GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW: Volume XXX, Number 2 (May 2007)
    Beyond the National: Sarah Khan and the Globalization of German Literature

    David N. Coury
    University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

    In the age of globalization, the future of a national “German literature” is naturally called into question. Young writers from both the dominant and non-dominant cultures in Germany are increasingly creating works that reflect a new, transnational literary aesthetic. One manifestation of this has been the recent wave of “pop literature” that has focused less on national themes and cultural modalities than on more universal cross-cultural referents. The works of German-Pakistani writer Sarah Khan exemplify this new global literature, in that her novels combine the sensibilities of pop-literature with an awareness of globalization and its discontents.
    Deutsche und Tschechen: Vertreibung und Versöhnung

    Peter Becher
    Adalbert Stifter Verein, München

    The history of German-Czech relations goes back far beyond the seven fateful years between the Munich Agreement of 1938 and the end of World War II to more than 700 years of shared life in Bohemia. Since the Velvet Revolution of 1989, new efforts have been made to understand that past. Common projects have included the restoration of old churches and cemeteries as well as the establishment of the Collegium Bohemicum in Usti nad labem. In 2002 Czech government surprised the general public by paying tribute to Sudeten German antifascists.
    Green Nazis? Reassessing the Environmental History of Nazi Germany

    Frank Uekötter
    Forschungsinstitut des Deutschen Museums, München

    The ideological lines between the conservation movement and the Nazi regime have received much attention. This article explores a new perspective by focusing on the level of practical politics. After several setbacks and disappointments since 1933, the passage of the national conservation law in 1935 became the crucial turning point. The law instilled a secular boom of conservation work, which lasted until about 1940, nourishing an atmosphere of almost unlimited enthusiasm for the Nazi regime in conservation circles. At the same time, conservationists were crossing sensitive thresholds in their desire to use the law to the greatest extent possible.
    Weimar Film as Fashion Show:
    Konfektionskomödien or Fashion Farces from Lubitsch to the End of the Silent Era

    Mila Ganeva
    Miami University

    Cinema presented the most spectacular site for the display of Weimar fashions. Fashion—both as part of the mise-en-scène and the narrative in popular films—shaped distinct cinematic conventions so that a sub-genre emerged: Konfektionskomödie or “fashion farce.” This sub-genre’s rise coincided with the flourishing of Berlin’s garment industry, Konfektion, in the1910s and 1920s. Fashion and film, in tandem, guided the audience from the screen to see and experience modern life. At the same, the visual style of this genre was often influenced by other popular forms of life entertainment in Weimar Germany such as the fashion show (Modenschau).
    Anna Seghers’ “The Man and His Name”:
    Heimat and the Labor of Interpellation in Postwar East Germany

    Hunter Bivens
    College of New Rochelle, Rosa Parks Campus

    Anna Seghers’ first major work set in the GDR, “The Man and His Name” stages the tension between the optimistic discourse of socialist construction and the realities that Seghers encountered upon her return to Germany. The 1952 novella narrates the breakdown of Stalinist models of social identification in the face of the apathy of the postwar German population as well as the ideological rigidity of German Communist discourse, while pointing towards a more democratic mode of collectivity based in a Marxist conception of Heimat rooted in material production.
    Romantic Imagery in Tykwer’s Lola rennt

    Grant P. McAllister
    Wake Forest University

    Lola rennt engages twenty-first century audiences through a plethora of post-modern themes such as chance, circumstance, and time. However, the film’s treatment of representation, in particular its circular re-presentation of a single event, reflects questions of aesthetic representation introduced by Romantics such as Schlegel and Novalis. In accordance with Romantic theories of representation, Tom Tykwer’s cinematic recontextualizing of representation centers on the definition of the subject as a self-reflective construction of art through art. Lola’s action, her running, mirrored by the film’s literal act of “running” defines Lola’s and the film’s aesthetic and figurative essence, which is Lola rennt.
    Trauer, Melancholie und deutsche Nachkriegsbefindlichkeit:
    Heinrich Bölls „Es wird etwas geschehen“ neu gelesen

    Hans J. Rindisbacher
    Pomona College

    Böll’s 1956 short story has rightly been read as a “Berufssatire.” ­But it is much more. In the radical career change of its first-person narrator from an intellectual bum to a professional mourner lies a deeper truth: Böll’s figure works through, all by himself and far ahead of the mourning, commemorating, and historical memory industry of the 1990s, many of the problematic issues of public and private remembrance, mourning and melancholia, and the infallibly ambivalent nature of public memory rituals. Read against concepts by Freud, the Mitscherlichs, Lepenies, Durkheim, and others, Böll’s story reveals a new and hitherto overlooked dimension.
    Reordering German Identity: Memory Sites and Foreign Policy

    Mary N. Hampton and Douglas C. Peifer
    Air Command and Staff College

    Constructivist IR scholars posit that identity influences foreign policy, noting how the experience in and collective memory of the Holocaust and World War II created widely accepted limits to and norms for German foreign policy. Constructivists assume that collective memory is slow to change, that national identity is largely stable, and that the nexus between identity and policy is characterized by continuity rather than change. Pierre Nora’s conception of national identity as a pluralistic constellation of interactive memory sites suggests an alternative hypothesis: collective memory and identity do not preclude rapid shifts in foreign policy but may well enable them.
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