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Dichter, Denker, Diplomaten: German writers and cultural diplomacy after the First World War (1919-1933)

Windsor, Tara Talwar (2013)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the role(s) played by German writers as cultural ambassadors after the First World War, at a time when culture was seen as increasingly important in Germany’s international relations. It focuses on the development and activities of the German branch of the International PEN Club and the international engagement of four writers from across Weimar Germany’s cultural and political spectrum: Hans Friedrich Blunck, Thomas Mann, Heinrich Mann and Ernst Toller. By exploring the agendas pursued by writers on the international stage and their direct and indirect interactions with state and non-state institutions, the thesis illuminates a spectrum of approaches to cultural diplomacy in the Weimar years. The thesis demonstrates how attempts to use varying conceptions of culture to diverse diplomatic ends were underpinned by manifold understandings of Germany’s position in the European and international orders; illustrates the differing negotiations of the sensitive relationship between culture and politics; and traces a range of expressions of nationalism, internationalism, patriotism and cosmopolitanism. This study of writers’ contributions to German foreign affairs sheds new light on the selected case studies and on the openness and contingency of the period, bringing new perspectives to bear on the complexities of the cultural politics and ideological landscape of the Weimar Republic.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Dodd, W. J., William J.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Modern Languages
Subjects:D901 Europe (General)
DD Germany
PT Germanic literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:4166
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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