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

Windsor, Tara Talwar (2013). Dichter, Denker, Diplomaten: German writers and cultural diplomacy after the First World War (1919-1933). University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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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: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: Department of Modern Languages
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council, Other
Other Funders: Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
D History General and Old World > DD Germany
P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/4166


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