There is a wealth of material from this period which can be taught to undergraduates to give a full sense of the richness of contemporary German culture. Texts listed are based on suggestions. Click titles for full details of individual items (where available). 

This page is always already a work in progress and, by its very nature, contemporary cultural production is in a state of constant flux. This is reflected in our understanding of German Studies as a discipline that transcends categories and boundaries in physical and theoretical terms. For this reason, many items are listed under more than one category. In addition, the editors of this page have endeavoured to list reflections on the state of each sub-field and scholarship first, in particular by scholars of colour. We do this in an effort to highlight some of the most recent theoretical interventions of each sub-field for German Studies and pedagogy more broadly, rather than merely providing a list of materials that can be inserted into existing syllabi without also probing and reflecting on the underlying principles behind those syllabi. We are conscious of the page’s lacunae and welcome suggestions and responses to improve the content and categorisation below. Contact us to add or edit via the button below.

If you have experience of teaching contemporary materials and rethinking German Studies as a discipline, we would love to hear from you for our blog. Please contact us via our submissions page.

Key to languages: AR = Arabic; DE = Modern German; EN = English; IT = Italian; JA = Japanese; TR = Turkish; RM = Romansh.

Asian German Studies is a rising academic field, especially in North American German Studies. There are long-standing links between Germany and Asia (including China, Japan, Taiwan and other East Asian nations, as well as other parts of Asia). Some of these are the legacy of colonial exploitation, especially the presence of German ‘treaty ports’ in China.

Here, we refer to South, Southeast and East Asian German Studies. We have devoted a separate category to Turkish German Studies.

Highlighted Asian German Studies scholarship 

Overviews and blog posts

  • Zhang, Chunjie, et al. “What is Asian German Studies?.” The German Quarterly 93.1 (2020): 106.
  • Zhou, Qingyang, Zach Ramon Fitzpatrick and Qinna Shen “Asian-German Filmography: A Teaching Guide.” Multicultural Germany Project. A short introduction to Asian German Studies, some problems of categorisation, followed by an annotated filmography organised by country:
    Vietnam; Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; India; Pakistan; Thailand; North and South Korea; Japan; Other

Further scholarship

Highlighted primary works by Asian Germans and members of the Asian diaspora 

Fiction

  • Dung, The. Der Traum von Orly (Horlemann, 2010) [DE]
  • Sanyal, Mithu. Identitti. (Carl Hanser Verlag, 2021) [DE]
  • Tawada, Yoko, Das nackte Auge (2004 – a novel available in English translation by Susan Bernofsky) [DE/JA | EN]
  • Tawada, Yoko, Etüden im Schnee (2014 – short stories, published in Japanese as Yuki no renshūsei (2011) and available in English translation by Susan Bernofsky) [DE /JA | EN]
  • Tawada, Yoko, akzentfrei: Literarische Essays (2016) [DE/JA]
  • Tawada, Yoko, Sprachpolizei und Spielpolyglotte: Literarische Essays (2016) [DE/JA]  

Poetry

Essays

  • Tawada, Yoko, Verwandlungen: Tübinger Poetikvorlesungen (2018) [DE/JA]

Films

  • Zhou, Qingyang, Zach Ramon Fitzpatrick and Qinna Shen “Asian-German Filmography: A Teaching Guide.” Multicultural Germany Project. Annotated filmography organised by country:
    Vietnam; Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; India; Pakistan; Thailand; North and South Korea; Japan; Other

Other highlighted primary works by white Germans  

Film

  • Dörrie, Doris (dir.) Die Friseuse (Rijen: Paradiso Home Entertainement, 2011)
  • Dörrie, Doris (dir.) Kirschblüten – Hanami (2010)

Drama

There is over 1000 years of Black history in the German-speaking lands (see Black Central Europe project). In the 21st century, Black-led social movements have flourished in German-speaking countries.

See also (Post)colonial resistance and remembrance. For the work of the Second Black German movement of the 1980s, see 1945-2000.

Highlighted scholarship

Overviews and blog posts

Syllabi and reflections on pedagogy

  • Layne, Priscilla. “Decolonizing German Studies while dissecting race in the American classroom.” Diversity and decolonization in German Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2020. 83-100

Further

  • Florvil, Tiffany N. and Vanessa D. Plumley (eds.), Rethinking Black German Studies: Approaches, Interventions and Histories (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2018) 
  • Layne, Priscilla. “Space is the place: Afrofuturism in Olivia Wenzel’s Mais in Deutschland und anderen Galaxien (2015).” German Life and Letters 71.4 (2018): 511-528.
  • Layne, Priscilla D. White Rebels in Black. German Appropriation of Black Popular Culture. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2018.
  • Lennox, Sara (ed.), Mapping Black Germany: New Perspectives on Afro-German History, Politics, and Culture (Amherst & Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2016) 

Highlighted primary works*

*For the Second Black German movement, see 1945-2000. See also (Post)colonial resistance and remembrance.

