Hey everyone, exciting news! My newest book, Inventing Berlin, has successfully passed through the review process and the revisions have been accepted. That means it is on schedule to be released in time for the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall! The hardcover and ebook versions will be released in Springer’s Urban Book series at the end of October/beginning of November. More on their website here.
Inventing Berlin: Architecture, Politics and Cultural Memory in the New/Old German Capital Post-1989 explores architecture, urban planning, memory, legitimate history, and post-socialist path-dependency in the eastern half of Berlin after German reunification. The basic premise of the book is that choices about architecture and symbolism in capital cities are attempts at concretizing the values and identity of that country’s residents (or at least the dominant group). Following this assumption, this book argues that the architectural and urban planning choices in Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall reflected specific choices about legitimate identity, memory, and history in reunified Germany. The study centers around three main questions:
- What do changes to the cultural landscape of East Berlin reveal about official narratives of German identity after 1990?
- In which ways is East Berlin a “typical” post-socialist city and in which ways is it a special case? and
- Who were the key actors, what tactics did they employ and how did their influence and methods change over time?
Writing and researching this topic, which was an extension of my dissertation subject, was a very intense and rewarding process and I am thrilled to see the result.