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Palgrave Macmillan

The Media of Testimony

Remembering the East German Stasi in the Berlin Republic

ISBN 9781137364036
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies

In The Media of Testimony, Sara Jones examines the use of eyewitness testimony in different cultural forms. The focus is on memories of the East German State Security Service (Stasi) in autobiographical writing, memorial museums and documentary film. Combining theoretical models from diverse disciplines, Jones develops a distinctive and interdisciplinary approach to testimony, memory and mediation. She considers the processes by which authors, directors and heritage managers seek to generate authority and authenticity for particular versions of contested histories. Contemporary uses of eyewitness testimony in popular history can extend communities of memory to include those with no direct experience of the represented past. However, this may result in a narrowing of history and a disinheritance of particular social groups. The Media of Testimony represents a significant contribution to studies of German cultural memory and to understanding the ways in which memories circulate and become salient in the media-dominated societies of the present.

Sara Jones is Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her work focuses on the political, social and cultural processes of remembering state socialism in Germany and Central and Eastern Europe. She is the author of Complicity, Censorship and Criticism: Negotiating Space in the GDR Literary Sphere (2011).

1. The Media of Testimony
2. Literary Autobiography and the Stories that Can't be Told
3. Fragmented Auto/Biographies: Testifying with Many Voices
4. The Importance of 'Being There': Memorial Museums and Living the Past in the Present
5. Whose Memory Is It Anyway? Memorial Museums and Modes of Authority
6. Documentary Film: Being Moved by Memory


"The Media of Testimony combines original empirical analyses with the very latest memory studies scholarship. It is a fascinating and highly readable discussion of the way first-person narratives are mediated to produce a one-sided account of a still hotly-contested past, and its discussion of what constitutes 'authenticity' has implications extending well beyond its immediate context. An important book for anyone interested in how the past is reconstructed in the present." - Debbie Pinfold, University of Bristol, UK
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