Completed research projects

Forschung

Projekte

In 1981 Wau Holland was one of the founders of the Chaos Computer Club. Photo: Wau Holland Stiftung.

Sub- and Countercultures of Computer Usage since the 1970s

Completed associated PhD project

In addition to governmental, military and economic interests, there have been sub- and countercultures dealing with the new medium since the beginnings of computer usage. In particular the hackers, but also players, pursued their own practices with regard to computers and formed networks. Thus, they shaped the discourse and practices related to computers. These cultural practices and their impact on the daily-life application of computers since the 1970s in Germany will be developed in this PhD project.

The project results are published in the book "Jugend, Pop, Kultur. Eine transnationale Geschichte) - published 2019.

 

Delinquency and Normalisation
From Youth Culture to Pop – A Transnational History (1953-1966)

Completed associated PhD project

This PhD project explores the emergence of youth and pop culture during the 1950s and 1960s. It follows two basic processes that were contradictory yet interwoven: 1) the criminalisation of youthful images, bodily expressions and cultural products; 2) the establishment of an increasingly internationalised youthful pop culture that manifested itself in new radio programmes, movies, magazines, dances and a certain kind of street fashion.

Food pyramid. Graphic: Targan, Ernährungs Pyramide, public domain, details on Wikimedia Commons

Nutritional Regimes

Thomas Werneke
Completed research project

The project enquired after the semantic ruptures and continuities across regime changes in Germany. Consumerism is understood in the context of the project as the consumption of food and luxury goods (especially alcohol and tobacco) as well as ‘functional food’ (e.g. protein drinks). Primarily publications of state actors and experts in the area of food chemistry, nutritional science and healthcare served as sources.

Waldsiedlung Wandlitz – A Landscape of Power

Jürgen Danyel

Completed exhibition project

The Waldsiedlung Wandlitz, part of the town of Bernau, is still regarded in East and West Germany as a symbol for the political style and lifestyle of the SED power elite, their privileges and increasing seclusion from the GDR population’s reality of life. The exhibition provided a critical overview of the history of the residential area of the SED’s top-ranking officials, built in 1958 and occupied until 1990.

Bookcover: Von der Politisierung der Medien zur Medialisierung des Politischen? Zum Verhältnis von Medien, Öffentlichkeiten und Politik im 20. Jahrhundert.

Politics as Fiction
A German-American Comparison of Ideas of Order and Political Images in Film and Television from 1950 to 2000

Christoph Classen

Completed research project

This project examines the representation of societal and political conflicts in fictional movies and TV programmes in the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States between the 1950s and the 1990s. Both the transformation of collective ideas of order as well as the changing expectations towards politics and its efficiency will be of crucial importance.

Model kit, VEB Injecta Steinach/Thür, mid-1960s, Dokumentationszentrum Alltagskultur der DDR. Photo: Andreas Ludwig

Contemporary history of things

Andreas Ludwig

Completed research project

Curators in museums of cultural history consider material culture of everyday life as difficult to handle, because they contain a broad range of artefacts. In German historiography, mundane objects have not yet been considered as a source for research and academic debate. For this reason, the project aimed to bring together perspectives of museum work and research into contemporary history.

Bookcover: Agenten der Bilder. Fotografisches Handeln im 20. Jahrhundert

Image Agents
Photographic Action in the Twentieth Century

Annette Vowinckel

Completed Book project

On the one hand, images steadily gain attention as historical sources and as subjects of research. On the other hand, those who produce, distribute, edit, sell or buy pictures often remain anonymous. This book aims at answering the question of how ‘photographic action’ comes to be a new form of political action that draws on the documentary force as well as on the subjective reality of photography.

Logo of the Intervision. Image: Alex Great (Diskussion), Intervision logo, public domain, details on Wikimedia Commons

Crossing Frontiers. International programme exchange as a form of intercultural communication between Western and Eastern Europe at the example of GDR television

Annette Vowinckel

Completed research project

From a media-historical perspective, the cultural communication between Eastern and Western Europe within the system of the Cold War from the mid-1950s via the phase of peaceful coexistence to the breakup of the two power blocs in 1990 will be examined, using the example of the international exchange of GDR television programmes.

Red Orchestra – A Portrait of the Resistance Group in Photographs and Personal Testimonials

Jürgen Danyel

Completed exhibition project with the German Resistance Memorial Centre

Transnational Media Relations in Europe: International Program Exchange and Cultural Transfer as Component of an European Media Culture

Christoph Classen, Annette Vowinckel

Completed research project

Ever since the existence of electronic media, its transgressive character has triggered great fascination but also fears. Political attempts were accordingly substantial in the twentieth century to immunise one’s own territory where possible from within against external influences and to enlist the media for the integration of mostly nationally-defined communities.

