitik:
    die Deutsch-Spanische Gesellschaft als „zwischenstaatlicher Verband“ unter dem Nationalsozialismus

    Marició Janué i Miret
    Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

    While the economic, political, and military bonds between Spain and Nazi Germany have received much attention, the close cultural exchange between the two fascist states is little known. Thanks to its neutrality in World War I, Spain became a top priority of German cultural foreign policy in the 1930s. The Hitler government not only sought to extend its influence through German culture in Spain, but also encouraged Hispanic culture in Germany through the creation of German-Spanish societies. From 1930 to 1945 the Deutsch-Spanische Gesellschaft in Berlin (DSG) emerged as a main axis of the cultural relations between the two countries.
    The Black Panther Solidarity Committees and the Voice of the Lumpen

    Maria Höhn
    Vassar College

    Beginning in 1967, German student radicals started reaching out to African American GIs serving in Germany, hoping that an alliance with Black Panther GIs could forge anti-imperialist solidarity against U.S. militarism and racism in both Germany and abroad. Their collaboration did not achieve its larger goal, but the Black Panther Solidarity Campaign brought about comprehensive government reforms from both the U.S. and the FRG to address widespread racism in the U.S. military and in German society. The visibility that African Americans received through this campaign also reintroduced “race” as a critical category into West German public discourse.
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