Generational Shifts in Contemporary German Culture

Generational Shifts in Contemporary German Culture

Edited by Laurel Cohen-Pfister, Susanne Vees-Gulani


Camden House



The concept of the generation in today's German culture and literature, and its role in German identity.
In the debates since 1945 on German history and culture, the concept of generations has become ever more prominent. Recent and ongoing shifts in how the various generations are seen -- and see themselves -- in relation to history and to each other have taken on key importance in contemporary German cultural studies. The seismic events of twentieth-century German history are no longer solely first-generational lived experiences but are also historical moments seen through the eyes of successor generations. The generation, seen as a category of memory, thus holds a key to major shifts in German identity. The changing generational perspectives of German writers and filmmakers not only reflect but also influence these trends, exposing both the expected differences between generational views and unexpected continuities. Moreover, as younger artists reframe recent history, older generations like the 1968ers are also contributing to these shifts by reassessing their own experiences and cultural contributions. This volume of new essays applies current discourse on generations in German culture to contemporary works dealing with major sociohistorical events since the Nazi period.

Contributors: Svea Bräunert, Laurel Cohen-Pfister, Friederike Eigler, Thomas C. Fox, Katharina Gerstenberger, Erin McGlothlin, Brad Prager, Ilka Rasch, Susanne Rinner, Caroline Schaumann, Maria Stehle, Reinhild Steingröver, Susanne Vees-Gulani.

Laurel Cohen-Pfister is Associate Professor of German at Gettysburg College, and Susanne Vees-Gulani is Assistant Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Case Western Reserve University.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781571137265), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


December 2010
3 black and white illustrations
336 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571134332
Format: Hardback
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, SOC041000, HIS014000
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[M]akes a clear contribution to questions surrounding periodization and categorization in the discipline by highlighting how perceived divides of age, gender, geography, and politics can be used to probe contemporary German identity. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

Edited volumes dedicated to exploring a particular concept, rather than a particular theme, rarely succeed. This volume does, however. . . . [It] is to be recommended. None of the individual chapters disappoints, many are excellent, and the book as a whole is coherent and inspiring. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES [Stuart Taberner]

Informative and a pleasure to read. . . . Camden House is known for publishing books with high standards of scholarship that are accessible to diverse readers, and this anthology does not disappoint. . . . This anthology will serve as a valuable, accessible resource for a wide range of scholars in German and Holocaust studies for many years to come. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

An impressive volume of essays that address the question of generational differences in remembering discourses. . . . Using contemporary literature and film to examine the interplay between continuity and discontinuity, the volume offers both depth and breadth in its discussion of the cornerstones of contemporary German memory and identity. THIS YEAR'S WORK IN MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES

In turning to the discourse of "the generation" in German literature and media [this] volume addresses a topic that has been much discussed in recent years at conferences and symposia, and on which numerous studies have already been published. . . . That the contributors have nonetheless been successful in uncovering many new aspects of the generation theme is a great service of this volume. Also deserving of special praise are the great thematic breadth and versatility of the assembled approaches as well as the care with which each contribution's conception of "generation" is explicated. Overall, the essays . . . are consistently outstanding - informative, innovative, and readable. Seldom has this reviewer held such a tightly constructed and stimulating edited volume in her hands. MONATSHEFTE

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