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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).

The sheer scale of the transformation in Eastern Germany was unprecedented. It encompassed unforeseen levels of political, social, economic and cultural change within the space of a few months. And yet, this unique period is understudied in remarkable ways. This thesis contributes to the existing literature on transformation processes by providing a detailed study of local practices in Erfurt and Eisenach from 1989 to 1991.

Concentrating on the communal level, it examines the interrelationship between protest, consumption, politics and economic restructuring, and how these changes are reflected in social practices. It highlights the agency of local actors by illustrating the pressure under which eastern Germans worked and the ways in which they dealt with both successes and losses. For introducing and developing democratic practices in times of social, political and economic instability is an incredible challenge. From the grassroots perspective, this thesis highlights previously underappreciated forms of input and proactivity, as well as the immense constraints faced by actors on the ground.

Running throughout the thesis, however, is also the story of citizens trying to find and use their voice; actively renegotiating roles and structures, determining new forms of communication and tone, defending their interests and values, creating meanings and making sense of the past. As well as relating to wider questions of recent German politics and history, this thesis demonstrates how times of political and social uncertainty can lead to practices of social and financial marginalisation that significantly redefine citizens’ political agency.

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

  • Strukturwandel des Eigentums, Opening Event of the DFG-Collaborative Research Centre, Jena (Guest speaker on the panel: Author meets critics: Aktuelle Bücher zu Eigentumsfragen, Markus Böick: Die Treuhand. Idee – Praxis, Erfahrung 1990-1994)

  • 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) ‘Die »Köpfe von gestern«: Gesellschaftliche Aushandlungsprozesse im Zuge des Systemswechsels im Thüringer Raum 1989/90’, in Jörg Ganzenmüller & Bertram Triebel (eds.), 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, Vol. 48, 2-3, 2021.
  • Conference Report: ‘Innere Einheit – Ein (un)erreichbares Ziel?’, 21.10.2020–21.10.2020, digital, in H-Soz-Kult, 11 February 2021, <>.
  • Translation: Katharina Lenski, ‘The Stigma of “Asociality” in the GDR: Reconstructing the Language of Marginalisation’, in Enrico Heitzer (et al.), After Auschwitz. The Difficult Legacies of the GDR (New York: Berghahn, 2021), pp. 150-162.
  • Translation: Norbert Frei & Christina Morina, ‘Racism and Historiography’, German Historical Institute London Blog, 16 October 2020, <>.
  • 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.