22 German and Slavic Studies


For language learning content see the Languages chapter – there are sections on German, Russian, and Ukrainian.

The German Studies Collaboratory

The Teaching Hub provides a central location for educational materials — syllabi, assignments, projects, activities, lesson plans, frameworks — developed by your German Studies colleagues.

Migration and the Ukraine Crisis: A Two Country Perspective

This book focuses on the 2014 Ukraine crisis and the war for Crimea, covering introductory concepts in migration studies, from geopolitical fault-lines to labour migration.

“The Death of Ivan Ilich”: An Electronic Study Edition of the Russian Text

The Russian text of “The Death of Ivan Ilich” is presented for study in various formats: accompanied by an English translation; fully glossed, with explanatory and interpretive annotations; and supplemented by introductory remarks.

Includes: Extensive bibliography

Modernism and the Spiritual in Russian Art: New Perspectives

This essay collection introduces new and stimulating approaches to the ongoing debate as to how Russian artistic modernism engaged with questions of spirituality in the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries.

Reading Backwards: An Advance Retrospective on Russian Literature

This edited volume employs the paradoxical notion of ‘anticipatory plagiarism’ as a mode for reading Russian literature.

Twentieth-Century Russian Poetry: Reinventing the Canon

The canon of Russian poetry has been reshaped since the fall of the Soviet Union. A multi-authored study of changing cultural memory and identity, this revisionary work charts Russia’s shifting relationship to its own literature in the face of social upheaval.

Ukraine in Conflict: An Analytical Chronicle

Through a series of articles written between 2013 and 2017, this book examines Ukraine during its period of conflict – from the protests and uprising of Euromaidan, to the Russian annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of war in Ukraine’s two eastern provinces Donetsk and Luhansk.

Lifestyle in Siberia and the Russian North

This essay collection explores the concept of lifestyle from a distinctly anthropological perspective. Showcasing the collective work of ten experienced scholars in the field, the book goes beyond concepts of tradition that have often been the focus of previous research, to explain how political, economic and technological changes in Russia have created a wide range of new possibilities and constraints in the pursuit of different ways of life.

Women in Nineteenth-Century Russia: Lives and Culture

This collection of essays examines the lives of women across Russia – from wealthy noblewomen in St Petersburg to desperately poor peasants in Siberia – discussing their interaction with the church and the law, and their rich contribution to music, art, literature and theatre.

Great Power Policies Towards Central Europe 1914–1945

This essay collection provides an overview of the various forms and trajectories of Great Power policy towards Central Europe between 1914 and 1945. The volume is designed to be accessible and informative to both historians and wider audiences.

Politics and the Environment in Eastern Europe

Arranged in three sections, with case studies from Czechia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Serbia, this collection develops anthropological views on the processes and consequences of the politicisation of the environment.

Archives of Historical and Ethnographic Yiddish Memories

The Archives of Historical and Ethnographic Yiddish Memories includes approximately 800 hours of Yiddish-language interviews with 350 individuals, most of whom were born between 1900 and 1930. The interviews were conducted in Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, and Slovakia.

Nexus of Patriotism and Militarism in Russia: A Quest for Internal Cohesion

This edited volume explores patriotism and the growing role of militarism in today’s Russia. During the last 20-year period, there has been a consistent effort in Russia to consolidate the nation and to foster a sense of unity and common purpose. This volume provides new insights into the evolution of enemy images in Russia and the ways in which societal actors perceive official projections of patriotism and militarism in the Russian society.

The Palgrave Handbook of Digital Russia Studies

This open access handbook presents a multidisciplinary and multifaceted perspective on how the ‘digital’ is simultaneously changing Russia and the research methods scholars use to study Russia. It provides a critical update on how Russian society, politics, economy, and culture are reconfigured in the context of ubiquitous connectivity and accounts for the political and societal responses to digitalization.

The Other Russia: Local experience and societal change

Most recent research seeks to explain contemporary changes in Russia by analysing the decisions of Russian leaders, oligarchs and politicians based in Moscow. This book examines another Russia, one of ordinary people changing their environment and taking opportunities to provoke societal changes in small towns and the countryside.

Memory Politics in Contemporary Russia: Television, Cinema and the State

This book critically examines the role of cinema and television in shaping and spreading narratives of memory politics in contemporary Russia to provide a better understanding both of the various ways the Russian government practices memory politics, and the existence of alternative and critical voices and criticism.

 Modernisation in Russia since 1900

This essay collection examines the broad theme of modernisation in late imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet Russia both through general overviews of particular topics, and specific case studies of modernisation projects and their impact.

