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Ergebnisanzeige "The GDR Today II"
RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelThe GDR Today II
BeschreibungThe GDR Today II - Call for Papers

Papers are invited for a two-day postgraduate colloquium focusing on the history and memory of GDR politics, culture and society. The event will be held at the University of Bristol on September 10-11, 2015. Confirmed discussants are Dr Mark Allinson (University of Bristol), Dr Sara Jones (University of Birmingham), Dr Joanne Sayner (University of Birmingham), Dr Debbie Pinfold (University of Bristol) and Dr Anna Saunders (Bangor University).

When Stefan Heym claimed, in 1990, that the GDR would become nothing more than a ‘footnote in world history’, few could have anticipated the importance of its legacy in shaping the cultural, social and political spheres of the united Germany. The opening of previously inaccessible archives resulted in an upsurge in historical analyses of the East German state and thereby new insights into its politics, culture and society. However, the availability of new material did not result in historical consensus about the nature of the socialist system. The revival of totalitarian theory, with its focus on the instruments of repression and control, was challenged by models that sought to understand GDR society from the inside, as a ‘participatory dictatorship’ (Fulbrook), in which individuals negotiated a ‘normal life’ within the boundaries of the regime. The debates surrounding the GDR from the perspective of history are rivalled by the contentious nature of its representation in memory. The 1990s saw the controversial trials of those implicated in the old regime and the often shocking revelations of Stasi files. These may now have given way to more varied accounts of state socialism; however, this part of the German and European past remains fiercely contested, as different memory communities vie to determine the image of the GDR that will remain in collective memory. With the approaching 25th anniversary of German reunification in 2015, public debates about the East German past will once again take a central role in discussions about history and identity in the reunified country.

The workshop is a follow-up event to “The GDR Today”, a one-day postgraduate symposium held at the University of Birmingham in January 2014, which brought together a range of postgraduate researchers from Europe and North America. The papers presented in Birmingham exhibited a wide range of fresh approaches through which young scholars are trying to account for the complex reality of life under GDR socialism. Moreover, they also showcased how research on marginalised or obscured aspects of GDR memory and culture can help to understand the East German state on its own terms rather than through monolithic models. “The GDR Today II”, jointly organised by the universities of Bristol, Birmingham and Bangor, aims to revisit the projects that were introduced last time and to continue the fruitful discussions started in Birmingham. We are keen to hear again from those who presented their work at the first event, but also warmly invite new participants working on the GDR to present papers and join the debate. Like its predecessor, this symposium is designed as a forum for postgraduate researchers to discuss the state of scholarship on the GDR and identify areas for future research.

Questions that might be considered include, but are not limited to:
- How do scholars of history approach the state socialist system 25 years after reunification?
- How can particular aspects of East German history and culture contribute to an understanding of the GDR as a whole?
- What patterns can be identified in the memory debates over the last twenty-five years, and how have these shaped our views of the GDR?
- To what an extent has our understanding of concepts used to describe life in East Germany changed over time?
- What can comparisons with other states, societies and cultures tell us about the nature of life in the GDR?

We invite proposals for papers of no more than 15 minutes examining any area of the history, memory or culture of the GDR, including film, literature, museums, politics and the built environment. Students may choose to present an overview of their thesis as a whole, or an aspect of it on which they would particularly like feedback. The colloquium will start around noon on September 10 and end in the afternoon of September 11. A conference dinner is planned for the evening of the first day. Both the colloquium and the dinner will be funded, and the costs for participants will therefore be kept at an absolute minimum. However, we are unable to contribute to the funding of travel costs. Places for participants will be allocated on a competitive basis. Abstracts of no more than 150 words should be submitted to Marcel Thomas at by April 8, 2015.
Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
PersonName: Thomas, Marcel 
Funktion: PhD candidate, Department of Historical Studies, University of Bristol 
Name: Ehrig, Stephan 
Funktion: PhD candidate, Department of German, University of Bristol 
SchlüsselbegriffeLiteratur nach 1945; Literatur- u. Kulturgeschichte; Medien- u. Kommunikationsgeschichte (Hand-, Druckschrift, Film, Rundfunk, Computerspiel usw.)
Klassifikation18.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1945-1989) > 18.11.00 DDR
Ediert von  H-Germanistik
Ein Angebot vonGermanistik im Netz
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