Germany’s Colonial Past 30 Years after Reunification

May 27, 2020, 1:00 pm EDT

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This talk examines how colonial reckoning is belatedly becoming part of the German memory landscape thirty years after reunification. It explores how colonial-era questions are acquiring the status of a new phase of coming-to-terms with the past in Germany alongside—and sometimes in tension with—the memory of the National Socialist and East German pasts, raising new and difficult questions about what responsibility for historical wrongs means in practice, as well as about the future of Germany’s global reputation as a normative model for democratic confrontations with difficult pasts.

Join AGI for the first webinar in a series on the 30th anniversary of German unification.

Jonathan Bach is Professor of Global Studies at The New School in New York. He is the author most recently of What Remains: Everyday Encounters with the Socialist Past in Germany (Columbia University Press), published in German by Reclam as Die Spuren der DDR: Von Ostprodukten bis zu den Resten der Berliner Mauer, and co-editor of Re-Centering the City: Global Mutations of Socialist Modernity (University College London Press) and  Learning from Shenzhen: China’s Post-Mao Experiment from Special Zone to Model City (University of Chicago Press) and Re-Centering the City: Global Mutations of Socialist Modernity (University College London Press).

Support for this event was generously provided by The German Marshall Fund of the United States.