Multiple Boundaries, Contested and Shifting: Spatiality, Subjectivity, and the History of the Weimar Republic

26.02.2014, Vortrag, DHI London

GHIL in co-operation with the Faculty of History, University of Oxford.

Lecture by Dirk Schumann (University of Göttingen).

The Weimar Republic has often been described as marked by two contrasting features: a burst of cultural creativity on the one hand and the fragility and ultimate destruction of the new democratic order on the other. While recent research has highlighted the co-existence of ‘multiple modernities’ and emphasized the chances for stabilizing democracy, this more nuanced picture still provides only partial answers to the question of how culture and politics were related in Weimar Germany. The lecture will approach this problem from a new angle by investigating ‘boundaries’—between territories, between masculinity and femininity, in popular culture and politics, of political milieu vis-à-vis the temptations of mass culture, and between civilian life and military preparedness. The talk will explore how a focus on a variety of boundaries, attempts to control and redefine them, and interrelations between them can help us conceptualize the history of Weimar Germany.

Dirk Schumann is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Göttingen. His research focuses on German history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and its transatlantic aspects. His publications in English include Political Violence in the Weimar Republic: Fight for the Streets and Fear of Civil War (2009) and the edited volumes Raising Citizens in the ‘Century of the Child’: The United States and German Central Europe in Comparative Perspective (2010) and Engineering Society: The Role of the Human and Social Sciences in Modern Societies, 1880–1980 (2012).

Start: 5.30pm

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