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Augstein, Franziska

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2 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 25/09/2006

Trendy German historians

Franziska Augstein attended the German Historians' Conference in Constance, which had the trendy theme of "Pictures of history". "If not all historians are writing solely about pictures at the moment, it's because there are also other sources, for example texts. The study of history is subject to trends, and because not all historians are boring toadies, there are always some who claim to have 'finally' found the definitive perspective. First of all there was an emphasis on the anthropological approach, then came the so-called 'linguistic turn' (a clever name for conceptual history and the analysis of individual words as reflected in modern social theory), then there was the 'iconic turn' (it has to do with iconography), then the discovery of space. Now we have the 'visual turn', or in other words a focus on seeing, which in practice is no different from the 'iconic turn'. The study of history is like an international fashion designer: sometimes it's bell-bottoms and other times it's drainpipes. This alleged new discovery of the importance of images is in fact just old hat."

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 04/07/2006

Franziska Augstein on misunderstandings within Europe

Franziska Augstein describes the communication difficulties within Europe, pointing out that even between the Poles, the Germans and the French there are countless misunderstandings. "For the Poles, the French concept of laicism is simply absurd. The  term 'public services' is an inadequate translation of the French term 'services publiques', while other countries have absolutely no idea what these terms refer to. When the Germans wanted to have minority rights laid down in the European constitution, the French argued that this would be a tautological aberration. Their concept of the Republique guarantees that there are no minorities in the state, only citizens on an equal footing. Catherine Lalumiere reported that when the French opposed the term minority rights, they were dismayed to find that only the Romanians and the Turks were firmly behind them. Irena Lipowicz, a Polish professor of law, reports that a Frenchman jokingly told to her that if Poland went along with Germany's desire to have minority rights included in the European constitution, France would declare the Oder-Neisse border null and void."

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