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Writing against Boundaries

Nationality, Ethnicity and Gender in the German-speaking Context

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Edited by Barbara Kosta and Helga Kraft

Writing against Boundaries. Nationality, Ethnicity and Gender in the German-speaking Context presents a series of essays by prominent scholars who critically explore the intersection of nation and subjectivity, the production of national identities, and the tense negotiation of multiculturalism in German-speaking countries. By looking at a wide spectrum of texts that range from Richard Wagner's operas to Hans Bellmer's art, and to literature by Aras Ören, Irene Dische, Annette Kolb, Elizabeth Langgässer, Karin Reschke, Christa Wolf, to contemporary German theater by Bettina Fless, Elfriede Jelinek, Anna Langhoff, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, and to Monika Treut's films, the volume explores the intersection of gender, ethnicity and nation and examines concepts of national culture and the foreigner or so-called 'other.' Focusing on such issues as immigration, xenophobia, gender, and sexuality, the volume looks at narratives that sustain the myth of a homogeneous nation, and those that disrupt it. It responds to a growing concern with borders and identity in a time in which borders are tightening as the demands of globalization increase.

Essays on the Song Cycle and on Defining the Field

Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Word and Music Studies at Ann Arbor, MI, 1999

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Edited by Walter Bernhart and Werner Wolf

This volume assembles twelve interdisciplinary essays that were originally presented at the Second International Conference on Word and Music Studies at Ann Arbor, MI, in 1999, a conference organized by the International Association for Word and Music Studies (WMA).
The contributions to this volume focus on two centres of interest. The first deals with general issues of literature and music relations from culturalist, historical, reception-aesthetic and cognitive points of view. It covers issues such as conceptual problems in devising transdisciplinary histories of both arts, cultural functions of opera as a means of reflecting postcolonial national identity, the problem of verbalizing musical experience in nineteenth-century aesthetics and of understanding reception processes triggered by musicalized fiction.
The second centre of interest deals with a specific genre of vocal music as an obvious area of word and music interaction, namely the song cycle. As a musico-literary genre, the song cycle not only permits explorations of relations between text and music in individual songs but also raises the question if, and to what extent words and/or music contribute to creating a larger unity beyond the limits of single songs. Elucidating both of these issues with stimulating diversity the essays in this section highlight classic nineteenth- and twentieth-century song cycles by Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Hugo Wolf, Richard Strauss and Benjamin Britten and also include the discussion of a modern successor of the song cycle, the concept album as part of today’s popular culture.

Marius Flothuis

Mozart’s Piano Concertos, especially those composed during the years 1784-’91, are still held in high esteem, two centuries later, by both amateur music-lovers and professional musicians. Strangely enough, only very few comprehensive studies exist on this remarkable section of Mozart’s output.
The present study, first published in German in a slightly abridged form, deals with Mozart’s evolution as a composer of piano concertos; sheds light on the connections between the concertos and other fields of creative activity, as well as on those with other composers of his time. Finally, attention is paid to problems of performance practice.
The author, born in 1914, emeritus professor of Utrecht University and former chairman of the Zentralinstitut für Mozart-Forschung, Salzburg, has been involved with the subject of Mozart’s concertos for about 60 years.

Ernst Thälmann

Mensch und Mythos

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Edited by Peter Monteath

Diese Sammlung bietet eine breit angelegte Neubewertung des Lebens und der historischen Rolle von Ernst Thälmann, dem Vorsitzenden der Deutschen Kommunistischen Partei in der Zeit 1925 bis zu seiner Verhaftung von den Nazis 1933. Eine bedeutende Figur zu Lebzeiten - Thälmann war KPD-Führer während einer schicksalsschweren Zeit in der deutschen Geschichte - Thälmanns politische Rolle war keinesfalls auf die Zeit vor seinem Mord im Jahr 1944 begrenzt. In der DDR wurde er zum unangreifbaren Märtyrer im antifaschistischen Kampf erhoben.
Die Beiträge in der ersten Hälfte des Bandes unternehmen anhand erst neulich zugänglicher Materialien aus den Archiven eine kritische Auseinandersetzung mit der historischen Figur Thälmann, von seiner Jugend bis hin zu seiner Haftzeit. In der zweiten Hälfte richtet sich das Augenmerk auf die politisch motivierte Bildung und Instrumentalisierung des Thälmann-Mythos in der offiziellen Geschichtsschreibung, im Film, in Denkmälern und in der Kunst der DDR.
Der Band wird allen Wissenschaftlern, die auf den Gebieten moderne deutsche Geschichte und Geschichte der DDR arbeiten, von Interesse sein.
This collection offers a wide-ranging re-evaluation of the life and the influence of Ernst Thälmann, the leader of the German Communist Party from 1925 through to his arrest and imprisonment by the Nazis in 1933. Significant in the context of his own life-time - Thälmann was KPD leader through a fateful period of German history - Thälmann’s political influence was by no means confined to the period before his murder in 1944. In the GDR he was promoted to the status of unassailable martyr to the antifascist cause.
The contributions in the first half of the volume re-examine critically and on the basis of newly accessible archival material the historical figure of Thälmann, from his early years through to the period of his incarceration. The second half of the collection then turns to the GDR's politically motivated creation and manipulation of the Thälmann myth, as it found representation in official history, in film and in art.
The volume will be of interest to scholars working in the area of modern German or East German history.