An entangled history of the Kulturnation
Lindholm, Susan - Researcher
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
This project seeks to understand the process through which Germany has reemerged as a highly regarded Kulturnation, after having been discredited due to its association with the NS-regime after World War II. In order to do so, it traces continuities and discontinuities in, and between debates surrounding the German schools in Stockholm and Helsinki between 1933-1995. These debates are seen as specifically interesting, as they are located at the intersection of politics and education, and as the Nordic countries played a central role in the racial and gendered imagination of the NS regime. By discussing the negotiation of Germanness through a transnational lens, this project takes into account that these negotiations refer to a number of different Germanies (NS-, East-, West-, and reunited Germany). The theoretical framework used to analyze personal files, protocols, letters, and newspaper articles combines an entangled history approach with an intersectional discourse analysis. The project among others contributes to knowledge on continuities and discontinuities concerning the intersection of nationalism and education in the 20th century. Such knowledge is important today, as education is increasingly politicized in the framework of transnational organizations such as the OECD and the EU. It is also important as heated political debates across Europe concerning multiculturalism and democracy force us to reconsider and revisit the connection between education and nationalism.