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Africa in Translation

A History of Colonial Linguistics in Germany and Beyond, 1814-1945

Sara Pugach

"Africa in Translation is a thoughtful contribution to the literature on colonialism and culture in Germany and will find readers in the fields of German history and German studies as well as appealing to audiences in the large and interdisciplinary fields of colonialism and postcolonialism."
---Jennifer Jenkins, University of Toronto



The study of African languages in Germany, or Afrikanistik, originated among Protestant missionaries in the early nineteenth century and was incorporated into German universities after Germany entered the "Scramble for Africa" and became a colonial power in the 1880s. Despite its long history, few know about the German literature on African languages or the prominence of Germans in the discipline of African philology. In Africa in Translation: A History of Colonial Linguistics in Germany and Beyond, 1814--1945, Sara Pugach works to fill this gap, arguing that Afrikanistik was essential to the construction of racialist knowledge in Germany. While in other countries biological explanations of African difference were central to African studies, the German approach was essentially linguistic, linking language to culture and national identity. Pugach traces this linguistic focus back to the missionaries' belief that conversion could not occur unless the "Word" was allowed to touch a person's heart in his or her native language, as well as to the connection between German missionaries living in Africa and armchair linguists in places like Berlin and Hamburg. Over the years, this resulted in Afrikanistik scholars using language and culture rather than biology to categorize African ethnic and racial groups. Africa in Translation follows the history of Afrikanistik from its roots in the missionaries' practical linguistic concerns to its development as an academic subject in both Germany and South Africa throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.



Sara Pugach is Assistant Professor of History at California State University, Los Angeles.



Jacket image: Perthes, Justus. Mittel und Süd-Afrika. Map. Courtesy of the University of Michigan's Stephen S. Clark Library map collection.


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After the Nazi Racial State

Difference and Democracy in Germany and Europe

Rita Chin, Heide Fehrenbach, Geoff Eley, and Atina Grossmann

After the Nazi Racial State offers a comprehensive, persuasive, and ambitious argument in favor of making 'race' a more central analytical category for the writing of post-1945 history. This is an extremely important project, and the volume indeed has the potential to reshape the field of post-1945 German history. ---Frank Biess, University of California, San Diego What happened to "race," race thinking, and racial distinctions in Germany, and Europe more broadly, after the demise of the Nazi racial state? This book investigates the afterlife of "race" since 1945 and challenges the long-dominant assumption among historians that it disappeared from public discourse and policy-making with the defeat of the Third Reich and its genocidal European empire. Drawing on case studies of Afro-Germans, Jews, and Turks---arguably the three most important minority communities in postwar Germany---the authors detail continuities and change across the 1945 divide and offer the beginnings of a history of race and racialization after Hitler. A final chapter moves beyond the German context to consider the postwar engagement with "race" in France, Britain, Sweden, and the Netherlands, where waves of postwar, postcolonial, and labor migration troubled nativist notions of national and European identity. After the Nazi Racial State poses interpretative questions for the historical understanding of postwar societies and democratic transformation, both in Germany and throughout Europe. It elucidates key analytical categories, historicizes current discourse, and demonstrates how contemporary debates about immigration and integration---and about just how much "difference" a democracy can accommodate---are implicated in a longer history of "race." This book explores why the concept of "race" became taboo as a tool for understanding German society after 1945. Most crucially, it suggests the social and epistemic consequences of this determined retreat from "race" for Germany and Europe as a whole. Rita Chin is Associate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Heide Fehrenbach is Presidential Research Professor at Northern Illinois University. Geoff Eley is Karl Pohrt Distinguished University Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Michigan. Atina Grossmann is Professor of History at Cooper Union. Cover illustration: Human eye, © Stockexpert.com.

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Becoming a Nazi Town

Culture and Politics in Göttingen between the World Wars

David Imhoof

Becoming a Nazi Town reveals the ways in which ordinary Germans changed their cultural lives and their politics from the mid-1920s to the mid-1930s. Casting the origins of Nazism in a new light, David Imhoof charts the process by which Weimar and Nazi culture flowed into each other. He analyzes this dramatic transition by looking closely at three examples of everyday cultural life in the mid-sized German city of Göttingen: sharpshooting, an opera festival, and cinema. Imhoof draws on individual and community experiences over a series of interwar periods to highlight and connect shifts in culture, politics, and everyday life. He demonstrates how Nazi leaders crafted cultural policies based in part on homegrown cultural practices of the 1920s and argues that overdrawn distinctions between “Weimar” and “Nazi” culture did not always conform to most Germans’ daily lives. Further, Imhoof presents experiences in Göttingen as a reflection of the common reality of many German towns beyond the capital city of Berlin.

