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Pia Deutsch - PhD Student


I received my B.A. in History and Sociology (2009) and my M.A. in History (2012) from the University of Mannheim. During this time I spent internships at the German Immigration Center (Bremerhaven, 2009) and the Fritz Bauer-Institute (Frankfurt a.M., 2011), and was a student assistant at the Archive of the University of Mannheim (2008-2012). Before I came to Warwick, I worked part-time at the Department of Gender Equality and Social Diversity (University of Mannheim, 2012-2014).

Research interests

  • German contemporary history
  • National identity
  • Media history and media studies
  • History and reception of the Holocaust
  • Memory studies
  • German and European history of the 19th and 20th century

PhD project

“Negotiating Nationhood: Mediating German identities, 1988-1999” (Working title)

My project deals with the construction and negotiation of post-unification German national identity. It examines the extent to which living in unified Germany had to be learnt and appropriated.

Based on the hypothesis that media played a decisive role in the process of unification, the dissertation will consider East and West German radio as platforms where current events and important issues were discussed. In 1994, the DeutschlandRadio (DR) was created out of a merger of radio stations form East and West Germany. Colleagues from societies, which had been separated for over forty years, had to learn themselves on how to make unification work as they began to work together. DR is therefore an ideal media platform to explore how unification was presented by East and West German broadcasters whose original mission was turned on its head by unification, and how this legacy played out following the station’s own ‘unification’ in 1994.

My research will examine everyday interactions between employees, interactions with listeners, and how listening patterns changed; but I will also focus on language, as it was used consciously to articulate (and contest) hegemony, norms, and the institutional transformation process of the radio station.


"Negotiating Nationhood: Mediating German identities, 1989-1995.”, Warwick Workshop for Interdisciplinary German Studies, University of Warwick 2018

"Being trapped in “Zwischenzeit”. The concept of youth after 1989.", PGR conference The GDR Today III, Bangor University 2017

"Verwerfung & Transformation im Radio: Die zwei Realitäten der deutschen Umbruchsgesellschaft.", 6. Jahrestagung des Netzwerks ‚Diskurs – interdisziplinär‘: ‚Diskurs – kontrastiv‘, Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim 2016

Poster presentation at the 51th Convention of German Historians, Hamburg 2016

"The Losers: Young People in East Germany after 1989 and the Modern Time Regime", 60th National Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies, University of Warwick 2016

"Mediating German Identities. Germany’s National Radio 1989-1995.", IMLR Graduate Forum, UCL London 2016

"Die (Neu)Verhandlung deutscher Identität. Deutschlands nationales Radio 1988-1995", Medienhistorisches Forum für Absolventen und Forschungsnachwuchs/PGR Conference, Wittenberg/Germany 2015

"Mediating German Identities in the Every-Day: Deutschlandradio", PGR conference The GDR Today II, University of Bristol 2015

"Mediating German Identities. Germany's National Radio, 1989-1995", PG Symposium University of Warwick 2015

"Der Opferdiskurs um die Kriegsheimkehrer – Sprachliche (Re)Konstruktion von Vergangenheit", University of Mannheim 2013

"In Baden geboren – aus Baden-Baden vertrieben, Auschwitz entkommen. Der Schriftsteller Gerhard L. Durlacher", Gedenkveranstaltung zum Jahrestag an die Deportation der südwestdeutschen Juden, Municipal Museum Baden-Baden 2010

Awards and scholarships

Chancellor's Scholarship, University of Warwick 2014

Artes Liberales-ABSOLVENTUM-Prize of the University of Mannheim in recognition of Master’s thesis („German homecomings as victims. The VdH’s linguistic (re)construction of bygone reality” Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Peter Steinbach) 2013


"Die zwei Realitäten der deutschen Umbruchsgesellschaft. Aus-länderfeindlichkeit in Deutschlandsender Kultur und Deutsch-landfunk nach 1989." In Conference Proceedings of "6. Jahrestagung des Netzwerks ‚Diskurs – interdisziplinär‘: ‚Diskurs – kontrastiv‘, Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim" (forthcoming).

Conference Report: „4. Jahrestagung des Tagungsnetzwerks Diskurs – interdisziplinär in Verbindung mit dem 14. Treffen von DiskursNetz“. In Zeitschrift für Diskursforschung 1 (2015), pp. 82-89.

„Gebrochenes Schweigen: Gerhard L. Durlacher“ Einführung zur Ausstellungseröffnung zu Gerhard L. Durlacher im Literaturmuseum der Stadtbibliothek Baden-Baden. In Aquae. Beiträge zur Stadtgeschichte der Stadt und des Kurortes Baden-Baden 45 (2012), pp. 83-88.