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Title:Post-GDR memory--cultural discourses of loss and assertion in reunified Germany
Author(s):Markin, Molly
Director of Research:Pinkert, Anke
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Pinkert, Anke
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Wade, Mara R.; Johnson, Laurie R.; Yildiz, Yasemin
Department / Program:Germanic Languages & Lit
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Reunified Germany
Abstract:When considering the blockage of a nuanced GDR memory within post-unification discourses, the historical moment of 1989 can be understood as a moment of loss for East Germans. While post-unification scholarship has addressed questions of GDR identity and generational memory in other post-1989 contexts, there is an absence of scholarly work that discusses loss across different Eastern German generations that share the same historical moment of collapse and loss - 1989. In this dissertation, I divide the various Eastern German generational engagements with loss and assertion after 1989 into four chapters. Each generation forms a different discursive constellation: melancholic mourning: (Christa Wolf - chapter one), ambivalence (Lutz Rathenow and Thomas Brussig - chapter two), reappropriation (Jana Hensel and Jakob Hein - chapter three), and nostalgia/anti-nostalgia (Andrea Hanna Hünniger and the GDR museum - chapter four). Age and social position at the time of rupture fostered different perspectives regarding the experience of loss. My examination uses a case study approach to investigate trends. Taking each author individually and analyzing the process of dealing with loss in their works to other generational approaches, new insights into post-GDR memory studies are provided. Although this study analyzes only Eastern German literary productions and museal constructions, it provides insights into the development of culture in unified, post-1989 Germany and into questions of where culturally mutable notions of East German identity fit into the processes by which a collective sense of German identity is shaped in the post-unification period.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Molly R. Markin
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05

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