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German Division as Shared Experience: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Postwar Everyday

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German Division as Shared Experience

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Postwar Everyday

Edited by Erica Carter, Jan Palmowski, and Katrin Schreiter

318 pages, 7 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-242-7 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (June 2019)

ISBN  978-1-80539-119-7 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (September 2023)

eISBN 978-1-80539-358-0 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“All told, this volume successfully brings together its fascinating chapters into a powerful interdisciplinary analysis. German Division as Shared Experience is a significant achievement that will serve as a bedrock for future research on the ‘entanglement’ of the Cold War Germanies. The editors and contributors have produced a genuinely pathbreaking book.” • The Journal of Modern History

“Thanks to an innovative approach to history that draws on material as heterogeneous as it is sensitive to cultural experiences of daily life, following Bourdieu and Foucault, this helps to bring out and question the experiences of Germans for more than forty years of division from 1945 to 1990. It offers a stimulating and unprecedented insight into a past that is (re)discovered on both sides of the Wall, strangely close and dissimilar at the same time.” • Francia

“A refreshing, enlightening read across a good range of topics. This collection shows itself to be as integrated across disciplinary approaches as it shows the German experience to have been during and after the period of division.” • Mark Allinson, University of Bristol

“This genuinely engaging book offers an intriguing exploration of the diverse cultural practices that shaped experiences of postwar Germany.” • Paul Steege, Villanova University


Despite the nearly three decades since German reunification, there remains little understanding of the ways in which experiences overlapped across East-West divides. German Division as Shared Experience considers everyday life across the two Germanies, using perspectives from history, literary and cultural studies, anthropology and art history to explore how interconnections as well as fractures between East and West Germany after 1945 were experienced, lived and felt. Through its novel approach to historical method, the volume points to new understandings of the place of narrative, form and lived sensibility in shaping Germans’ simultaneously shared and separate experiences of belonging during forty years of division from 1945 to 1990.

Erica Carter is Professor of German and Film at King’s College London. Her books include Béla Balázs:  Early Film Theory (2010), Dietrich’s Ghosts: The Sublime and the Beautiful in Third Reich Film (2004) and How German is She? Postwar West German Reconstruction and the Consuming Woman (1997).

Jan Palmowski is Pro Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate and Transnational Education at the University of Warwick. His most recent book is Inventing a Socialist Nation: Heimat and the Politics of Everyday Life in the GDR, 1945-90 (2009).

Katrin Schreiter is Senior Lecturer in German and History at King’s College London. She is the author of Designing One Nation: The Politics of Economic Culture and Trade in Divided Germany, 1949-1990 (2020).

Subject: History: 20th Century to PresentCultural Studies (General)
Area: Germany


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