Bookcover: Living History als Gegenstand historischen Lernens

Experiencing History, Or: The Performative Appropriation of Past Lifeworlds in Archaeological Open-air Museums

Stefanie Samida
Completed research project

This archaeological sub-project looks at the close network of relationships between archaeologies, ‘re-enactors’ and visitors in archaeological open-air museums and at historical events. The objective is to research, on the one hand, the motives of all participants and, on the other hand, the significance of staging living history.

Photographer unit in Bougainville, 28. 11. 1943, U. S. Army Signal Corps
Fotograf: William Barbero, National Archives College Park, Md (111-SC-377825)

Visual History: Institutions and Media of Visual Memory

Jürgen Danyel, Annette Vowinckel

Competed research project

The aim of this project is to generate a website providing crucial information in the field of visual history, including encyclopaedic articles as well as case studies, information on current research projects, conferences, new books and legal standards of picture publishing.

Bookcover: »Besorgt mal Filme!« Der internationale Programmhandel des DDR-Fernsehens

Between Adaptation and Defence
The International Programme Trade in East German Television

Richard Oehmig
Completed PhD project

This study pursues the aim of examining the international television programme trade from a media and cultural history perspective, using the example of East German television

Church tower and  tv tower. Photo: Beko, St. Mary's Church and TV Tower in Berlin, CC BY-SA 4.0

Images of faith. Television and its role in the transformation of religion in West-Germany from 1950s to 1980s

Ronald Funke

Completed associated PhD project

The doctoral thesis ‘Television and the Transformation of Religion, 1960-1980’ examined public representations of church and religion in the television of the Federal German Republic and its impact on religious transformation processes. Transformation is chosen as distinct from the concept of secularisation, because church and religion have experienced no loss of meaning, but rather a change of meaning in the twentieth century.

Exhibition poster.

Faces of Prague Spring

Jürgen Danyel

Completed exhibition project of the Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam, the Czech and Slovak Centre in Berlin and the Embassies of the Czech Republic and Slovakia in Germany

In 1968, reformers around Alexander Dubček tried to give socialism in Czechoslovakia a ‘human face’ and initiated a far-reaching process of democratisation. This process was driven by Czech society as a whole and created hope for change across the Eastern bloc. The invasion of the armies of the Warsaw Pact on 21 August 1968 put a violent end to this development.

Portrait of a teenager from the educational institution Aszód (Hungary). Source: private archive Tamás Urbán.

Negotiated Images
The Control of Visual Representations and Socialist Image Politics in Hungary, 1963-1989

Completed PhD project

The management and control of public communication is essential for any dictatorial regime. Usually, censorship concentrates on written texts, but in the age of mass media other media, such as theatre, film and television, also had to be monitored in order to control public opinion. In the twentieth century, pictures were used more and more often for propaganda reasons, making the proactive management of images for publication crucial for dictatorial states.

Radio Luxembourg at the EXPO 1958. Photo: Wouter Hagens, Expo58 radio luxembourg, CC BY-SA 3.0

Radio Télévision Luxembourg (RTL) as a Transnational Programme Provider (1955–1980)

Katja Berg
Completed PhD project

With the aid of the Luxembourgian programme provider RTL, the contribution of this commercial enterprise to the transformation of media cultures in West Germany and France will be comparatively examined. The project surveys the transition from a society of shortage to a consumer society, which shaped social and cultural history and was experienced by both societies during this time.

Ausgestrahlt. Die 'Tschernobyl'-Debatte in der bundesdeutschen und französischen Medienöffentlichkeit
© Katrin Jordan

Chernobyl and the Media
The Debate on ‘Chernobyl’ in the West German and French Media Spheres

Completed associated PhD project

This doctoral thesis is a comparative study of the public debates on ‘Chernobyl’ in West Germany and France, undertaken by analysing media coverage during the second half of the 1980s. 

Poster of the conference.

Computerisation of the World of Work: Utopias – Discourses – Practices

Annette Schuhmann

Completed research project

This project examines past visions of the future in the realm of gainful employment. The scenarios of the 1970s and 1980s ranged here from the ‘good tidings of the tertiary sector’ via the strategic perspectives tied to the scientific-technical revolution, to the problem of labour migration and the associated image of uninhabited tracts of land in the middle of Europe.

68/69
Art.Time.History. From the Spring of Utopias to the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Jürgen Danyel

Completed research project

Completed colalborative project with Divadlo Archa (Archa Theatre Prague), Kampnagel Hamburg, Sophiensaele Berlin, Stanica Žilina-Záriečie and the Centrum experimentálního divadlo/Divadlo Husa na provázku (Centre for experimental theatre/Goose on a String Theatre, Brno).

Exhibition poster

Unification: German Society in Transition

Judith Berthold, Jürgen Danyel

Completed exhibition project of the Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam and the German Historical Museum

Since 1990, two societies that were separated for forty years are growing together again. The political upheavals in the GDR in the autumn of 1989 and the opening of the Berlin Wall made the reunification of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany possible. The political and legal unity of Germany came into effect on 3 October 1990.

Helen Wolff (1906-1994) – Publisher and Virtuosa of Communication
A biographical study on publishing history in the twentieth century from a gender history and transnational perspective

Marion Detjen
Completed research project

Quality trade book publishing houses were throughout the twentieth century ‘places of assembly’ (G. Hübinger), sites of crystallisation for liberal bourgeois society, for producing, discussing and pushing through interpretations and narratives. Even though they worked within nation-state frameworks and markets, they provided and organised manifold processes of transnational cultural transfer, mediating and translating concepts and traditions, especially in the Western hemisphere.

Book cover of "Welle der Konsumgesellschaft?".

Stimulus of the Consumer Society?
Radio Luxembourg in France, 1945-1975

Completed PhD project

During the second half of the twentieth century, radio became the leading media in France. Even after the establishment of television in the 1960s, radio remained both an important source of information and a companion in daily life. This doctoral thesis is based on the hypothesis that the change in broadcasting was closely interwoven with the development of the surrounding consumer society.

Art of the GDR exhibited in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the foundation of the state, Berlin, 4.10.1959. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-67740-0046 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, Bundesarchiv Bild 183-67740-0046, Berlin, 10. Jahrestag DDR-Gründung, Ausstellung, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

‘Revolution on the walls’?
Art and Post-communist Transformation in Germany and Poland

Anja Tack

Completed associated PhD project

After the political upheavals in the GDR in 1989, a fervid debate was started about the value and future of East German art. Could these works be considered as art or should they be analysed as historical objects? How should East German art be evaluated on a scientific and professional level?

Completed research projects

Forschung

Projekte

In 1981 Wau Holland was one of the founders of the Chaos Computer Club. Photo: Wau Holland Stiftung.

Sub- and Countercultures of Computer Usage since the 1970s

Completed associated PhD project

In addition to governmental, military and economic interests, there have been sub- and countercultures dealing with the new medium since the beginnings of computer usage. In particular the hackers, but also players, pursued their own practices with regard to computers and formed networks. Thus, they shaped the discourse and practices related to computers. These cultural practices and their impact on the daily-life application of computers since the 1970s in Germany will be developed in this PhD project.

The project results are published in the book "Jugend, Pop, Kultur. Eine transnationale Geschichte) - published 2019.

 

Delinquency and Normalisation
From Youth Culture to Pop – A Transnational History (1953-1966)

Completed associated PhD project

This PhD project explores the emergence of youth and pop culture during the 1950s and 1960s. It follows two basic processes that were contradictory yet interwoven: 1) the criminalisation of youthful images, bodily expressions and cultural products; 2) the establishment of an increasingly internationalised youthful pop culture that manifested itself in new radio programmes, movies, magazines, dances and a certain kind of street fashion.

Food pyramid. Graphic: Targan, Ernährungs Pyramide, public domain, details on Wikimedia Commons

Nutritional Regimes

Thomas Werneke
Completed research project

The project enquired after the semantic ruptures and continuities across regime changes in Germany. Consumerism is understood in the context of the project as the consumption of food and luxury goods (especially alcohol and tobacco) as well as ‘functional food’ (e.g. protein drinks). Primarily publications of state actors and experts in the area of food chemistry, nutritional science and healthcare served as sources.

Waldsiedlung Wandlitz – A Landscape of Power

Jürgen Danyel

Completed exhibition project

The Waldsiedlung Wandlitz, part of the town of Bernau, is still regarded in East and West Germany as a symbol for the political style and lifestyle of the SED power elite, their privileges and increasing seclusion from the GDR population’s reality of life. The exhibition provided a critical overview of the history of the residential area of the SED’s top-ranking officials, built in 1958 and occupied until 1990.

Bookcover: Von der Politisierung der Medien zur Medialisierung des Politischen? Zum Verhältnis von Medien, Öffentlichkeiten und Politik im 20. Jahrhundert.

