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Central European History since 1989: Historiographical Trends and Post-Wende “Turns”

  • Andrew I. Port (a1)
Abstract

In a luncheon address at the annual meeting of the German Studies Association in 2013, David Blackbourn delivered an impassioned plaidoyer to “grow” German history, i.e., to rescue it from the temporal “provincialism” that has, he believes, increasingly characterized the study of Germany over the past two decades. Blackbourn was critical of the growing emphasis on the twentieth century and especially the post-1945 period—not because of the quality of the work per se, but rather because of the resultant neglect of earlier periods and the potential loss of valuable historical insights that this development has brought in its wake. There have been other seemingly seismic shifts in the profession as a whole that have not left the history of Germany and German-speaking Central Europe untouched: greater emphasis on discourse analysis and gender, memory and identity, experience and cultural practices (i.e., the “linguistic turn” and the “new” cultural history). Accompanied by a decline in interest about Germany exclusively as a “nation-state,” the last decade in particular has seen a spike in “global” or “transnational” approaches. And, like other fields, the study of Germany has also witnessed greater interest in the study of race, minorities, immigration, and colonization—what Catherine Epstein referred to as the “imperial turn” in a piece that appeared in the journal Central European History (CEH) in 2013.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Geoff Eley , A Crooked Line: From Cultural History to the History of Society (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005)

Konrad H. Jarausch , After Hitler: Recivilizing Germans, 1945–1995 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)

Helmut Walser Smith , The Continuities of German History: Nation, Religion, and Race Across the Long Nineteenth Century (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Geoff Eley , “Labor History, Social History, Alltagsgeschichte: Experience, Culture, and the Everyday—A New Direction for German Social History?,” in Journal of Modern History 61 (June 1989): 297

David Armitage and Jo Guldi , “The History Manifesto: A Reply to Deborah Cohen and Peter Mandler,” in American Historical Review 120, no. 2 (2015), 530–54

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Central European History
  • ISSN: 0008-9389
  • EISSN: 1569-1616
  • URL: /core/journals/central-european-history
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