Affect and "normality" in GDR LGBT autobiography 1980-1990

Osborn, S.A. (2018) Affect and "normality" in GDR LGBT autobiography 1980-1990. MA(Res) thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Autobiography provides the reader with an understanding of the experience of the GDR in a way which is not possible for a historical study. Historical narratives centre on the macro level of society and the political interactions between the individual and the state, the boundaries drawn between East and West, and the assertion of power in an effort to maintain stability. By contrast, personal narratives focus on the micro level of experience and emotion, but this is in response to the events which form the social and historical context.

In this dissertation, therefore, I will focus on how the social influence of affect shapes the experience of LGBT individuals in the GDR as it is portrayed in diaries, interviews, and memoir. In so doing, I shall demonstrate how the perception of normality functioning as an absolute implicitly shames those individuals in the GDR who do not conform. Consequently, LGBT individuals exist in a state of non-belonging, forming a behavioural façade as negative affect, particularly fear and shame, motivate their actions. Following this, I will show the effects of removing that façade in terms of the voluntary and involuntary disclosure of sexual identity. I will then conclude by considering the extent to which the documentation of the LGBT experience constitutes a political act within this specific social historical context.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MA(Res))
Supervisors: Uecker, Matthias
Hirsekorn, Ute
Keywords: LGBT, queer, GDR studies, affect theory, Berkes, von Mahlsdorf, Lemke, politicisation of sexuality, heterogender, normalisation
Subjects: C Auxiliary sciences of history > CT Biography
P Language and literature > PT Germanic literature
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
Item ID: 55584
Depositing User: Osborn, Samuel
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2019 11:07
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 14:00

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