Politics as Fiction
A German-American Comparison of Ideas of Order and Political Images in Film and Television from 1950 to 2000

Christoph Classen

Completed research project

This project examines the representation of societal and political conflicts in fictional movies and TV programmes in the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States between the 1950s and the 1990s. Both the transformation of collective ideas of order as well as the changing expectations towards politics and its efficiency will be of crucial importance.

Model kit, VEB Injecta Steinach/Thür, mid-1960s, Dokumentationszentrum Alltagskultur der DDR. Photo: Andreas Ludwig

Contemporary history of things

Andreas Ludwig

Completed research project

Curators in museums of cultural history consider material culture of everyday life as difficult to handle, because they contain a broad range of artefacts. In German historiography, mundane objects have not yet been considered as a source for research and academic debate. For this reason, the project aimed to bring together perspectives of museum work and research into contemporary history.

Bookcover: Agenten der Bilder. Fotografisches Handeln im 20. Jahrhundert

Image Agents
Photographic Action in the Twentieth Century

Annette Vowinckel

Completed Book project

On the one hand, images steadily gain attention as historical sources and as subjects of research. On the other hand, those who produce, distribute, edit, sell or buy pictures often remain anonymous. This book aims at answering the question of how ‘photographic action’ comes to be a new form of political action that draws on the documentary force as well as on the subjective reality of photography.

Logo of the Intervision. Image: Alex Great (Diskussion), Intervision logo, public domain, details on Wikimedia Commons

Crossing Frontiers. International programme exchange as a form of intercultural communication between Western and Eastern Europe at the example of GDR television

Annette Vowinckel

Completed research project

From a media-historical perspective, the cultural communication between Eastern and Western Europe within the system of the Cold War from the mid-1950s via the phase of peaceful coexistence to the breakup of the two power blocs in 1990 will be examined, using the example of the international exchange of GDR television programmes.

Red Orchestra – A Portrait of the Resistance Group in Photographs and Personal Testimonials

Jürgen Danyel

Completed exhibition project with the German Resistance Memorial Centre

Transnational Media Relations in Europe: International Program Exchange and Cultural Transfer as Component of an European Media Culture

Christoph Classen, Annette Vowinckel

Completed research project

Ever since the existence of electronic media, its transgressive character has triggered great fascination but also fears. Political attempts were accordingly substantial in the twentieth century to immunise one’s own territory where possible from within against external influences and to enlist the media for the integration of mostly nationally-defined communities.

Bookcover: Living History als Gegenstand historischen Lernens

Experiencing History, Or: The Performative Appropriation of Past Lifeworlds in Archaeological Open-air Museums

Stefanie Samida
Completed research project

This archaeological sub-project looks at the close network of relationships between archaeologies, ‘re-enactors’ and visitors in archaeological open-air museums and at historical events. The objective is to research, on the one hand, the motives of all participants and, on the other hand, the significance of staging living history.

Photographer unit in Bougainville, 28. 11. 1943, U. S. Army Signal Corps
Fotograf: William Barbero, National Archives College Park, Md (111-SC-377825)

Visual History: Institutions and Media of Visual Memory

Jürgen Danyel, Annette Vowinckel

Competed research project

The aim of this project is to generate a website providing crucial information in the field of visual history, including encyclopaedic articles as well as case studies, information on current research projects, conferences, new books and legal standards of picture publishing.

Bookcover: »Besorgt mal Filme!« Der internationale Programmhandel des DDR-Fernsehens

Between Adaptation and Defence
The International Programme Trade in East German Television

Richard Oehmig
Completed PhD project

This study pursues the aim of examining the international television programme trade from a media and cultural history perspective, using the example of East German television

Church tower and  tv tower. Photo: Beko, St. Mary's Church and TV Tower in Berlin, CC BY-SA 4.0

Images of faith. Television and its role in the transformation of religion in West-Germany from 1950s to 1980s

Ronald Funke

Completed associated PhD project

The doctoral thesis ‘Television and the Transformation of Religion, 1960-1980’ examined public representations of church and religion in the television of the Federal German Republic and its impact on religious transformation processes. Transformation is chosen as distinct from the concept of secularisation, because church and religion have experienced no loss of meaning, but rather a change of meaning in the twentieth century.

Exhibition poster.

Faces of Prague Spring

Jürgen Danyel

Completed exhibition project of the Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam, the Czech and Slovak Centre in Berlin and the Embassies of the Czech Republic and Slovakia in Germany

In 1968, reformers around Alexander Dubček tried to give socialism in Czechoslovakia a ‘human face’ and initiated a far-reaching process of democratisation. This process was driven by Czech society as a whole and created hope for change across the Eastern bloc. The invasion of the armies of the Warsaw Pact on 21 August 1968 put a violent end to this development.

