Local/Global Narratives


Over the past decade and a half, Germany has experienced a period of political and cultural turbulence which many have attributed to the combined challenges of unification and globalisation. In response to growing exposure to global markets, politics and migration debates about identity have increasingly been renationalised. At the same time, there has been a notable reappraisal in Germany (and in German Studies) of the regional and global as spaces for the construction of identity. This volume sets out to explore these complex and at times contradictory trends, focusing in particular on developments in Germany since the 1970s, although chapters treating earlier periods are also included. The volume brings together British, Irish, German, Canadian and American scholars working in the field, and resulted from a conference organised by Women in German Studies at the University of Bath. The first section is primarily concerned with the specifically German concept of locality known as Heimat and its changing relationship with the global. Included are explorations of the writings of Kafka, Bachmann, Johnson, Sell, Wolf, Brinkmann and Jelinek amongst others as well as films by Schlöndorff and Steyerl. The second section focuses on the impact of the global on institutions and rituals such as commemoration, memorialisation, and architecture, which have traditionally been influential in shaping national self-images. Overall, this volume concludes that the nature of the relationship to the local has fundamentally changed under the impact of globalisation.
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Review Quotes

Local/Global Narratives offers a mosaic of challenging and innovative studies on an important topic. The articles in this volume are without exception theoretically sophisticated, well-written, and well-researched. They make a substantial contribution to contemporary German and Austrian cultural and literary studies.” in: German Studies Review 32/3 (2009)

Table of contents

Karoline von OPPEN: Introduction
Elizabeth BOA: Three Village Tales: Global Localities in Goethe’s Hermann und Dorothea (1797), Kafka’s Das Schloβ (1922), and Leutenegger’s Kontinent (1985)
Rachel PALFREYMAN: Once Upon a Time in the Critical Heimat Film: Der plötzliche Reichtum der armen Leute von Kombach and Die Siebtelbauern
Juliet WIGMORE: From ‘das Haus Österreich’ to ‘Häuser in Österreich’; Local, Transnational and Global Images of House, Home and Heimat in Works by Ingeborg Bachmann, Elisabeth Reichart and Elfriede Jelinek
Susanne SHANKS: From Reflection to Speculation, from Memory to Fantasy; Exploring Local Identity in East German Narratives
Jean E. CONACHER: ‘Die Sehnsucht nach Zugehörigkeit’: An Exploration of Heimat in the Essays and Short Stories of Helga Königsdorf
Renate RECHTIEN: ‘[…] so unwichtig sind die Orte nicht, an denen wir leben’. Places of Longing and Belonging in Christa Wolf’s Der geteilte Himmel and Sommerstück
Mererid Puw DAVIES: Zwei, drei, viele West Berlin? West German Anti-authoritarianism and the Vietnam Conflict
Ellie KENNEDY: ‘Aber ich bin wirklich!’ Identity Proliferation and Picaresque Subversion in Katja Behrens’s Die Vagantin
Kathryn N. JONES: Origins and Displacement in Maren Sell’s Mourir d’absence
Marielle SUTHERLAND: ‘Globale Empfindsamkeit’: Rolf Dieter Brinkmann’s Poetics of the Global
Claudia GREMLER: Migration und Utopie im deutschen Gegenwartskino am Beispiel von Achim von Borries’ England! und Hans-Christian Schmids Lichter
Anna M. DEMPSEY: Berlin’s Hackescher Markt: Gentrification, Cultural Memory and the New Public Square
Annette Seidel ARPACI: Excavations at Potsdamer Platz: Die leere Mitte and the Dilemma of (Re)Narrating ‘Other’ Pasts and Presences
Wiebke SIEVERS: Von der rumäniendeutschen Anti-Heimat zum Inbild kommunistischen Grauens: Die Rezeption Herta Müllers in der BRD, in Großbritannien, in Frankreich und in den USA
Joanne SAYNER: ‘Ich lebe nicht wirklich in dieser Zeit’: Negotiations of National and Local Identities in Elfriede Brüning’s Post-‘Wende’ Writings
Index of Contributors


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