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Jenny Price

Research Overview

Ost Voices. Local Practices of the Transformation in Eastern Germany, 1989-1991.
Joint Doctoral Studentship under the supervision of Prof. Jan Palmowski (University of Warwick) and Prof. Corey Ross (University of Birmingham), funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

My research explores, at a grassroots level, how local actors dealt with political, social and economic change in East(ern) Germany between 1989-1991. It uses the particular case of Germany as a lens to examine wider questions of how democratisation works in practice, but it also examines a fundamental question of recent German politics and history: namely, the extent to which unification was determined ‘top-down’ by the Federal Republic, and East German actors maintained significant room for manoeuvre to realise their own ideals and ambitions.

In this context, the transformation is examined as an ongoing process of problem-solving and negotiation in the everyday. By focussing on communal conflicts between 1989 to 1994, the project tries to shed light on the experiences and dynamics shaping this crucial period. How, for example, did communal actors respond to the demonstrations in the autumn of 1989 and public reactions to the legacy of the Ministry for State Security? What role would this play during the organisation of the elections in the year to come, and how would the political and economic climate shape debates on the public sphere? How would citizens deal with issues around restructuring, privatisation and unemployment in their communities? And how would their local, regional and national identity adapt to the changing political, economic, social and cultural landscape?

Through the lens of micro-history, the project will use qualitative methods to examine one mid-size town and one state capital, namely Eisenach and Erfurt in Thuringia. Archive materials such as video and sound recordings, pamphlets, records of meetings, speeches, photographs and posters relating to the events of 1989/90 are complemented by press reports and official political party documents from state and party archives. Finally, the study benefits from oral history interviews with political actors, to understand the motivations, experiences and challenges around the transformation of eastern Germany.

Research Interests

  • History of East Germany
  • Memorial culture
  • Political transitions
  • History of Everyday Life
  • Oral History
  • Global History
  • Contemporary literature

Academic Profile

2016 - 2020: PhD in History, ESRC Doctoral Training Centre, University of Warwick
  • Ost Voices. Local Practices of the Transformation in Eastern Germany, 1989-1991
    under the supervision of Prof. Jan Palmowski & Prof. Corey Ross, viva voce 16.06.2020.
2017 - 2019: Visiting researcher at the Jena Center Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts (Centre for 20th Century History), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany and scholar of the Ettersberg Foundation in Weimar, Germany.

2015 - 2016: Master of Arts in Global History (MA), Department of History, University of Warwick
  • Becoming Green - German Reunification and the Citizens' Movements, 1983-1993
    under the supervision of Dr. Joachim Häberlen & Prof. Jan Palmowski (September 2016)

2006 - 2010: Master of Modern Languages (MML),
School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures,
University of Manchester
  • Paradigms of Difference: East and Turkish-German Perspectives on Post-Unification Identities
    under the supervision of Prof. Margaret Littler (May 2010)
  • Self and/as Other: Identities in Nothomb's Novels
    under the supervision of Dr. Floriane Place-Verghnes (May 2009)

Conferences & Public Engagement

  • In der Einheit getrennt? Dreißig Jahre nach der Wiedervereinigung, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, 28 January 2021 (Guest speaker on the panel: Wie ging es weiter? Wie ist es heute?)
  • Zwischen Währungsunion und Wiedervereinigung, Rotary Club Eisenach, 20 October 2020 (Guest speaker).
  • Brexit 2019 und der Demokratisierungsprozess in Ostdeutschland 1990-1993: Demokratie auf dem Prüfstand, Teacher Training Event at the Europäisches Informationszentrum Thüringen, Erfurt, 29 October 2019 (Guest speaker).
  • Gesellschaft als staatliche Veranstaltung? Orte politischer und kultureller Partizipation in der DDR, Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena, 10-11 October 2019 (Presented: "Den Neuanfang Gestalten: Der Systemwechsel in den Städten und Gemeinden im Thüringer Raum").
  • Festveranstaltung anlässlich des Tags der Deutschen Einheit, Thüringer Staatskanzlei, Prediger Kirche, Erfurt, 3 October 1990 (Speaker on the panel: "Die Friedliche Revolution und ihre Wirkung auf die heutige Gesellschaft).
  • »Es lag was in der Luft« Thüringen und Polen in den 80er Jahren, Teacher Training Event at the Stiftung Ettersberg Gedenk- und Bildungsstätte Andreasstraße, Erfurt,15 August 2019 (Presented: "Demokratisierung verorten: Thüringen im Wandel 1989-1994").