Fiction

Poetry

Theatre

  • real life: Germany (2008)
  • Heimat, bittersüße Heimat (2010)
  • Popoola, Olumide. Also by Mail (2013)
  • Wenzel, Olivia. Mais in Deutschland und anderen Galaxien [Corn in Germany and Other Galaxies] (2015)

Films and videos

  • Asumang, Mo. Die Arier. (Hanfgarn & Ufer, 2013)
  • Asumang, Mo, and Felix Leiberg. Roots Germania (2003)
  • Blue, Elliot, Home? (2018)
  • El-Tayeb, Fatima, and Angelina Maccarone, Alles wird gut (1998)
  • Hagen, Sheri (dir.) Auf den zweiten Blick. (Ascheffel Barnsteinerfilm, 2013)
  • Histnoire: Collection of interviews with and portraits of Black Swiss female public figures https://histnoire.ch/
  • Kelly, Natasha. Millis Awakening (2018)

Essays, Memoirs and Biographies

  • Engombe, Lucia, and Peter Hilliges. Kind Nr. 95: Meine Jugend zwischen Namibia und der DDR (Berlin: Ullstein, 2004) [DE | EN]
  • Esuruoso, Asoka and Philipp Khabo Koepsell (eds.), Arriving in the Future: Stories of Home and Exile (Berlin: epubli, 2014) [DE | EN] https://arrivinginthefuture.wordpress.com/
  • Hasters, Alice. Was weiße Menschen nicht über Rassismus hören wollen, aber wissen sollten (Berlin: hanserblau in Carl Hanser Verlag, 2021). [also as audiobook via Spotify]
  • Kraft, Marion (ed.), Kinder der Befreiung: Transatlantische Erfahrungen und Perspektiven Schwarzer Deutscher der Nachkriegsgeneration. (Münster: Unrast, 2015)
  • Michael, Theodor, and Manfred Kock. Deutsch sein und Schwarz dazu: Erinnerungen eines Afro-Deutschen (München: dtv, 2013) [DE | EN]
  • Obama, Auma. Das Leben kommt immer dazwischen: Stationen einer Reise (Köln: Lübbe, 2010) [DE | EN]
  • Schramm, Gert, Wer hat Angst vorm schwarzen Mann: Mein Leben in Deutschland (Berlin: Aufbau, 2011) [DE]

Historical sources

  • Black Central Europe project. See the pages relating to 1989–today. https://blackcentraleurope.com/
  • EOTO. Tayos Weg. 2020. An illustrated history of 400 years’ Black presence in Germay.
  • Histnoire: Collection of interviews with and portraits of Black Swiss female public figures https://histnoire.ch/

Other Highlighted Primary Works by white Germans

  • Weyhe, Birgit. Madgermanes. (Bonn Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2017) Comics reportage about the treatment of former GDR Vertragsarbeiter following the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Networks

  • Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA)
  • EOTO
  • Dekoloniale Berlin
  • H-Black-Europe listserv
  • Stadt> (e.g. Berlin) postkolonial
Rethinking Black German Studies – Peter Lang

In 2005, Maisha-Maureen Auma, Grada Kilomba, Peggy Piesche and Susan Arndt published their landmark volume on critical whiteness studies in Germany, which set out to mark and analyse the workings of whiteness and white supremacy as a system of racist oppression in Germany. Their work, and other work in this field, draws on many decades of scholarly work, especially by Black women thinkers, and on other forms of knowledge and expertise held by those who experience racism and the impact of white supremacy. Many filmmakers, writers and other artists of colour also explore the potential for marking and challenging forms of whiteness in their work.

