Moving Forward: New Perspectives on German-Polish Relations in Contemporary Europe

in German Politics and Society
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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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