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National Identity in Germany and Austria /
Aspects of German Culture, Politics and Identity
Course code: GERM4902 / GERMG020.
Course unit value: 0.5 cu / 30 MA credits
Nationalism and national identities have played a fundamental part in determining the
course of modern German and Austrian history, and they have occupied an important position in modern German-language novels, plays and cinema. The course looks at theoretical approaches to the issue of national identity and at ways in which identities have been constructed and challenged, in literature and film, and in historical practice.
The course selects a number of case-studies for close examination: the Second
Austrian Republic, post-war West Germany and Germany since ‘reunification’ in
1989/90. It investigates how significant national identity has been at key historical
turning-points and questions which elements of German and Austrian identities – land, politics, state, culture or blood – were emphasised at which points of time, and why.
Part I Theory
Session 1 Theoretical Approaches to National Identity
Session 2 The Nation as Imagined Community
Part II Historical Case-Studies
Session 3 Second Republic Austria: Victim Nation?
Session 4 Second Republic Austria: from Waldheim to Haider and beyond
Session 5 West Germany up to 1989/90
Session 6 National Identity and Multiculturalism in post-unification Germany
Part III Cultural Responses
Session 7 Helmut Qualtinger and Carl Merz, Der Herr Karl (1961)
Session 8 (Fassbinder et al) Deutschland im Herbst (1978)
Session 9 Emine Sevgi Ôzdamar, Mutterzunge (1990)
Session 10 Closing session
Assessment for GERM4902: one assessed 2 500 word essay (50%); and one unseen two-hour written examination (50%).
Assessment for GERMG020: one 6,000-word essay.
Please note: this course is not appropriate for students who do not have a good reading knowledge of German.
Allinson, Mark. Modern Germany and Austria, 1814-2000. London: Hodder Arnold, 2002, pp. 75-80, 106-14, 127-30, 148-54, 195-200.
Beller, Steven. A Concise History of Austria. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, Chapters 5 and 6. Also published as Geschichte Österreichs (2007).
Berger, Stefan. Germany: Inventing the Nation. London and New York: Arnold, 2004.
Glaser, Hermann (ed.). Die Mauer fiel, die Mauer steht. Ein deutsches Lesebuch, 1989-1999. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1999.
Hutchinson, John and Smith, Anthony D. (eds). Nationalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994, extracts from Renan, Gellner, Breuilly and Anderson.
Jarausch, Konrad H. and Geyer, Michael. Shattered Past: Reconstructing German Histories. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003, pp. 221-44, Chapter 8.
Jelavich, Barbara. Modern Austria: Empire and Republic, 1815-1994. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987, Chapters 5-7.
Rathkolb, Oliver. The Paradoxical Republic. Austria 1945-2005. New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 2010. Originally published as Die paradoxe Republik: Österreich 1945 bis 2005. Vienna: Zsolnay, 2005.
Thomaneck, J.K.A. and Niven, Bill. Dividing and Uniting Germany. London and New York: Routledge, 2001, Chapters 6 and 8.
Zimmer, Oliver. Nationalism in Europe, 1890-1940. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, pp. 1-50.