25th New Hampshire Symposium


From Unification to Unity?

East Germany 10 Years after the Fall of the Wall


June 23 ­ 30, 1999

World Fellowship Center

Conway, New Hampshire (USA)

The 25th New Hampshire Symposium will concern itself with change and continuity in East Germany since November 1989. It will be devoted to a retrospective of the years 1989-99, that is, to a stock-taking of the transformation process and the progress made toward East German integration into the Federal Republic. The following questions will serve as the common denominator for the various topics and approaches: What are the criteria for judging the East German transformation? How have the lives of the East Germans changed in the past ten years? Which aspects of society remain the same? What changes can be seen in values and in the use of concepts? Is unity synonymous with uniformity or is there room for difference and diversity? How much inner unity is necessary in a pluralistic democracy such as the FRG? What is the influence of the GDR past, the west-oriented German present and the increasing Europeanization of Germany on East German identity? What resources and possibilities does East Germany have in the larger European context?

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Symposium's founding, a special session will be devoted to a discussion of the development and work of the conference since 1975.

The approach of the conference is multi-disciplinary. Political scientists, sociologists, economists and other social scientists, as well as Germanists, linguists, specialists in the arts and media, and other interested persons, including non-academic practitioners in the various areas are invited to participate. Papers are being solicited for the following seminars:

I. The Rhetoric of Change and the Transformation as Reality ­ Brigitte Rauschenbach (Goethestr. 82, D-10623 Berlin ­; Rainer Karlsch (Institut fuer Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Humboldt-Universitaet, Spandauer Str. 1, D-10178 Berlin ­ Fax: 030 20935659;

The conceptual construction of the new reality, conceptual change and conceptual confusion; appraisal of 10 years of change in the East: political, economic, mental and social aspects of the transformation process (intentions, interests, instruments, results).

II. Value Change, Value Loss and Value Conflict in East Germany ­ Wolfgang Bergem (FB 1, Gesellschaftswissenschaften, Bergische Universitaet Wuppertal, Gaussstr. 20, D-42097 Wuppertal ­ Fax: 0202 4392429;; Laurence McFalls (Département de science politique, Univer-sité de Montreal, C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Quebec/CN, H3C 3J7 ­ Fax: 514 3432360;

Empirical investigations and theoretical explanations of changes in value and attitude patterns; devaluation and reevaluation of personal experience and knowledge; competing values such as morality/ instrumental rationality, freedom/equality; communication of values through socialization (i.e., media, school); possibility and necessity of basic value consensus for the regulation of conflict in a pluralistic democracy.

III. Historicization and Mythicization of the (GDR) Past ­ Roger Woods (Department of German, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD UK ­ Fax: 115 9515812; 101522.522@; Wolfgang Bialas (Institut fuer Philosophie, Universitaet Potsdam, Postfach 601553, D-14415 Potsdam ­ bialas@rz.uni-potsdam. de)

Analysis and evaluation of contemporary historiography since 1989 (academic and government-sponsored appraisals of the GDR past, history from below", biography research, the GDR in comparison with other former Soviet-block states and the preunification FRG); artistic/literary treatments of the GDR past; analysis of processes which turn the past into the present (political and commercial instrumentalization, individual confrontation with the past, resurfacing of suppressed experience).

IV. East German Regions and European Integration: East German Identity in the Context of European Integration ­ Petra Drauschke (Sozialwissenschaft-liches Forschungszentrum Berlin-Brandenburg e.V., Koepenicker Str. 127-129, D-10179 Berlin ­; Margy Gerber (Taunusstr. 8, D-12161 Berlin ­; Joerg Roesler (Mellenseestr. 5, D-10319 Berlin ­ Tel. 030 5124906)

Conflicts between (East) German and European, Heimat and Fremde, regional and global; (East) Germany and its East European neighbors (possibilities and problems of cooperation, EU Eastern expansion); East German potential and resources in the European transformation process.

V. East German Literature, Theater, Film and the Arts in the Last Ten Years: Transformations, Transitions and Continuities in Cultural Life ­ Christiane Zehl Romero (Dept. of German, Russian, and Asian Languages, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155 ­ Fax: 617 6273945; cromero1@tufts. edu); Nancy A. Lauckner (Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996 ­ Fax: 423 9747096; lauckner@utk. edu)

Identity discourses in literature and the arts: East German or regional vs. national, European, or global identities; cultural diversity and generational conflicts; literary/artistic historiography and mythmaking of the GDR and the period since 1989; literary/artistic visions of a German future; new trends and recent works.

VI. Berlin ­ Unification Capital of Germany? ­ Birgit Dahlke (Institut fuer deutsche Literatur, Humboldt-Universitaet, Mossezentrum, Schuetzenstr. 18-25, D-10117 Berlin ­ Fax: 030 20196690; birgit=dahlke@; Harald Michel (Privatinstitut fuer Angewandte Demographie, Sophienstr. 3, D-10178 Berlin ­ Fax 030 28599626; ifad@

Berlin as focal point and microcosm of political, social and cultural German-German unification processes; the potential role of the capital in the creation of a (new) German identity; changes in the cityscape and infrastructure of Berlin, and the social, political and economic consequences thereof; Berlin as an ethnic melting-pot; demographic change and its effects; Berlin as media center; literary and artistic treatments of Berlin issues.

VII. Looking Back on 25 Years ­ Margy Gerber (Taunusstr. 8, D-12161 Berlin ­ margygerber@; Volker Gransow (Canadian Centre for German & European Studies, York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, ON/CN M3J 1P3 ­ Fax: 416 7365696; vgransow@

Panel discussion on various aspects of the 25-year history of the NH Symposium.

Papers may be given in either English or German. Their delivery time should not exceed 30 minutes. Detailed proposals (title plus 1-2 pages) must be submitted to appropriate seminar organizers ­ one copy to each organizer ­ by December 1, 1998. Completed papers are due April 15, 1999. Each paper must be accompanied by a short summary in the other conference language.

For more information on the program, contact Margy Gerber (see above for address which is valid until January 4, 1999; after that, Dept. of German, Russian, E. Asian Lang., Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403 ­ Fax: 419 3722571; For information about the Symposium location, conference registration and travel arrangements, contact W. Christoph Schmauch, World Fellowship Center, Conway, NH/USA 03818 ­ Tel: 603 3565208; Fax: 603 3565252;


Registration Fee, Room & Board for the whole week, all inclusive:

$350 for double occupancy room/$50

surcharge for single room

Children under 12 ­ $100 for week

Students to age 21 ­ $160 for week

Part-time participants will be charged a $50 registration fee and a

$50 daily rate, which includes 3 meals and an overnight.