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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Gender as a Category of Knowledge

Svea Bräunert

PhD Project:
Spectral Histories: Leftwing Terrorism and the Arts


Description of the Project


»Spectral Histories: Leftwing Terrorism and the Arts« examines the ways in which literature, film, and the visual arts address 1970s left-wing terrorism. The analysis focuses on two issues in particular: (1) the theoretical strategies engendered by the intricate relationship between terrorism and mass media, which ultimately prompts the question to what extent terrorism itself has become a kind of medium, and (2) the transformative effects mediatization has had on how these events are remembered. No longer structured around a traumatic absence, such memories are now defined by the excessive presence of stories and images. The arts have reacted to this situation by representing the history of the RAF in the form of a ghost. In doing so they deploy the ghost as a conceptual tool for exploring the dynamic between left-wing terrorism and the arts – a dynamic profoundly informed by bodily images and gendered imaginaries.




Svea Bräunert has studied modern German literature, cultural studies and history in Berlin and St. Louis. PhD Candidate in the Department of German Literature at Humboldt University in Berlin. Fulbright Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis (2004/05), Recipient of an Elsa Neuman Scholarship by the Senate of Berlin (2008-10), Schurman Assistant at Cornell University (2010/11).

Selected Publications


Die RAF und das Phantom des Terrorismus in der Bundesrepublik. In: Kunst und Kalter Krieg. Deutsche Positionen
1945 – 89, ed. by Stephanie Barron a. Sabine Eckmann, Köln 2009. P. 260 – 272.

Soundscape Stammheim. In: Ikonographie des Terrors? Formen ästhetischer Erinnerung an den Terrorismus in der Bundesrepublik 1978 – 2008, hg. v. Norman Ächtler u. Carsten Gansel, Heidelberg 2010. P. 199 – 221. (http://www.zeitgeschichte-online.de/sites/default/files/documents/Braeunert_Soundscape_Stammheim_0.pdf).

Ghostly Sisters. Feminist Legacies in Second-Generation Perspectives on West German Terrorism: Judith Kuckart’s Wahl der Waffen (1990) and Kaiserstraße (2006). In: Generational Shifts in Contemporary German Culture, ed. by Laurel Cohen-Pfister a. Susanne Vees-Gulani, Rochester 2010. P. 161 – 183.

Video und Avantgarde. Zum Verhältnis von Kunst, Massenmedien und Terrorismus in Klaus vom Bruchs Das Schleyerband. In: Seminar 47.1 (2011), »Questioning the RAF. The Politics of Culture«. P. 27 – 45.