The Anxieties of (Post-)Nationhood: Dissonant Voices in Postwar German Cultural Identity
My research focuses on the role of music as a locus for the (re)creation of German cultural identity in the postwar period in the FDR and DDR, on both national and regional levels, following the collapse of German nationalism along with the National Socialist Regime at the end of the Second World War. My intention is, in part, to shift focus away from the more common narratives surrounding the Darmstädter Ferienkurse in English-language scholarship, which relate to the internationalist policies encouraged by the Allies in the FDR during this period. This will allow greater space to examine areas of music making in both states which engaged more actively with folkloric, religious, literary, historical and political elements of German-language culture, which were considered by some to be taboo, following their appropriation by National Socialism, in addition to compositional idioms normally seen as contrary to the traditional portrayal of the Darmstadt doctrine. In this way, I aim to create a richer understanding of the various tensions at play surrounding the concept of “German-ness” during the formation of these two countries built from a shared cultural heritage.