Major Field: Modern European and German History
Adviser: Konrad H. Jarausch
BA University of Florida, 2011
MA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2014
MA Thesis: “Half of the Picture: Representations of East Germany in GDR Review, 1958-1989”
My research interests include twentieth-century German and European history, the history of media, intermediality, the history of memory, and cultural diplomatic history. Expanding from my M.A. Thesis, my dissertation entitled “Promising a Better Germany: Competing Cultural Diplomacies between West and East Germany, 1949-1990” explores how the split of the German nation in to Western and Eastern occupation zones and later two distinct states provoked questions of what it meant to be the “better” Germany. Both the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) competed to gain international support and obtain diplomatic recognition to answer this question in their favor, often by developing new images to replace the memory of Nazism and by differentiating themselves in their search for approval from domestic and foreign audiences. My dissertation project examines the competing practices of cultural diplomacy of the FRG and the GDR by studying their distinct, yet closely connected and interacting, self-images through a three-level comparative study of the foreign offices, intermediary organizations and media. The changing images of each Germany tell us about the successes and failures of their respective cultural diplomatic strategies essential for political legitimacy abroad that served to both legitimize the states and to reinforce division.