Berlin in Focus: Cultural Transformations in Germany

Berlin in Focus: Cultural Transformations in Germany

Berlin in Focus: Cultural Transformations in Germany

Berlin in Focus: Cultural Transformations in Germany

Synopsis

This collection of essays breaks new ground in looking at Berlin after the fall of the Wall as the city struggles to re-establish itself as the cultural and political capital of Germany. The essays offer insightful readings of the metropolis, its people and institutions, as a paradigm for modern Germany. They focus on important cultural developments and changes as they occurred especially, but not exclusively, in Berlin. Issues explored include women's role in the restructuring of higher education in Berlin, the impact of State Security at Humboldt University, problems of a growing immigrant population, and the innovative counter-culture ventures in the Prenzlauer Berg district. Other chapters address major cinematic responses to the city by reknowned filmmakers Wim Wenders, Walter Ruttman, and Helke Sander; and the representation of Berlin and the Berlin Wall in modern fiction. This volume makes an important contribution to the discourse on German identity.

Excerpt

This volume will, I hope, shed some light as to why the city of Berlin has held such a fascination and crucial position in recent German developments. the articles assembled here focus on important cultural developments and changes in Germany as they occurred, particularly in Berlin during the last decade. the introductory chapter provides a brief factual survey of recent major events and reflects on areas of conflict in the cultural and social sphere of the newly reunited city. Subsequent chapters address problems of coming to terms with life in Germany and in the formerly divided Berlin, and with the changes brought about by unification. They examine women's participation in the restructuring of higher education in Berlin, the impact of State Security at Humboldt University, problems relating to Berlin's (and Germany's) growing immigrant population, and the innovative counterculture ventures in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin. Two chapters, on renowned filmmakers Wim Wenders and Helke Sander, address major cinematic responses to the metropolis. Two final chapters discuss literary reactions to, and representations of, the divided and now united city: perceptions of the "wall"--its physical disappearance and new presence in "people's heads"--and reflections of prominent women authors on the past, as well as coming to terms with present-day Berlin as a locus of terror. a new understanding of the fascinating and feared Berlin, once again the capital of Germany, evolves from these essays, and a variety of views on German culture and society emerges.

While the various chapters bring out some of the complex issues of Berlin and Germany--problems of recent unification and the heritage of the . . .

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