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Between National Socialism and Soviet Communism

Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany

Anna Holian

"Though its primary focus is on the immediate postwar, Between National Socialism and Soviet Communism will surely illuminate the contemporary crisis around citizenship and definitions of Germanness in the context of European Union and globalization." ---Geoff Eley, University of Michigan In May of 1945, there were more than eight million "displaced persons" (or DPs) in Germany---recently liberated foreign workers, concentration camp prisoners, and prisoners of war from all of Nazi-occupied Europe, as well as eastern Europeans who had fled west before the advancing Red Army. Although most of them quickly returned home, it soon became clear that large numbers of eastern European DPs could or would not do so. . In the aftermath of National Socialism, Germany thus ironically became a temporary home for a large population of "foreigners." Focusing on Bavaria, in the heart of the American occupation zone, Between National Socialism and Soviet Communism examines the cultural and political worlds that four groups of displaced persons---Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, and Jewish---created in Germany during the late 1940s and early 1950s. The volume investigates the development of refugee communities and how divergent interpretations of National Socialism and Soviet Communism defined these displaced groups. Combining German and eastern European history, Anna Holian draws on a rich array of sources in cultural and political history and engages the broader literature on displacement in the fields of anthropology, sociology, political theory, and cultural studies. Her book will interest students and scholars of German, eastern European, and Jewish history; migration and refugees; and human rights.

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Beyond Berlin

Twelve German Cities Confront the Nazi Past

Gavriel D. Rosenfeld and Paul B. Jaskot, Editors

Beyond Berlin breaks new ground in the ongoing effort to understand how memorials, buildings, and other spaces have figured in Germany's confrontation with its Nazi past. The contributors challenge reigning views of Germany's postwar memory work by examining how specific urban centers apart from the nation's capital have wrestled with their respective Nazi legacies. A wide range of West and East German cities is profiled in the volume: prominent metropolises like Hamburg, dynamic regional centers like Dresden, gritty industrial cities like Wolfsburg, and idyllic rural towns like Quedlinburg. In employing historical, art historical, anthropological, and geographical methodologies to examine these and other important urban centers, the volume's case studies shed new light upon the complex ways in which the confrontation with the Nazi past has directly shaped the German urban landscape since the end of the Second World War. "Beyond Berlin is one of the most fascinating, deeply probing collections ever published on Germany's ongoing confrontation with its Nazi past. Its editors, Gavriel Rosenfeld and Paul Jaskot, have taken the exploration of Germany's urban memorial landscape to its highest level yet." ---James E. Young, Professor and Chair, Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and author of The Texture of Memory and At Memory's Edge "This is a top-notch collection of essays that positions itself in the populated field of memory studies by bringing together original contributions representing the best of new scholarship on architecture, urban design, monuments, and memory in East and West Germany. Taken together, the essays remind readers that the Nazi past is always present when German architects, urban planners, and politicians make decisions to tear down, rebuild, restore, and memorialize." ---S. Jonathan Wiesen, Department of History, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

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Changing Places

Society, Culture, and Territory in the Saxon-Bohemian Borderlands, 1870-1946

Caitlin E. Murdock

Changing Places is an interesting meditation on the varying identities and rights claimed by residents of borderlands, the limits placed on the capacities of nation-states to police their borders and enforce national identities, and the persistence of such contact zones in the past and present. It is an extremely well-written and engaging study, and an absolute pleasure to read. ---Dennis Sweeney, University of Alberta "Changing Places offers a brilliantly transnational approach to its subject, the kind that historians perennially demand of themselves but almost never accomplish in practice." ---Pieter M. Judson, Swarthmore College Changing Places is a transnational history of the birth, life, and death of a modern borderland and of frontier peoples' changing relationships to nations, states, and territorial belonging. The cross-border region between Germany and Habsburg Austria---and after 1918 between Germany and Czechoslovakia---became an international showcase for modern state building, nationalist agitation, and local pragmatism after World War I, in the 1930s, and again after 1945. Caitlin Murdock uses wide-ranging archival and published sources from Germany and the Czech Republic to tell a truly transnational story of how state, regional, and local historical actors created, and eventually destroyed, a cross-border region. Changing Places demonstrates the persistence of national fluidity, ambiguity, and ambivalence in Germany long after unification and even under fascism. It shows how the 1938 Nazi annexation of the Czechoslovak "Sudetenland" became imaginable to local actors and political leaders alike. At the same time, it illustrates that the Czech-German nationalist conflict and Hitler's Anschluss are only a small part of the larger, more complex borderland story that continues to shape local identities and international politics today. Caitlin E. Murdock is Associate Professor of History at California State University, Long Beach. Jacket Credit: Cover art courtesy of the author

