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The Devil We Know: Crime Writing and Propaganda in Germany’s Pre-World-War Periods
The project, generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust for a 3-year period to begin in September 2015, will investigate two diametrically opposed stock types in texts written during the run-up to both World Wars: the wicked and foul ‘foreigner’ (Frenchmen, ‘Bolsheviks’, Jews) in pre-war propaganda and literature, and the German criminal as a harmless, even lovable eccentric (‘the devil we know’) in criminology and literature. This juxtaposition can be read as a ‘turning inward’ of conflict resolution skills, which focused on the home-grown and fixable problem of crime, and a simultaneous exacerbation of foreign conflicts through their portrayal as both unavoidable and intractable.
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