Dr. Stephen Brockmann is Professor of German at Carnegie Mellon University.

All of his major research projects explore the relationship between literature and culture on the one hand and German national identity on the other. His most recent book, A Critical History of German Film, which was published in 2010, is an overview of German film history from the perspective of German national identity. Nuremberg: The Imaginary Capital, which was published in the fall of 2006, is a broad study of German cultural history since 1500, with particular emphasis on the period since 1800. It explores the ways in which Germans have imagined Nuremberg as a cultural and spiritual capital, focusing feelings of national identity on the city—or on their image of it.

His book, German Literary Culture at the Zero Hour, published in 2004, examines the ways in which German intellectuals and writers, in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, confronted perhaps the most difficult complex of problems ever faced by modern intellectuals in the western world: the complete defeat and devastation of their country, the crimes of the Hitler dictatorship, the onset of the Cold war, and ultimately the political division of the nation.

His other book, Literature and German Reunification, published in 1999, is the first systematic attempt in English or any other language to examine the literary consequences of German reunification. In exploring the ways in which authors of the 1990s sought to cope with history and national identity, the book addresses questions about the role of the nation and a national literature in the context of economic and political globalization. For the full text of Literature and German Reunification, click here.

Recent Essays