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Friederike Eigler

Since the end of the Cold War and the reconfiguration of the map of

Europe, scholars across the disciplines have looked anew at the geopolitical

and geocultural dimensions of East Central Europe. Although geographically

at the periphery of Eastern Europe, Germany and its changing discourses

on the East have also become a subject of this reassessment in

recent years. Within this larger context, this special issue explores the

fraught history of German-Polish border regions with a special focus on

contemporary literature and film.1 The contributions examine the representation

of border regions in recent Polish and German literature (Irene

Sywenky, Claudia Winkler), filmic accounts of historical German and Polish

legacies within contemporary European contexts (Randall Halle, Meghan

O’Dea), and the role of collective memory in contemporary German-Polish

relations (Karl Cordell). Bringing together scholars of Polish and German

literature and film, as well as political science, some of the contributions

also ponder the advantages of regional and transnational approaches to

issues that used to be discussed primarily within national parameters.

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Friederike Eigler

This article discusses the genre of family narratives in contemporary German literature against the backdrop of cultural memory in postunification Germany.1 Family narratives lend themselves to a critical study of memory as they enact the transmission and transformation of memories from one generation to the next. Thus, these texts serve a pivotal role as both archives for and reflections on individual and collective memories of 20th century Germany history. Since the late 1990s, i.e., almost a decade after the collapse

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Eric Langenbacher and Friederike Eigler

Is "memory fatigue" setting in? One often hears this question in regards to Germans whenever another Holocaust-centered or Nazi era memory event erupts. But, one also increasingly hears this question about intellectuals and scholars in the humanities. Political scientists, lamentably, never really got into the study of memory in the first place. As an overly qualitative phenomenon the study of collective memory was impervious to dominant quantitative or rationalist methodologies in the discipline. Like culture more generally, it was considered either a default category or an irrelevant factor for the core of political analysis—interests and institutions—and was best left to the humanities or sociology. Others have argued that memory never really mattered at all for the vast majority of Germans who are interested in the consumerist present or for a proper understanding of the political system. At the most, it concerned only a small circle of the German elite and media such as the feuilleton section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Der Spiegel, and, certain German studies centers and journals in the USA.

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Louise K. Davidson-Schmich, Jennifer A. Yoder, Friederike Eigler, Joyce M. Mushaben, Alexandra Schwell, and Katharina Karcher

Konrad H. Jarausch, United Germany: Debating Processes and Prospects

Reviewed by Louise K. Davidson-Schmich

Nick Hodgin and Caroline Pearce, ed. The GDR Remembered:Representations of the East German State since 1989

Reviewed by Jennifer A. Yoder

Andrew Demshuk, The Lost German East: Forced Migration and the Politics of Memory, 1945-1970

Reviewed by Friederike Eigler

Peter H. Merkl, Small Town & Village in Bavaria: The Passing of a Way of Life

Reviewed by Joyce M. Mushaben

Barbara Thériault, The Cop and the Sociologist. Investigating Diversity in German Police Forces

Reviewed by Alexandra Schwell

Clare Bielby, Violent Women in Print: Representations in the West German Print Media of the 1960s and 1970s

Reviewed by Katharina Karcher

Michael David-Fox, Peter Holquist, and Alexander M. Martin, ed., Fascination and Enmity: Russia and Germany as Entangled Histories, 1914-1945

Reviewed by Jennifer A. Yoder