Since unification in 1990, Germany has seen a boom in the confrontation with memory, evident in a sharp increase in novels, films, autobiographies, and other forms of public discourse that engage with the long-term effects of National Socialism across generations. Taking issue with the concept of "Vergangenheitsbewaltigung," or coming to terms with the Nazi past, which after 1945 guided nearly all debate on the topic, the contributors to this volume view contemporary German culture through the more dynamic concept of "memory contests," which sees all forms of memory, public or private, as ongoing processes of negotiating identity in the present. Touching on gender, generations, memory and postmemory, trauma theory, ethnicity, historiography, and family narrative, the contributions offer a comprehensive picture of current German memory debates, in so doing shedding light on the struggle to construct a German identity mindful of but not wholly defined by the horrors of National Socialism and the Holocaust. Contributors: Peter Fritzsche, Anne Fuchs, Elizabeth Boa, Stefan Willer, Chloe E. M. Paver, Matthias Fiedler, J. J. Long, Dagmar C. G. Lorenz, Cathy S. Gelbin, Jennifer E. Michaels, Mary Cosgrove, Andrew Plowman, Roger Woods. Anne Fuchs is Professor of modern German literature and Georg Grote is Lecturer in German history, both at University College Dublin. Mary Cosgrove is Lecturer in German at the University of Edinburgh.
German Memory Contests
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