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Finding a Voice

Problems of Language in East German Society and Culture


Edited by Graham Jackman and Ian F. Roe

Finding a Voice explores aspects of the use and function of language in East Germany which resulted from Party control of public discourse during the period of the German Democratic Republic. A distinctive feature of the volume, which brings together essays by British and German scholars, is the wide variety of areas which are incorporated in this survey - from political and public discourse, through aspects of sociolinguistics and the teaching of German, to a spectrum of artistic forms ranging from rock music and film to poetry and the novel. In particular, the relationship between public discourse and the events of the ‘Wende' is explored in a number of contributions. Most of the works and issues considered are discussed in English here for the first time, and the volume as a whole should be of interest to scholars concerned with the GDR and with contemporary German culture, to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and also to others interested in the history and culture of Germany since 1945. Nine of the essays are in English and four in German.

Edited by Robert D. Hermanson and Clare Mumford


Edited by Diana Brydon, Peter Forsgren and Gonlüg Fur

Brydon, Forsgren, and Fur’s Concurrent Imaginaries, Postcolonial Worlds demonstrates the value of reading for concurrences in situating discussions of archives, voices, and history in colonial and postcolonial contexts. Starting with the premise that our pluriversal world is constructed from concurrent imaginaries yet the role of concurrences has seldom been examined, the collection brings together case studies that confirm the productivity of reading, looking, and listening for concurrences across established boundaries of disciplinary or geopolitical engagement. Contributors working in art history, sociology, literary, and historical studies bring examples of Nordic colonialism together with analyses of colonial practices worldwide. The collection invites uptake of the study of concurrences within the humanities and in interdisciplinary fields such as postcolonial, cultural, and globalization studies.


Edited by Jorge Sacido-Romero and Sylvia Mieszkowski

Sound Effects combines literary criticism and psychoanalytic theory in eleven original articles which explore the potential of the object voice as an analytic tool to approach fiction. Alongside the gaze, the voice is Jacques Lacan’s original addition to the set of partial objects of classical psychoanalysis, and has only recently been theorised by Mladen Dolar in A Voice and Nothing More (2006). With notable exceptions like Garrett Stewart’s Reading Voices (1990), the sonorous element in fiction has received little scholarly attention in comparison with poetry and drama. Sound Effects is a contribution to the burgeoning field of sound studies, and sets out to fill this gap through selective readings of English and American fiction of the last two hundred years.

Contributors: Fred Botting, Natalja Chestopalova, Mladen Dolar, Matt Foley, Alex Hope, Phillip Mahoney, Sylvia Mieszkowski, Jorge Sacido-Romero, Marcin Stawiarski, Garrett Stewart, Peter Weise, and Bruce Wyse.

On Their Own Behalf

Ewald Ammende, Europe’s National Minorities and the Campaign for Cultural Autonomy 1920-1936


Martyn Housden

What form should Europe take? Should it be based on ‘nation states’ or ‘states of nations’? On what basis should European unification proceed? Should it be an élite undertaking pioneered by statesmen elected to democratic government offices, or should true unification also demand a significant European cultural forum open to spokesmen and –women representing the continent’s nationality groups? Was the League of Nations really such a thing? Or was it a League of States? All these questions were posed by Ewald Ammende and his fellow minority associates during the 1920s. Coming to terms with the consequences of collapsed empires and at least four years of conflict, they were forced to consider how best to re-build their continent as if it were a tabula rasa. In the process, they provided intelligent, perceptive analyses of the national and international affairs of the day, particularly as they affected Central and Eastern Europe. Their voices, reflecting their status as national minorities and a geographical location beyond the borders of the post-war Great Powers, deserve to be written more thoroughly into the history of the interwar years. Their ideas still provide food for thought even today.


Editors Place-ing the Prison Officer


Bano Murtuja


The theoretical and conceptual uncertainties that surround the definition and indeed existence of “community” are belied by its usage in everyday language and in concrete experiences of “our” communities. Amongst diasporic Pakistani Muslim networks in Britain and Germany the “community” plays a significant role in developing and sustaining, and is itself sustained by, feelings of belonging, security and identity. For the most part these communities are experienced in symbolic terms (Cohen, 1985) and echo many of the principles that underpin Etzioni’s (1998, 1997, 1995) understanding of “communitarian communities.” With specific reference to the communitarian ideal of the moral voice and the Durkheimian (2002, 1995) dichotomy of sacred and profane this chapter utilises qualitative data generated in Britain and Germany to explore perpetuation and change in the boundaries of diasporic Pakistani Muslim communities through symbolic competition.