Highlighted scholarship

Overviews and blog posts

Further scholarship

  • Arghavan, Mahmoud, Nicole Hirschfelder, Luvena Kopp, Katharina Motyl (eds), Who Can Speak and Who Is Heard/Hurt? Facing Problems of Race, Racism, and Ethnic Diversity in the Humanities in Germany (Bielefeld: transcript, 2019)
  • Eggers, Maureen Maisha, Grada Kilomba, Peggy Piesche and Susan Arndt (eds), Mythen, Masken und Subjekte: Kritische Weißseinsforschung in Deutschland (Berlin: Unrast, 2005 and subsequent editions)
  • El-Tayeb, Fatima, ‘Dangerous Liaisons: Race, Nation and German Identity’, in Not So Plain as Black and White: Afro-German Culture and History, 1890-2000, ed. by Patricia Mazón and Reinhild Steingröver (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2005), pp. 27-60.
  • Gümüşay, Kübra, Sprache und Sein (Berlin: Hanser, 2020)
  • Layne, Priscilla, ‚On Racism without Race’, in Who Can Speak and Who Is Heard/Hurt: Facing Problems of Race, Racism, and Ethnic Diversity in the Humanities in Germany, ed. by Mahmoud Arghavan, Nicole Hirschfelder, Luvena Kopp and Katharina Motyl (Bielefeld: transcript, 2019), pp. 217-38.
  • Müller, Ulrike Anne, ‘Far Away So Close: Race, Whiteness, and German Identity’, Identities, 18.6 (2011), 620–45.
  • Piesche, Peggy, and Sara Lennox, ‘Epilogue: Of Epistemologies and Positionalities, A Conversation, Berlin, October 21, 2014’, in Remapping Black Germany: New Perspectives on Afro-German History, Politics, and Culture (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2016), pp. 274–82.
  • Schwarzbach-Apithy, Aretha, ‘Interkulturalität und anti-rassistische Weis(s)heiten an Berliner Universitäten‘, in Mythen, Masken und Subjekte: Kritische Weißseinsforschung in Deutschland, ed. by Maureen Maisha Eggers, Grada Kilomba, Peggy Piesche and Susan Arndt, 3rd edn (Berlin: Unrast, 2017), pp. 247-61.
  • Wekker, Gloria, White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016)

Highlighted primary works

Essays, Memoirs and Nonfiction

  • Amjahid, Mohamed, Unter weißen: Was es heißt, priviligiert zu sein (2017)
  • Amjahid, Mohamed, Der weiße Fleck: Eine Anleitung zu antirassistischem Denken (2021)
  • Sow, Noah, Deutschland schwarz-weiß (2008)

Prose

Poetry

Films

  • Asumang, Mo. Die Arier. (Hanfgarn & Ufer, 2013)
  • Shariat, Faraz, Futur Drei (2020)

Mythen, Masken und Subjekte – Unrast Verlag

Highlighted Disability Studies scholarship

Syllabi and Reflections on Pedagogy

  • Watzke, Petra. “Disrupting the Norm: Disability, Access, and Inclusion in the German Language Classroom.” Diversity and Decolonization in German Studies. (Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2020). pp.233-249.

Further scholarship

Highlighted primary works

Film

  • Dörrie, Doris (dir.) Die Friseuse (Rijen: Paradiso Home Entertainement, 2011) A post-Wende film in which the central character is subjected to ‘fat-shaming’
  • Hagen, Sheri (dir.) Auf den zweiten Blick. (Ascheffel Barnsteinerfilm, 2013)

Poetry

  • Aukongo, Stefanie-Lahya, Buchstabengefühle (2018)

Fiction

  • Brauns, Axel. Kraniche und Klopfer (München: Goldmann, 2006) Novel about a character with autism.

Comics

  • Schreiter, Daniela. Wie es ist, anders zu sein: Schattenspringer; (Stuttgart: Panini, 2014). (Engl. title: The world beyond my shadow a life with autism)
    Autobiographical graphic novel about life as an autistic person.
Behinderung und Psychische Krankheit im zeitgenössischen deutschen Spielfilm – Königshausen & Neumann

Communities of German speakers can be traced back hundreds of years across Eastern Europe, including areas of modern-day Hungary, Poland, Romania, Czechia. After the Second World War, between 12 and 16 million people were expelled from these countries and made their way to the newly-divided Germany. In the 15 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, approximately 3 million ethnic German resettlers came to the Federal Republic. In 2004 and 2007, the EU was expanded to include ten new member countries from Central and Eastern Europe (initially Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia; then Bulgaria and Romania). After seven-year transition periods, Germany granted citizens of these countries full access to its labour markets (in 2011 and 2014 respectively).

Highlighted scholarship about Germany and Eastern Europe 

Overviews and blog posts 

Wątroba, Karolina “Germany and Eastern Europe” Expanding German Studies January 31, 2020

