Die Wende der Anderen [The Reunification of Others]-East German Perspectives on 1989/90(and beyond) GERMAN4064

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Modern Languages and Cultures
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course will discuss recent East German literary, autobiographical, and academic texts that challenge and diversify the largely West-dominated narrative around German reunification - a reunification of others - in 1989/90, shifting the focus more onto the developments in the 1990s and the reclaiming of a renewed sense of East German identity. The response was initially provoked by the media depiction of Dresden's right-wing PEGIDA movement in 2015 that revived old stereotypes of the underdeveloped, dictatorship-socialized "Dunkeldeutschland" [dark Germany] full of lazy, constantly complaining Easterners prone to racism and skeptical of democratic institutions. As a result, more and more East Germans stepped forward into the public realm (many of them born after 1990), voicing their own perspectives on German reunification and on being East German as a result of it.


1 x 2 hour seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled in MyCampus.  This is one of the Honours options in SMLC and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into one of the SMLC Honours programmes, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Newspaper article / think piece for a general audience 1000 30%

Essay 3000 words 70%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Introduce students to contemporary German and East German identity politics

■ Engage with different East German perspectives that challenge and diversify the narrative around the Peaceful Revolution (1989) and German Reunification (1990), and also the memory discourse around the German Democratic Republic (GDR)

■ Engage with sociological, migrational and post-colonial research and theory in German and encourage students to examine critically a broad spectrum of perspectives

■ Engage with and problematise autobiographical essays and fiction as sources for historical and identity debates

■ Encourage students to apply their knowledge of the issues and problems surrounding German reunification creatively and speculatively to other cultural and political contexts (Scotland, Ireland, Catalonia etc)

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Differentiate between the GDR and post-1990 East Germany and their respective sociopolitical contexts

■ Critically analyse and assess different perspectives, theories, and arguments that aim to diversify the official narrative on the 'success story' of German reunification

■ Present and problematise specific texts and discussion points in writing

■ Creatively apply the critical frameworks for this course to other political and identity-political scenarios and contexts

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.