Results of the Revolutionary Movement in Russia during a Period of 40 Years (1862-1902)

This book, published in Geneva in 1903, is number 24 in a series of 43 titles produced in 1902−4 by the social democratic organization Zhizn’ (Life) as “The Library of the Russian Proletariat.” The book is a compilation of documents, including programs, manifestoes, and articles, related to the Russian revolutionary movement in 1862−1902.

Open books

Though not textbooks, these open access books may be useful for teaching.

From Goethe to Gundolf: Essays on German Literature and Culture

From Goethe to Gundolf: Essays on German Literature and Culture is a collection of Roger Paulin’s essays, spanning the last forty years. The work represents his major research interests of Romanticism and the reception of Shakespeare in Germany, but also explores a broader range of themes, from poetry and the public memorialization of poets to fairy stories – all meticulously researched, yet highly accessible.

On the Literature and Thought of the German Classical Era: Collected Essays

This elegant collection of essays ranges across eighteenth and nineteenth-century thought, covering philosophy, science, literature and religion in the ‘Age of Goethe.’  The result is an accomplished reflection on German thought, but also on its rebirth, as Nisbet argues for the relevance of these Enlightenment thinkers for the readers of today.

The new German cinema: Music, history, and the matter of style

This book covers the role of music in New German cinema.

The Chatter of the Visible: Montage and Narrative in Weimar Germany

This book examines the paradoxical narrative features of the photo montage aesthetics of artists associated with Dada, Constructivism, and the New Objectivity. While montage strategies have commonly been associated with the purposeful interruption of and challenge to narrative consistency and continuity, McBride offers a historicized reappraisal of the 1920s and 1930s German photomontage work to show that its peculiar mimicry was less a rejection of narrative and more an extension or permutation of it—a means for thinking in narrative textures exceeding constraints imposed by “flat” print media (especially the novel and other literary genres).

As German as Kafka: Identity and Singularity in German Literature around 1900 and 2000

This book is the first to shows parallels between two riveting periods in German cultural history. Drawing on the philosophical oeuvre of Jean-Luc Nancy, a comparative reading of texts by, amongst others, Beer-Hofmann, Kermani, Özdamar, Roth, Schnitzler, and Zaimoglu examines a variety of literary approaches to the thorny issue of cultural identity, while developing an overarching perspective on the ‘politics of literature’. Please note that this book can be read for free, it is not licensed for editing or remixing.

A Second Life: German Cinema’s First Decades

German cinema is best known for its art cinema and its long line of outstanding individual directors. The double spotlight on these two subject has only deepened the obscurity surrounding the popular cinema. This book covers the overlooked period of the first two decades of German cinema.

Beyond Autonomy in Eighteenth-Century British and German Aesthetics

This volume re-examines traditional interpretations of the rise of modern aesthetics in eighteenth-century Britain and Germany. It provides a new account that connects aesthetic experience with morality, science, and political society. In doing so, it challenges long-standing teleological narratives that emphasize disinterestedness and the separation of aesthetics from moral, cognitive, and political interests.

Germany on their Minds: German Jewish Refugees in the United States and their Relationships with Germany, 1938-1988

Throughout the 1930s and early 1940s, before closing its borders to Jewish refugees, the United States granted asylum to approximately 90,000 German Jews fleeing the horrors of the Third Reich. And while most became active participants in American society, they also often constructed their individual and communal lives and identities in relation to their home country. Author Anne C. Schenderlein gives a fascinating account of these entangled histories on both sides of the Atlantic, and demonstrates the remarkable extent to which German Jewish refugees helped to shape the course of West German democratization.

Violent Modernists: The Aesthetics of Destruction in Twentieth-Century German Literature

Kai Evers’s Violent Modernists: The Aesthetics of Destruction in Twentieth-Century German Literature develops a new understanding of German modernism that moves beyond the oversimplified dichotomy of an avant-garde prone to aggression on the one hand and a modernism opposed to violence on the other. Analyzing works by Robert Musil, Franz Kafka, Karl Kraus, Walter Benjamin, Elias Canetti, and others, Evers argues that these authors are among the most innovative thinkers on violence and its impact on contemporary concepts of the self, history, and society.

Studies in German Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Festschrift for Frederic E. Coenen

Twenty-one distinguished American Germanists pay tribute to F. E. Coenen, previous longtime editor (1952-1968) of UNC Press’ Studies in Germanic Languages and Literatures series. Their essays-reflecting a variety of approaches-deal with many major (Goethe, Kleist, Droste-Hülshoff, Keller, Nietsche, Rilke, Kafka, Hesse, Brecht, Thomas Mann, Musil) and some minor figures who have influenced the literary scene after 1800 and add significantly to both scholarship in and interpretation of modern German literature.

