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East German museums of everyday history as depots for the nostalgic object

Brock, Maria 2019. East German museums of everyday history as depots for the nostalgic object. Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society 24 (2) , pp. 151-174. 10.1057/s41282-019-00120-0

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Abstract

This article centres on two East German museums exclusively dedicated to the storage and display of everyday items produced in the German Democratic Republic between 1949 and 1989, locating both in the context of similar ‘memory museums’ of East German history, as well as history museums more generally. Examining these sites, the text investigates the types of relationships established with these artefacts of the past, analysing their function as mediators between the inner and outer world, and between memory and history. Taking nostalgia theory and specifically Ostalgie as a starting point for the analysis, it reflects on how the museums serve as containers for a multitude of objects both fantasmatic and material. The aim is to inject nostalgia theory, especially in its focus on materiality, with more distinctly psychosocial ideas and concepts. In order to understand whether there is a finality to the psychic and political transitions that took place after 1989, nostalgia’s link to a utopian politics of the future, rather than to a contested past, is addressed throughout.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISSN: 1088-0763
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 April 2019
Date of Acceptance: 21 March 2019
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2020 10:43
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/121685

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