Modern Languages and Literatures, Department of


Date of this Version



Simpson, P.A. Minority Discourses in Germany since 1990 ed. by Ela Gezen, Priscilla Layne, and Jonathan Skolnik (review) (2023) German Studies Review, 46 (1), pp. 181-183.


Both scholarly and popularized examinations of Germany during the 1990s hotly debated the “new normal” of its national politics and cultures, from the so-called “Leitkultur” (guiding culture) of the late 1990s to the plural, intersectional identities within the Federal Republic, among them “Ossis,” “Wessis,” and the multiple minoritized groups negotiating various points on the peripheries. ... The ten essays in the volume, published in the Spektrum Series (volume 23), engage the discursive plurals of intersectional identities and their positions visà- vis dominant whiteness in German-speaking Europe since German unification and the later founding of the European Union in 1993. To achieve a kind of coherence or common cause across the essays, the editors focus the discussions on Black Germans, Turkish Germans, and Jews in Germany. Without making any claims to being comprehensive in scope nor intention to exclude other minoritized groups, such as the Sinti and Roma or Asian and Arab Germans, Minority Discourses advances a coherent thesis about the urgent need for including multiple subject positions and vocal registers in the effort to refocus the projection of a “German” image as hegemonic. The collective impact of this volume makes strides toward dismantling the binary oppositions between white Germans and all others. The strengths of the volume are based in the depth and breadth of the analyses.