Further scholarship 

  • Amos, Heike, Die Vertriebenenpolitik der SED 1949 bis 1990 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2009) 
  • Berger, Karina, Heimat, Loss and Identity: Flight and Expulsion in East German Literature from the 1950s to the Present (Oxford: Lang, 2015) 
  • Dornemann, Axel, Flucht und Vertreibung aus den ehemaligen deutschen Ostgebieten in Prosaliteratur und Erlebnisbericht seit 1945: eine annotierte Bibliographie (Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 2005) 
  • Großbongardt, Annette, Uwe Klußmann and Norbert F. Pötzl (eds.), Die Deutschen im Osten Europas: Eroberer, Siedler, Vertriebene (Munich: Bassermann, 2020) 
  • Hartleb, Katja, Flucht und Vertreibung: ein Tabuthema in der DDR-Literatur? (Marburg: Tectum, 2011) 
  • Helbig, Louis Ferdinand, Der ungeheure Verlust: Flucht und Vertreibung in der deutschsprachigen Belletristik der Nachkriegszeit, 3rd edn (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1996)
  • Hoffmann, Dierk, Marita Krauss and Michael Schwartz (eds.), Vertriebene in Deutschland: Interdisziplinäre Ergebnisse und Forschungsperspektiven (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2000) 
  • Kraft, Helga & Martha Wallach (eds.), Representations of World War II Refugee Experiences in Memoirs, Fiction, and Film: Studies in Flight and Displacement (Lewiston: Mellen, 2012) 
  • Niven, Bill, Representations of Flight and Expulsion in East German Prose Works (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2014) 
  • Schaal, Björn, Jenseits von Oder und Lethe: Flucht, Vertreibung und Heimatverlust in Erzähltexten nach 1945 (Günter Grass – Siegfried Lenz – Christa Wolf) (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2006) 
  • Wille, Manfred (ed.), 50 Jahre Flucht und Vertreibung: Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede bei der Aufnahme und Integration der Vetriebenen in die Gesellschaften der Westzonen/Bundesrepublik und der SBZ/DDR (Magdeburg: Block, 1997) 
  • Wille, Manfred, Johannes Hoffmann & Wolfgang Meinicke (eds.), Sie hatten alles verloren: Flüchtlinge und Vertriebene in der sowjetischen Besatzungszone Deutschlands (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1993) 
  • Schwartz, Michael, Vetriebene und ‘Umsiedlerpolitik’: Integrationskonflikte in den deutschen Nachkriegs-Gesellschaften und die Assimilationsstrategien in der SBZ/DDR 1945-1961 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2004) 

Highlighted primary works

Fiction

Films

  • Schmid, Hans-Christian (dir.) Lichter: Willkommen in der Wirklichkeit (Hamburg: Universal Pictures, 2003)
  • Schmid, Hans-Christian (dir.) Die wundersame Welt der Waschkraft. (Piffl Medien, 2010)

Globalization, citizenship and identity

Highlighted scholarship about globalisation, citizenship and identity 

Overviews and blog posts

Further

Essays, memoirs and journalistic material

  • Dardan, Asal. Betrachtungen einer Barbarin (Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe Verlag, 2021)
  • Göktürk, Deniz, David Gramling, Anton Kaes, and Andreas Langenohl. Transit Deutschland: Debatten zu Nation und Migration. Paderborn: Konstanz University Press, 2011
  • Kermani, Navid, Wer ist Wir: Deutschland und seine Muslime (Munich: CH Beck, 2009) 
  • Robinet, Jayrome C. Mein Weg von einer weißen Frau zu einem jungen Mann mit Migrationshintergrund (2019)

Highlighted primary works on globalisation, citizenship and identity

Fiction

  • Strubel, Antje Rávic In den Wäldern des menschlichen Herzens (2016)

Film

  • Schmid, Hans-Christian (dir.) Lichter: Willkommen in der Wirklichkeit (Hamburg: Universal Pictures, 2003)
  • Schmid, Hans-Christian (dir.) Die wundersame Welt der Waschkraft. (Piffl Medien, 2010)

Highlighted Jewish German Studies scholarship

  • Garloff, Katja, and Agnes Mueller, eds. German Jewish Literature after 1990. Camden House, 2018.

Highlighted primary works

Fiction

  • Bronksy, Alina, Scherbenpark (2008)
  • Grjasnowa, Olga, Der Russe ist einer, der Birken liebt (2012)
  • Kaufmann, Kat, Superposition (2015)
  • Petrowskaja, Katja, Vielleicht Esther (2014)
  • Rabinowich, Julya, Spaltkopf, Deuticke Verlag, Wien 2008 (translated into English by Tess Lewis)
  • Salzmann, Sascha Marianna, Außer sich (2017)

Essays and Non-Fiction

See also the essays on the New Fascism Syllabus devoted to the 2021 ‘Catechism Debate’ around memory of the Shoah and postcolonial perspectives, as well as German-language responses on Serdar Günes’s blog.

Film and TV

  • Winger, Anna, and Alexa Karolinski, Unorthodox (Netflix, 2020)

Poetry

  • Czollek, Max, Grenzwerte (2019)

Mass displacement and forced migration

This section focuses on mass displacement and forced migration in the 21st century, in particular the Syrian human rights crisis (commonly referred to as ‘the refugee crisis’).

Highlighted scholarship on mass displacement and forced migration

Overviews and blog posts

Further scholarship

  • Bock, Jan-Jonathan, and Sharon Macdonald. Refugees Welcome?: Difference and Diversity in a Changing Germany (New York: Berghahn, 2019)

Highlighted primary works

Fiction

  • Abbas, Rasha, and Sandra Hetzl. Die Erfindung der deutschen Grammatik: Geschichten (Berlin: mikrotext, 2019)
  • Erpenbeck, Jenny. Gehen, ging, gegangen (2015). [DE | EN]
  • Khider, Abbas. Der falsche Inder (2008). [DE | EN]
  • Khider, Abbas. Ohrfeige (2016). [DE | EN]

Film

Plays

  • Elfriede Jelinek. Die Schutzbefohlenen (Hamburg: Rowohlt, 2018)

Essays and Memoirs

  • Rösinger, Christiane. Zukunft machen wir später: Meine Deutschstunden mit Geflüchteten (Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2018)

Comics

Multilingualism in “German”-language culture

Multilingualism has been a feature of German writing for centuries. Recent decades have seen an expansion of both writing in multiple languages that includes German and scholarly interest in multilingual German literature. ‘Multilingual literature’ is an umbrella term that includes, but is not limited to, practices and processes including: exophonic writing, self-translation, bilingual writing, heteroglossia

Theorising Multilingual Literature

  • Cordingley, Anthony (Ed.), Self-Translation. Brokering Originality in Hybrid Culture (Bloomsbury 2013) 
  • Dembeck, Till and Rolf Parr (Eds), Literatur und Mehrsprachigkeit. Ein Hanbuch (Narr Francke Attempo Verlag, 2017) 
  • Dembeck, Till and Anne Uhrmacher (Eds), Das literarische Leben der Mehrsprachigkeit: Methodische Erkundungen  (Universitätsverlag Winter2016) 
  • Gramling, David, The Invention of Monolingualism (Bloomsbury, 2016) 
  • Maher, John C., Multilingualism. A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2017) 
  • Sommer, Doris, Bilingual Aesthetics. A New Sentimental Education (Duke University Press, 2004) 
  • Hokenson, Jan Walsh and Marcella Munson, The Bilingual Text. History and Theory of Literary Self-Translation (Routledge, 2016) 
  • Yildiz, Yasemin, The Postmonolingual Condition: Beyond the Mother Tongue (Fordham University Press, 2012) 

Examples of multilingual writing that includes German

  • Brežná, Irena, Die undankbare Fremde (2012) 
  • Camenisch, Arno, Sez Ner (2009 – available in English translation by Donal McLaughlin) [DE/RM | EN]
  • Camenisch, Arno, Hinter dem Bahnhof (2010 – available in English translation by Donal McLaughlin) [DE/RM | EN]
  • Camenisch, Arno, Ustrinkata (2012 – available in English translation by Donal McLaughlin) [DE/RM | EN]
  • Draesner, Ulrike, Schwitters (2020) [DE/EN]
  • Nadj Abonji, Melinda, Tauben fliegen auf (2010 – available in English translation by Tess Lewis) [DE | EN]
  • Robinet, Jayrome C. Mein Weg von einer weißen Frau zu einem jungen Mann mit Migrationshintergrund (2019)  
  • Tawada, Yoko, Das nackte Auge (2004 – a novel available in English translation by Susan Bernofsky) [DE/JA | EN]
  • Tawada, Yoko, Etüden im Schnee (2014 – short stories, published in Japanese as Yuki no renshūsei (2011) and available in English translation by Susan Bernofsky) [DE/JA | EN]
  • Tawada, Yoko, akzentfrei: Literarische Essays (2016) [DE/JA]
  • Tawada, Yoko, Sprachpolizei und Spielpolyglotte: Literarische Essays (2016) [DE/JA]
  • Tawada, Yoko, Verwandlungen: Tübinger Poetikvorlesungen (2018) [DE/JA]
Pieter Bruegel’s The Tower of Babel (1563) – wikicommons

(Post)colonial resistance and remembrance

The German empire lasted from 1884 until the end of WWI and included colonies on the African continent (present-day Namibia, Cameroon, Togo, parts of Tanzania and Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi), and the Pacific, as well as Treaty Ports in China. In 1904, Germany perpetrated the first genocide of the 20th century against the Nama and Herero in Namibia, who had united in revolt against German rule. Thanks to the work of grass-roots activists, postcolonial memory culture has gained new momentum in 21st century Germany.

Read Rory Hanna’s post on resistance to German colonialism in the British Library’s collections, as part of his placement with EGS and the BL.

See also Black German Studies. 

Highlighted scholarship

Highlighted primary works

Fiction

  • Engombe, Lucia, and Peter Hilliges. Kind Nr. 95: Meine Jugend zwischen Namibia und der DDR (Berlin: Ullstein, 2004) [DE | EN]
  • Gurnah, Abdulrazak. Afterlives (S.l.: Bloomsbury, 2021) [EN]

Film and videos

  • Ofuatey-Alazard, Nadja (producer) and Nicolas Grange (dir.) “ReMIX. Africa in Translation” Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. German and English-language videos, each devoted to African and diasporic engagement with German colonialism in a different African country: Togo, Cameroon, Tanzania and Namibia. Contains clear maps and documentary shots of contemporary life in the former colonies. [DE | EN]

Networks

  • Dekoloniale Berlin
  • Stadt> (e.g. Berlin) postkolonial

Gurnah, Abdulrazak. Afterlives (Bloomsbury, 2021) Bloomsbury

Ten years after unification, the GDR retains a strong influence on German culture, with a generation of authors raised in the GDR publishing literary debuts around or after the turn of the twenty-first century. Scholarship and other writing focused on the GDR’s global entanglements in forms of (neo-)colonialism in the Cold War era and work by East Germans of colour have in particular assumed a central place in memory and reflection on the GDR.