Friedrich Nietzsche’s Impact on Modern German Literature: Five Essays

These previously published essays discuss Nietzsche’s influence on Arthur Schnitzler, Carl Sternheim, Georg Kaiser, Robert Musil, and Hermann Hesse. As a Festschrift, it also contains a tribute to Herbert W. Reichert and a bibliography of his writings.

Studies in the German Drama: A Festschrift in Honor of Walter Silz

Sixteen of his former colleagues and students join in this volume in honoring Walter Silz. Concentrating on a single theme-the German drama-this volume contains essays and interpretations of plays ranging from Hrotsvit von Gandersheim to Bertolt Brecht. Eight of the sixteen essays deal with dramas from the area of Silz’s main concentration-the nineteenth century. Also included are a tribute to Silz and a bibliography of his writings.

The Drama of German Expressionism: A German-English Bibliography

Originally published in 1960, this bibliography with more than five thousand items provided an indispensable tool for those interested in the German expressionist plays. The volume contains a general bibliography on German expressionistic drama and as well as sixteen leading German playwrights: Barlach, Brecht, Bronnen, Goering, Hasenclever, Jahnn, Johst, Kaiser, Kokoschka, Kornfeld, Rubiner, Sorge, Sternheim, Toller, Unruh, and Werfel.

Envisioning Socialism: Television and the Cold War in the German Democratic Republic

Envisioning Socialism examines television and the power it exercised to define the East Germans’ view of socialism during the first decades of the German Democratic Republic. In the first book in English to examine this topic, Heather L. Gumbert traces how television became a medium prized for its communicative and entertainment value. She explores the difficulties GDR authorities had defining and executing a clear vision of the society they hoped to establish, and she explains how television helped to stabilize GDR society in a way that ultimately worked against the utopian vision the authorities thought they were cultivating. Gumbert challenges those who would dismiss East German television as a tool of repression that couldn’t compete with the West or capture the imagination of East Germans. Instead, she shows how, by the early 1960s, television was a model of the kind of socialist realist art that could appeal to authorities and audiences. Ultimately, this socialist vision was overcome by the challenges that the international market in media products and technologies posed to nation-building in the postwar period. A history of ideas and perceptions examining both real and mediated historical conditions, Envisioning Socialism considers television as a technology, an institution, and a medium of social relations and cultural knowledge. The book will be welcomed in undergraduate and graduate courses in German and media history, the history of postwar Socialism, and the history of science and technologies.

The German Poetry of Paul Fleming: Studies in Genre and History

This study reassesses the poetry of Paul Fleming (1609-1640) in the context of its own literary, historical, and social background. The four chapters focus initially on generic and historical context. The study of selected texts leads to more general considerations of the sources and significance of certain major themes. A number of poems by Fleming and poets contemporary with him uncovered in the twentieth century are evaluated here for the first time. The result is a substantially revised view of Fleming’s poetic development. Fleming is shown to have been a more complex and wide-ranging poet than was conventionally thought, one whose debt to Renaissance literary traditions has been underestimated.

Realism and Reality: Studies in the German Novelle of Poetic Realism

In this 1954 study of poetic realism and the “Novelle” form, Silz examines nine “Novellen” by Brentano, Arnim, Droste-Hülshoff, Stifter, Grillsparzer, Keller, Meyer, Storm and Hauptmann. Through his textual interpretation of each of these works Silz draws the threads of the transition from Romanticism to Naturalism as well as the development of the “Novelle” form.

The Global Lives of German Migrants: Consequences of International Migration Across the Life Course

Based on the German case, this open access book highlights the increasing flows of migration and the internationalisation of individual life courses. It analyses the experiences of migration across four central domains – employment and income, partners and families, health and wellbeing, as well as friends and social participation – which potentially have far-reaching consequences for social inequalities and life chances. The book showcases results from an innovative probability sample that is representative of German emigrants who recently moved abroad and remigrants who recently returned from abroad and compares their international experiences with the sedentary population in Germany. Stays abroad, whether temporary or permanently, have become the new normal for increasing numbers of people from highly developed welfare states. Unnoticed from mainstream migration studies, these countries are today not only major immigration countries but also important sources of international mobility. By providing an empirically founded prism of the global lives of German migrants, this book is a valuable resource for students and researchers of migration, social inequality, and the life course and provides practitioners with insights into these regularly overlooked aspects of international migration.

On the Literature and Thought of the German Classical Era: Collected Essays

“This elegant collection of essays ranges across eighteenth and nineteenth-century thought, covering philosophy, science, literature and religion in the ‘Age of Goethe.’ A recognised authority in the field, Nisbet grapples with the major voices of the Enlightenment and gives pride of place to the figures of Lessing, Herder, Goethe and Schiller.

Treatment of Natives in the German Colonies

In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Treatment of Natives in the German Colonies is Number 114 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference.
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