The popularity of Pegida and success of the Alternative for Germany has raised the question of how Germany should respond to the New Right. This article argues that reading in archives has emerged as a sociopolitical act of resistance against far-right movements, and that archival reading across time, borders, and media has turned into a strategy to defend democratic ideals. As the New Right's rise also originates in an archival investment to control public opinion and policy, the practice of archivally reading today's far right shows that contemporary Germany is in the midst of renegotiating its cultural archive, memory, and democratic principles.
Annika Orich is Assistant Professor of German at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research centers on the intersection between science and art, debates on multiculturalism and migration, discourses on memory and identity, and questions about humor. Her book project on reproductive imaginations shows how reproductive processes in biology and the arts evoke similar anxieties in the German cultural realm. She has published on Germans’ changing attitudes toward their Nazi past and the function of comedy by immigrants in German identity debates.