Highlighted scholarship 

Overviews and blog posts 

Further 

  • Adelson, Leslie A. (ed.), The Cultural After-Life of East Germany: New Transnational Perspectives (Washington, D.C.: American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, 2002)
  • Behrends, Jan C., Thomas Lindenberger & Patrice G. Poutrus (eds.), Fremde und Fremd-Sein in der DDR: zu historischen Ursachen der Fremdenfeindlichkeit in Ostdeutschland (Berlin: Metropol, 2003) 
  • Dennis, Mike & Norman LaPorte, State and Minorities in Communist East Germany (New York: Berghahn, 2011) 
  • Hong, Young-sun. Cold-War Germany, The Third World, and the Global Humanitarian Regime (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015). 
  • Kriger-Potratz, Marianne, Anderssein gab es nicht: Ausländer und Minderheiten in der DDR (Münster & New York: Waxmann, 1991) 
  • Müller, Christian Th. & Patrice G. Poutrus (eds.), Ankunft, Alltag, Ausreise: Migration und interkulturelle Begegnung in der DDR-Gesellschaft (Cologne: Böhlau, 2003) 

Highlighted primary works

Fiction 

Essays and Memoirs

  • Aukongo, Stefanie-Lahya, Kalungas Kind: Wie die DDR mein Leben rettete (2009) – republished as Kalungas Kind: Meine unglaubliche Reise ins Leben (2014)
  • Zöllner, Abini, Schokoladenkind: Meine Familie und andere Wunder (2003)

Queer and trans German Studies

Queer and trans writers, scholars, artists and filmmakers are reimagining desire, selfhood and community in German culture. Queer and trans work from the twenty-first century explores how queerness intersects with gender, race, class and ability. Prominent queer of colour writers have been shifting ideas about what queerness means, while trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming writers are reshaping debates around gender and embodiment. Literature, film and other artworks demonstrate that queer and trans perspectives are central to understanding German, Austrian and Swiss society today.

Highlighted Scholarship

Overviews and blog posts

Further scholarship

  • Dawson, Leanne (ed.), Queering German Culture, Edinburgh German Yearbook (2018)

Highlighted Primary Works

Fiction

  • Berg, Sibylle, Vielen Dank für das Leben (Munich: Hanser, 2012) 
  • Geltinger, Günther, Benzin (Suhrkamp, 2019) 
  • Geltinger, Günther, Mensch Engel (Suhrkamp, 2010) 
  • Hein, Christoph, Vewirrniss (Suhkamp, 2018)  
  • Martin, Marko, Der Prinz von Berlin (Gmünder, 2004) 
  • Meinecke, Thomas, Tomboy (1998) 
  • Salzmann, Sasha Marianna, Außer sich (Suhrkamp 2018) 
  • Schalansky, Judith, Der Hals der Giraffe (Suhrkamp, 2012)
  • Schwarzrund, Biskaya (2020) 
  • Strubel, Antje Rávic Kältere Schichten der Luft (2007)
  • Strubel, Antje Rávic. Unter Schnee (Frankfurt: Fischer, 2001) [DE | EN]
  • Strubel, Antje Rávic In den Wäldern des menschlichen Herzens (2016)
  • Wenzel, Olivia,1000 Serpentinen Angst (2020)
  • Yaghoobifarah, Hengameh, Ministerium der Träume (Aufbau, 2021)

Essays and Memoirs

  • Robinet, Jayrôme C., Mein Weg von einer weißen Frau zu einem jungen Mann mit Migrationshintergrund (2019) 

Film

  • Ataman, Kutluğ, Lola und Bilidikid (1999)
  • Bernardi, Sabine, Romeos (2011)
  • Blue, Elliot, Home? (2018)
  • El-Tayeb, Fatima, and Angelina Maccarone, Alles wird gut (1998)
  • Erwa, Jakob M., Mitte der Welt (2016)
  • Gisler, Marcel, Mario (2018) 
  • Haupt, Stefan (dir.) The Circle (Der Kreis) (2014)
  • Hick, Jochen, Mein Wunderbares Westberlin (2017) 
  • Kreuzpaintner, Marco, Sommersturm (2004) 
  • Krippendorff, Léonie, Kokon (2020) 
  • Lacant, Stephan, Freier Fall (2013)
  • Maccarone, Angelina, Fremde Haut (2005)
  • Miller, Lisa, Landrauschen (2018) 
  • Shariat, Faraz, Futur Drei (2020) 
  • Wallbraun, Barbara, Uferfrauen — Lesbisches L(i)eben in der DDR (2020)
  • Yavuz, Yüksel, Kleine Freiheit (2003)

