Beyond the clichés. On the specificity of Weimar culture

David Midgley (University of Cambridge)

It is not only in popular and introductory descriptions of Weimar Germany that the complexities and subtleties of historical development tend to become reduced to schemas. It also happens in scholarly interpretations of Weimar culture as they compete with each other to assert the authority of one form of representation or one conception of a paradigm shift over another. Conceived as an introduction to the issues addressed by the conference programme as a whole, this paper will discuss particular examples of such schematisation and their implications in relation to the strands of social and cultural continuity, as well as the incidences of political, economic and social change, that combined to create the distinctive features of Weimar culture.


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