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Character is Destiny

The Autobiography of Alice Salomon

Andrew Lees, Editor

In her autobiography, the remarkable feminist and social worker Alice Salomon recounts her transition in the 1890s from privileged idleness to energetic engagement in solving social problems. Salomon took the lead in establishing the profession of social work, and built a career as a social reformer, activist, and educator. A prolific author, Salomon also played a key role in the transatlantic dialogue between German and American feminists in the early twentieth century. Her narrative concludes with the account of her expulsion from Germany by the Nazis in 1937. Salomon's formative influence on the field of social work makes her story crucial for the history of the discipline. This work will also appeal to anyone with an interest in the history of the feminist and socialist movements or the political and social history of twentieth-century Germany. The volume also includes several of Salomon's essays on social work and women's issues, along with photographs of Salomon, her students, and her colleagues. Andrew Lees is Professor and Chair of the History Department at Rutgers University, Camden.

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Colonialism, Antisemitism, and Germans of Jewish Descent in Imperial Germany

Christian S. Davis

Colonialism, Antisemitism, and Germans of Jewish Descent in Imperial Germany examines the relationship between the colonial and antisemitic movements of modern Germany from 1871 to 1918, examining the complicated ways in which German antisemitism and colonialism fed off of and into each other in the decades before the First World War. Author Christian S. Davis studies the significant involvement with and investment in German colonialism by the major antisemitic political parties and extra-parliamentary organizations of the day, while also investigating the prominent participation in the colonial movement of Jews and Germans of Jewish descent and their tense relationship with procolonial antisemites.



Working from the premise that the rise and propagation of racial antisemitism in late-nineteenth-century Germany cannot be separated from the context of colonial empire, Colonialism, Antisemitism, and Germans of Jewish Descent in Imperial Germany is the first work to study the dynamic and evolving interrelationship of the colonial and antisemitic movements of the Kaiserreich era. It shows how individuals and organizations who originated what would later become the ideological core of National Socialism---racial antisemitism---both influenced and perceived the development of a German colonial empire predicated on racial subjugation. It also examines how colonialism affected the contemporaneous German antisemitic movement, dividing it over whether participation in the nationalist project of empire building could furnish patriotic credentials to even Germans of Jewish descent. The book builds upon the recent upsurge of interest among historians of modern Germany in the domestic impact and character of German colonialism, and on the continuing fascination with the racialization of the German sense of self that became so important to German history in the twentieth century.

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Envisioning Socialism

Television and the Cold War in the German Democratic Republic

Heather L. Gumbert

Envisioning Socialism examines television and the power it exercised to define the East Germans’ view of socialism during the first decades of the German Democratic Republic. In the first book in English to examine this topic, Heather L. Gumbert traces how television became a medium prized for its communicative and entertainment value. She explores the difficulties GDR authorities had defining and executing a clear vision of the society they hoped to establish, and she explains how television helped to stabilize GDR society in a way that ultimately worked against the utopian vision the authorities thought they were cultivating. Gumbert challenges those who would dismiss East German television as a tool of repression that couldn’t compete with the West or capture the imagination of East Germans. Instead, she shows how, by the early 1960s, television was a model of the kind of socialist realist art that could appeal to authorities and audiences. Ultimately, this socialist vision was overcome by the challenges that the international market in media products and technologies posed to nation-building in the postwar period. A history of ideas and perceptions examining both real and mediated historical conditions, Envisioning Socialism considers television as a technology, an institution, and a medium of social relations and cultural knowledge. The book will be welcomed in undergraduate and graduate courses in German and media history, the history of postwar Socialism, and the history of science and technologies.

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German Colonialism Revisited

African, Asian, and Oceanic Experiences

Nina Berman, Klaus Mühlhahn, and Patrice Nganang, editors

German Colonialism Revisited brings together military historians, art historians, literary scholars, cultural theorists, and linguists to address a range of issues surrounding colonized African, Asian, and Oceanic people’s creative reactions to and interactions with German colonialism. This scholarship sheds new light on local power dynamics; agency; and economic, cultural, and social networks that preceded and, as some now argue, ultimately structured German colonial rule. Going beyond issues of resistance, these essays present colonialism as a shared event from which both the colonized and the colonizers emerged changed.

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