New Research on Social Movements in Cold War Germany

May 19, 2022  | 12pm ET

Roundtable Discussion (Virtual) | Panelists: Tiffany Florvil (University of New Mexico), Samuel Clowes Huneke (George Mason University), Anna von der Goltz (Georgetown University), Craig Griffiths (Manchester Metropolitan University); Moderators: Kerstin Brückweh (Berliner Hochschule für Technik) & Richard F. Wetzell (GHI)


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The last few years have seen a burst of new scholarship on social movements in 1970s and 1980s Germany, including gay and lesbian movements, new visions of conservatism, and antiracist activism that arose in East and West Germany. Drawing on a diversity of archives, oral histories, and printed sources, these new studies make a forceful case for the centrality of these social movements to understanding the social, political, and cultural histories of East and West Germany. At the same time, they help us rethink the contours of social movements, by integrating previously overlooked actors and perspectives and by questioning the totems of traditional political and activist historiography. This virtual roundtable discussion will feature four scholars who focus on the 1970s and 1980s in East and West Germany and whose work both constitutes and engages with this new historiography on social movements in this period. The discussion will offer a forum for these scholars not only to engage with the ways in which questions of race, class, sexuality, gender, and ideology shape our understanding of social and political movements, but also to think through how this new scholarship has recast the historiography of Cold War Germany.