Susanne Rinner: The German Student Movement and the Literary Imagination. Transnational Memories of Protest and Dissent. Oxford & New York: Berghahn 2013.

Rinner 2043Through a close reading of novels by Ulrike Kolb, Irmtraud Morgner, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Bernhard Schlink, Peter Schneider, and Uwe Timm, this monograph traces the cultural memory of the sixties student movement in German fiction, revealing layers of remembering and forgetting that go beyond conventional boundaries of time and space. These novels engage this seemingly German memory contest by constructing a palimpsest of memories that reshape the readers’ understanding of the sixties with respect to the end of the Cold War and to the legacy of the Third Reich and the Holocaust.

Topographically, these novels refute assertions that East Germans were isolated from the political upheaval that took place in the late Sixties and Seventies in the West and the East. Through their aesthetic appropriations and subversions, multicultural contributions challenge conventional understandings of German identity and at the same time lay down claims of belonging within a German society that is more openly diverse than ever before.

More information at the Berghahn Books website