Aarhus Universitets segl

Pre-defence Sophie Schmalenberger

Populism beyond the "Never again": The Alternative für Deutschland as alternative German-ness.

Oplysninger om arrangementet


Mandag 30. november 2020,  kl. 13:00 - 15:00


Aarhus University, Nobelparken, Building 1461, room 516 or via Zoom


School of Culture and Society

On Monday November 30, Sophie Schmalenberger will have her thesis seminar/pre-defense.

The title of her PhD project is “Populism beyond the ‘Never Again’: The Alternative für Deutschland as alternative German-ness“ – see abstract below.

The external discussants are Carsten Stage from from the School of Culture and Communication (AU) and Julia Leser from the University of Leipzig.

Sophie has chosen to make the pre-defense a public event. You are all very welcome.

A zoom link will be distributed for those of you who either cannot make it in person or prefer to participate online.

If you plan on attending in person please send a quick notice to soschma@cas.au.dk so we can keep an eye on room capacity.


Populism beyond the ‘Never Again’: The Alternative für Deutschland as alternative German-ness

My PhD project aims to understand the success of the far-right populist party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) in context of a modern Germany that had long been considered immune to the resurgence of the political right due to the central role that Holocaust memory and due ‘lessons learned’ from the nation’s ‘dark past’ play in the present politico-cultural order.

Here, I argue that what the AfD (successfully) does is not (only) promoting a revisionist interpretation of German history. More importantly, the AfD engages in strategic memory work with the aim of orchestrating an alternative affective landscape that permits emotions that are ‘disallowed’ within the hegemonic post-Holocaust political culture. In order to shed light on what this far-right populist, counter-hegemonic affective landscape looks like, I develop an affective reading of the AfD’s rhetoric-performative engagement with history and memory.