Poetry

  • Aukongo, Stefanie-Lahya, Buchstabengefühle (2018)
  • Robinet, Jayrôme C., Das Licht ist weder gerecht noch ungerecht (2015)

Romani, Sinti and Yenish German Studies

Fiction

  • Krechel, Ursula, Geisterbahn (2018)
  • Scheer, Regina, Gott wohnt in Wedding (2019) 

Film

  • Wessel, Kai, Nebel im August (2008)

Audio and Podcasts

  • Memiši, Sejnur, und Nino Novakovic. RYMEcast (2020-) [DE]
Memorial to the Murdered Sinti and Roma of Europe – Stiftung Denkmal

Theatre, performance and writing for the stage

Since 2000 writing for the German stage has boomed, with new and established authors alike responding to shifting understandings of performance and the role of the (dramatic) text within it. An increasing number of directors and playwrights have also published dramaturgical texts that evaluate the role of theatre in contemporary society, probe the aesthetic qualities of their work, and consider their place in the broader history of German-language theatre; the Saarbrücker Poetikdozentur für Dramatik (awarded annually since 2012 is representative of this trend.

Writing about contemporary theatre

General/Introductory texts

  • Barnett, David, ‘Playwriting in contemporary German theatre: Representation and its discontents, 1960-2006) in Simon Williams and Maik Hamburger (eds.), A History of German Theatre (Cambridge University Press, 2008), pp. 305-330.  
  • Englhart, Andreas, Das Theater der Gegenwart (C.H. Beck, 2013). 
  • Raab, Michael, ‘Directors and actors in modern and contemporary German theatre, 1945-2006′ in Simon Williams and Maik Hamburger (eds.), A History of German Theatre (Cambridge University Press, 2008), pp. 332-359. 
  • Gleichauf, Ingeborg, Was für ein Schauspiel! Deutschsprachige Dramatikerinnen des 20. Jahrhunderts und der Gegenwart (AvivA, 2003) 
  • Sharifi, Azadeh. Theater für Alle?: Partizipation von Postmigranten am Beispiel der Bühnen der Stadt Köln. (Lang, 2011).

Dramatic and Postdramatic Theatre 

  • Haas, Birgit, Plädoyer für ein dramatisches Drama (Passagen Verlag, 2007) 
  • Lehmann, Hans-Thies, Postdramatisches Theater (Frankfurt am Main, 1999) – available in English translation by Karen Jürs Munby (2006). 
  • Poschmann, Gerda, Das nicht mehr dramatische Theatertext: Aktuelle Bühnenstücke und ihre dramaturgische Analyse (de Gruyter, 1997).

Drama/Writing for the Stage
The following list is a non-exhaustive overview of established and emerging playwrights active since 2000. Earlier works from some individuals can be found on the [1945-2000] page. 

  • Bärfuss, Lukas: Meienbergs Tod (2001); Die sexuellen Neurosen unserer Eltern (2003); Alices Reise in die Schweiz (2005); Öl (2009); Malaga (2010).
  • Danckwart, Gesine: Täglich Brot (2001); Und morgen steh ich auf (2006); Walgesänge von Menschen und Tieren (2009).
  • Jelinek, Elfriede: Das Schweigen (2000); Der Tod und das Mädchen II (2000); In den Alpen (2002); Bambiland (2003); Das Werk/Im Bus/Ein Sturz (2010); FaustIn and Out. Sekundärdrama (2012).
  • Kricheldorf, Rebekka: Die Ballade vom Nadelbaumkiller (2004); Alltag & Extase (2014); Fräulein Agnes (2017).
  • Loher, Dea: Land ohne Worte (2007); Das letzte Feuer (2008); Am Schwarzen See (2012).
  • Özdamar, Emine Sevgi: Periziki. Ein Traumspiel (2010)
  • Röggla, Kathrin: worst case (2008); Die Falsche Frage (2015 – a published version of her lectures for the Saarbrücker Poetikdozentur für Dramatik).
  • Walser, Theresia: Morgen in Katar (2008); Monsun im April (2008).

Theatres and Performance Spaces

  • Ballhaus Naunynstrasse – a home for (post)migrant theatre
  • Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin
  • Kampnagel, Hamburg

The Berliner Schaubühne at night – Andreas Praefcke, wikicommons

Turkish Germans, who comprise the largest minoritised group in 21st-century Germany, play a significant role in modern German-language culture. In the 1990s and early 2000s, scholars of Turkish German literature, film, art and culture pioneered the application of postcolonialism in German Studies. In the 2010s, Turkish German theatre introduced the concept of the ‘postmigrant’ to popular discourse.