  • Betriebe, Gewerkschaften und betriebliche Proteste in der Transformationsphase der neuen Bundesländer in den 1990er Jahren, Universität Leipzig, Historisches Seminar, 18-19 July 2019 (attended).
  • Aufbruch in die Zivilgesellschaft? Formen lokaler politischer Partizipation und Diskussion vor, während und nach der friedlichen Revolution, Workshop organised by the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam, Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung, Berlin, 4-5 April 2019 (Presented: "Demokratisierungsprozess während und nach 1989 – lokale Akteure in Erfurt und Eisenach").

  • Sozialismus als Erfahrung und Erinnerung. Junge Forschung im etablierten Feld, 16. Potsdamer Doktorand_innenforum zur Zeitgeschichte, Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam, 21-22 February 2019 (Presented: "Die ostdeutsche Erfahrung: Demokratisierung im Alltag, 1989-1994").
  • Oberseminar für Osteuropäische Geschichte, Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena, 08 January 2019 (Presented: "Thüringen in der Transformation: Demokratisierung im Alltag, 1989-1994).
  • 24. Wissenschaftliches Halbjahresgespräch, Lehrstuhl für Neuere und Neueste Geschichte, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, 8 February 2018 (Presented: "Learning Democracy? Der Demokratisierungsprozess in Ostdeutschland, 1989-1994")
  • Demokratieverachtung. Autoritäre Dynamiken in der Zwischenkriegszeit und in der Gegenwart, Symposium, Jena Center Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts & Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena, 25 - 27 January 2018 (attended)
  • German Historical Institute Postgraduate Conference, GHI London, 11 - 12 January 2018 (Presented: "Learning Democracy? Democratisation in Eastern Germany, 1989-1994")
  • Public and Applied History on the Battlefield of Europe. Dealing with Painful Pasts in the 20th Century, Jean Monnet Network 'Applied European Contemporary History', Jena, 07 - 09 November 2017 (attended)
  • Zur Gesellschaftsgeschichte des Umbruchs. Lebenswelt und Systemwechsel vor, während und nach 1989, International Conference, Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam, 22 - 23 June 2017 (attended)
  • German Historical Institute Postgraduate Conference, GHI London, 12 - 13 January 2017 (attended)
  • Economic and Social Research Council Postgraduate Conference, ACC Liverpool, 17 June 2016 (attended)

Awards and Bursaries

  • Doctoral Scholarship, Ettersberg Foundation (January - June 2020).
  • ESRC Doctoral Studentship Award (October 2015 - October 2019).
  • History Postgraduate Research Fund, University of Warwick (Archival research in Sankt Augustin, February 2019).
  • History Postgraduate Research Fund, University of Warwick (Archival research in Erfurt & Eisenach, February - March 2017).
  • History Postgraduate Research Fund, University of Warwick (Archival research in Jena, March 2016).


  • (forthcoming) ‘Aufbruch, Umbruch, Abbruch? Die »Köpfe von gestern« und der Systemwechsel im Thüringer Raum 1989/90’, in Jörg Ganzenmüller & Bertram Triebel, Gesellschaft als Staatliche Veranstaltung? Orte politischer und kultureller Partizipation in der DDR (Köln: Böhlau, 2021).
  • (forthcoming) Book Review: Ned Richardson-Little, The Human Rights Dictatorship. Socialism, Global Solidarity and Revolution in East Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), in East Central Europe, 2021.
  • Conference Report: ‘Die revolutionären Umbrüche in Europa 1989/91: Deutungen und Repräsentationen.18. Internationales Symposium der Stiftung Ettersberg’, 01.11.2019–02.11.2019, Weimar, in H-Soz-Kult <>.
Jenny Price

Jenny Price

J dot Price dot 2 at warwick dot ac dot uk


The Economic and Social Research Council are the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues.