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Walls, Borders, Boundaries: Spatial and Cultural Practices in Europe

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Volume 4

Spektrum: Publications of the German Studies Association

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Walls, Borders, Boundaries

Spatial and Cultural Practices in Europe

Edited by Marc Silberman, Karen E. Till, and Janet Ward

282 pages, 19 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-504-8 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (May 2012)

ISBN  978-1-78238-686-5 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (December 2014)

eISBN 978-0-85745-505-5 eBook


View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“The diverse contributions to this book are all thoughtful, well-researched, and significant. The editors have organized them into appropriate sections and provided them with bibliographies, a useful Index, and a cogent and informative contextual Introduction. The collection is both diverse and unified, and the essays are both specific and general, and of contemporary, historical, and timeless import.” • Pol Int

“…a highly welcome and useful addition to… scholarship [that] brings together scholars from several academic fields, including history, geography, anthropology, and Germanistik, in a fruitful effort to promote interdisciplinary dialogue and cooperation… The book’s thoughtful and valuable contributions reach far beyond Berlin alone. Indeed, the multiplicity of approaches and perspectives in many ways enriches the book. The study deserves to reach a wide readership among scholars of a number of disciplines, and it is to be hoped that it will inspire further study of the themes and issues addressed here.” • German Studies Review

“The individual contributions are almost invariably of a high standard and will be of interest not only to researchers but also to students in a range of fields, including contemporary German history, European Studies, political geography, and border studies. The contributions are well written, and the volume as a whole is well edited and includes numerous illuminating images.” • Central European History

“…[the] congregation of interdisciplinary accounts helps [to] demystify the fall of the Berlin Wall, and to destabilise the romanticisation of ‘post-wall’ eras. In a timely way the contributions also highlight the diversity of barriers and boundaries which anchor collective life in a world that sometimes claims for itself a kind of borderless universality. However the collection is at its sharpest when the autonomies of art, of the body, and of the material world are allowed to speak as loudly as persisting cultural and architectural divisions.” • Society and Space–Environment and Planning D

“This volume is recommended to all scholars who are interested in walls, boundaries and migrations. It opens up important and new perspectives for research and is also very useful thank to the bibliography, the names, place and subject indexes.” • H-Soz-u-Kult

“[A] revealing reflection and interpretation upon the development of post-World War II Europe. It offers a vision of imposed borders and boundaries that have become familiar yet remain disturbing; such a dichotomy is explored in various ways in the essays to make a provocative and fascinating book. The book is especially strong in the combination of the empirical and theoretical, treating borders and boundaries at many different levels from the purely physical to the social, cultural and political, as well as the symbolic. [It is]...a very welcome addition to the field.” • Wendy Pullan, University of Cambridge

“The volume is interdisciplinary and broadly conceptualized yet it focuses on some key aspects that give the volume sufficient focus and depth. The quality of the contributions (including the substantive introduction) is consistently high…[and] not merely a collection of pieces from various disciplines; instead many contributions speak to one another across individual disciplines, e.g., in a consideration of the ambivalent or contradictory effects of walls and boundaries—culturally, historically, and socially.” • Friederike Eigler, Georgetown University


How is it that walls, borders, boundaries—and their material and symbolic architectures of division and exclusion—engender their very opposite? This edited volume explores the crossings, permeations, and constructions of cultural and political borders between peoples and territories, examining how walls, borders, and boundaries signify both interdependence and contact within sites of conflict and separation. Topics addressed range from the geopolitics of Europe’s historical and contemporary city walls to conceptual reflections on the intersection of human rights and separating walls, the memory politics generated in historically disputed border areas, theatrical explorations of border crossings, and the mapping of boundaries within migrant communities.

Marc Silberman is Professor of German and Affiliate Professor in Theatre and Drama as well as Film Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has published extensively on twentieth and twenty-first century German literature, film, and theater.

Karen E. Till is Lecturer of Cultural Geography at the National University of Ireland Maynooth and co-convener of the ‘Mapping Spectral Traces’ international network. She is author of The New Berlin, co-editor of Textures of Place, and working on a book project, Wounded Cities.

Janet Ward is Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma and author of Post-Wall Berlin: Borders, Space and Identity and Weimar Surfaces: Urban Visual Culture in 1920s Germany. Her current work includes a co-edited collection on (trans)nationalism and the German city, and a book project on urban destruction and reconstruction.

Subject: History (General)Urban StudiesRefugee and Migration StudiesMemory Studies
Area: Europe


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