For post-war Turkish German cultural production, particularly in relation to Gastarbeiter:innen in Germany, see 1945-2000.

Highlighted Turkish German Studies scholarship

Overviews and blog posts

Further scholarship

  • Adelson, Leslie A. The Turkish Turn in Contemporary German Literature: Towards a New Critical Grammar of Migration (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)
  • Cheesman, Tom. Novels of Turkish German Settlement: Cosmopolite Fictions. Rochester (N.Y.: Camden House, 2007)
  • El Hissy, Maha, Getürkte Türken. Karnevaleske Stilmittel im Theater, Kabarett und Film deutsch-türkischer Künstlerinnen und Künstler (Bielefeld: transcript 2012)
  • Gezen, Ela, and Berna Gueneli. “Turkish-German Studies: Past, Present, and Future.” Special volume, edited by Yasemin Dayioğlu-Yücel, Michael Hofmann, Şeyda Ozil. Guest edited by Ela Gezen and Berna Gueneli. Türkisch-deutsche Studien, Jahrbuch (Göttingen: V&R Unipress, 2015)
  • Gueneli, Berna. Fatih Akin’s Cinema and the New Sound of Europe. (Bloomington: Indiana University Presss, 2019)
  • Hake, Sabine, and Barbara C. Mennel (eds.) Turkish German Cinema in the New Millennium: Sites, Sounds, and Screens (New York: Berghahn Books 2014)
  • Stewart, Lizzie. Performing New German Realities: Turkish-German Scripts of Postmigration. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021).
  • Yeşilada, Karin E. “Poesie der dritten Sprache.” Türkisch-deutsche Lyrik der zweiten Generation. Tübingen: Stauffenburg (2012).
  • Yildiz, Yasemin. Beyond the Mother Tongue: The Postmonolingual Condition (New York: Fordham Univ. Press, 2014) 

Highlighted primary works

Fiction

Films 

  • Akın, Fatih (dir.). Im Juli (Universum, 2000) 
  • Akın, Fatih (dir.).  Aus dem Nichts (2017) 
  • Önsöz, Eren (dir.) Haymatloz: Exil in Der Türkei (Mindjazz Pictures, 2017) Documentary film about the families of German Jewish exiles in Turkey
  • Polat, Ayse (dir.) En Garde. (2004)
  • Şamdereli, Yasemin (dir.) Almanya: Willkommen in Deutschland (2011)

Theatre

  • Nurkan Erpulat and Jens Hillje. Verrücktes Blut (2018)
  • Zaimoglu, Feridun, Günter Senkel and William Shakespeare. Othello (Münster: Verl.-Haus Monsenstein und Vannerdat, 2004)

Poetry

  • Çırak, Zehra, Jürgen Walter, Reese M. Veteto, and Wright E. Oehlkers. Die Kunst Der Wissenschaft: Neun Mal Drei Stühle zu Ehren der Wissenschaften = the Art of Science. (Berlin, Tübingen: Schiler, 2017).
  • Karpat, Berkan, and Zafer Şenocak, futuristen – epilog – poeme (Babel, 2008).
  • Şenocak, Zafer. Übergang: Ausgewählte Gedichte 1980-2005. (Babel, 2005).
Yasemin Şamdereli (dir.), Almanya: Willkommen in Deutschland (2011) imdb

21st-century feminisms and women’s cultural production

Highlighted scholarship

Overviews and blog posts

Further

  • Baer, Hester, and Alexandra Merley Hill, eds. German Women’s Writing in the Twenty-first Century. Vol. 161. Boydell & Brewer, 2015.
  • Heffernan, Valerie, and Gillian Pye, eds. Transitions: Emerging Women Writers in German-language Literature. Vol. 76. Rodopi, 2013.

Highlighted primary works

Poetry

  • Safiye Can, trs. Marilya Veteto Reese
  • Çırak, Zehra, Jürgen Walter, Reese M. Veteto, and Wright E. Oehlkers. Die Kunst Der Wissenschaft: Neun Mal Drei Stühle zu Ehren der Wissenschaften = the Art of Science. (Berlin, Tübingen: Schiler, 2017).
  • Sudabeh Mohafez, trs. Marilya Veteto Reese
  • Yasmin Hafedh (Yasmo) (Austrian rapper, slam poet and author)
  • Friederike Mayröcker
  • Herta Müller

Films by female directors

Fiction 

Comics

  • Zejn, Julia. Drei Wege (Berlin: Avant-Verlag, 2018)
German Women’s Writing in the Twenty-First CenturyCamden House