Luther College German Professor Elizabeth Steding publishes “GDR Literature in German Curricula and Textbooks”
DECORAH, IOWA — Elizabeth Steding, Luther College professor of German, published GDR Literature in German Curricula and Textbooks: Exploring the Legacy of GDR Authors, 1985-2015, which analyzes the changing portrayal of East German (GDR) literature in textbooks and curricula for college-preparatory secondary schools in Germany.
“I have been intrigued by the GDR since I was in college, and textbooks play an important role in my life as a teacher, so this project really combines two interests of mine,” said Steding. “Previous research has often focused on how the GDR is presented in history and social studies textbooks, but I wanted to show that literature textbooks can reveal ongoing political tensions regarding how unified Germany perceives the former GDR.”
The book presents readers with case studies of well-known GDR authors, such as Bertolt Brecht, Johannes R. Becher, Anna Seghers, Wolf Biermann and Christa Wolf. Steding explores how textbooks, often marketed as neutral or unbiased, can reflect ideological attitudes about the former East Germany.
“GDR Literature in German Curricula and Textbooks” can be
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