Portrait of a teenager from the educational institution Aszód (Hungary). Source: private archive Tamás Urbán.

Negotiated Images
The Control of Visual Representations and Socialist Image Politics in Hungary, 1963-1989

Completed PhD project

The management and control of public communication is essential for any dictatorial regime. Usually, censorship concentrates on written texts, but in the age of mass media other media, such as theatre, film and television, also had to be monitored in order to control public opinion. In the twentieth century, pictures were used more and more often for propaganda reasons, making the proactive management of images for publication crucial for dictatorial states.

Radio Luxembourg at the EXPO 1958. Photo: Wouter Hagens, Expo58 radio luxembourg, CC BY-SA 3.0

Radio Télévision Luxembourg (RTL) as a Transnational Programme Provider (1955–1980)

Katja Berg
Completed PhD project

With the aid of the Luxembourgian programme provider RTL, the contribution of this commercial enterprise to the transformation of media cultures in West Germany and France will be comparatively examined. The project surveys the transition from a society of shortage to a consumer society, which shaped social and cultural history and was experienced by both societies during this time.

Ausgestrahlt. Die 'Tschernobyl'-Debatte in der bundesdeutschen und französischen Medienöffentlichkeit
© Katrin Jordan

Chernobyl and the Media
The Debate on ‘Chernobyl’ in the West German and French Media Spheres

Completed associated PhD project

This doctoral thesis is a comparative study of the public debates on ‘Chernobyl’ in West Germany and France, undertaken by analysing media coverage during the second half of the 1980s. 

Poster of the conference.

Computerisation of the World of Work: Utopias – Discourses – Practices

Annette Schuhmann

Completed research project

This project examines past visions of the future in the realm of gainful employment. The scenarios of the 1970s and 1980s ranged here from the ‘good tidings of the tertiary sector’ via the strategic perspectives tied to the scientific-technical revolution, to the problem of labour migration and the associated image of uninhabited tracts of land in the middle of Europe.

68/69
Art.Time.History. From the Spring of Utopias to the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Jürgen Danyel

Completed research project

Completed colalborative project with Divadlo Archa (Archa Theatre Prague), Kampnagel Hamburg, Sophiensaele Berlin, Stanica Žilina-Záriečie and the Centrum experimentálního divadlo/Divadlo Husa na provázku (Centre for experimental theatre/Goose on a String Theatre, Brno).

Exhibition poster

Unification: German Society in Transition

Judith Berthold, Jürgen Danyel

Completed exhibition project of the Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam and the German Historical Museum

Since 1990, two societies that were separated for forty years are growing together again. The political upheavals in the GDR in the autumn of 1989 and the opening of the Berlin Wall made the reunification of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany possible. The political and legal unity of Germany came into effect on 3 October 1990.

Helen Wolff (1906-1994) – Publisher and Virtuosa of Communication
A biographical study on publishing history in the twentieth century from a gender history and transnational perspective

Marion Detjen
Completed research project

Quality trade book publishing houses were throughout the twentieth century ‘places of assembly’ (G. Hübinger), sites of crystallisation for liberal bourgeois society, for producing, discussing and pushing through interpretations and narratives. Even though they worked within nation-state frameworks and markets, they provided and organised manifold processes of transnational cultural transfer, mediating and translating concepts and traditions, especially in the Western hemisphere.

Book cover of "Welle der Konsumgesellschaft?".

Stimulus of the Consumer Society?
Radio Luxembourg in France, 1945-1975

Completed PhD project

During the second half of the twentieth century, radio became the leading media in France. Even after the establishment of television in the 1960s, radio remained both an important source of information and a companion in daily life. This doctoral thesis is based on the hypothesis that the change in broadcasting was closely interwoven with the development of the surrounding consumer society.

Art of the GDR exhibited in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the foundation of the state, Berlin, 4.10.1959. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-67740-0046 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, Bundesarchiv Bild 183-67740-0046, Berlin, 10. Jahrestag DDR-Gründung, Ausstellung, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

‘Revolution on the walls’?
Art and Post-communist Transformation in Germany and Poland

Anja Tack

Completed associated PhD project

After the political upheavals in the GDR in 1989, a fervid debate was started about the value and future of East German art. Could these works be considered as art or should they be analysed as historical objects? How should East German art be evaluated on a scientific and professional level?