Cultural Impact in the German Context: Studies in Transmission, Reception, and Influence

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How to gauge the impact of cultural products is an old question, but bureaucratic agendas such as the one recently implemented in the UK to measure the impact of university research (including in German Studies) are new. Impact is seen as confirming a cultural product's value for society -- not least in the eyes of cultural funders. Yet its use as an evaluative category has been widely criticized by academics. Rather than rejecting the concept of impact, however, this volume employs it as a metaphor to reflect on issues of transmission, reception, and influence that have always underlain cultural production but have escaped systematic conceptualization. It seeks to understand how culture works in the German-speaking world: how writers and artists express themselves, how readers and audiences engage with the resulting products, and how academics are drawn to analyze this dynamic process. Formulating such questions afresh in the context of German Studies, the volume examines both contemporary cultural discourse and the way it evolves more generally. It links such topics as authorial intention, readerly reception, intertextuality, and modes of perception to less commonly studied phenomena, such as the institutional practices of funding bodies, that underpin cultural discourse. Contributors: David Barnett, Laura Bradley, Rebecca Braun, Sarah Colvin, Anne Fuchs, Katrin Kohl, Karen Leeder, Jurgen Luh, Jenny McKay, Ben Morgan, Gunther Nickel, Chloe Paver, Joanne Sayner, Matthew Philpotts, Jane Wilkinson. Rebecca Braun is Lecturer in German Studies at the University of Lancaster and Lyn Marven is Lecturer in German at the University of Liverpool.