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Title:Bridges or Borders?: The Foggy Struggle for Human Rights and National Sovereignty in the European Union
Author(s):Hansen, Lauren
Subject(s):Germanic Languages and Literatures
Abstract:This picture was taken from the German side of the German-Polish border at Europe University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) and represents themes both historical and current. My dissertation explores contemporary German literature's rendering of family memory as transnational and transcultural, particularly in remembrance of forced displacement of peoples in the midst and aftermath of WWII. For example, Germans fled land once claimed by Nazi Germany but that had been returned to Poland after WWII. In the photograph, the bridge between Germany and Poland symbolizes the relatively good relations established in the last decades. The bridge enables mobility and exchange of people, money, goods, and ideas. However, the questions of whether and how to help the millions of refugees fleeing the Middle East today render Polish-German relations, the borders of EU countries, and their respective national and cultural identities "foggier" than ever before. In the polarizing debate refugee debate, foggy areas become apparent as Germans recall their own refugee crisis following WWII. Today's challenges in Europe reinvoke Germany's and Germans' national and personal memories, respectively. The many and varied responses to the refugee crisis speak to the significance of national and personal remembrance and forgetting when facing contemporary crises.
Issue Date:2016-04
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Lauren Hansen
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-04-14

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