Although North Americans may not recognize it, Cuba has long shaped the German imaginary. Sun, Sex, and Socialism picks up this story from the early 1960s, detailing how the newly upstart island in the U.S. backyard inspired citizens on both sides of the Berlin Wall.
By the 1970s, international rapprochements and repressions on state levels were stirring citizen disenchantment, discontent, and grassroots solidarities in all three nations. The Cold War's official end generated waves of politicised nostalgia and prescriptions for the newly configured Cuba and Germany, as exemplified in films like Buena Vista Social Club. Meanwhile, from the New Left movement to today, revolutionary compatriots Ché Guevara and Tamara Bunke continued to be icons of youth resistance, even while being commodified globally.
Sun, Sex, and Socialism illustrates how Germans identified with transnational communities beyond the East-West binary. Through analysis of cultural production that often countered governmental intentions for official diplomacy, Jennifer Ruth Hosek offers a broad-reaching history of the influence of the global South on the global North.
List of Abbreviations
1 Contesting the New Berlin Republic through Germany's Cubas
2 Extending Solidarian Heimat: Cuba and the 1960s Democratic Republic
3 Translating Revolution: Cuba and the 1960s Federal Republic
4 Siting Trials: Cuba as Cipher for German Governance around the 1970s
5 Touring Revolution and Resistance: Tamara Bunke and Che Guevara
‘Well researched, theoretically sophisticated, and a welcome break from studies that focus on the Northern Hemisphere and its superpowers… Hosek’s study can be strongly recommended to those with an interest in identity formation in the German states of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.’ John D. Pizer, German Studies Review; vol 36:03:2013
‘Sun, Sex, and Socialism presents an ambitious and well-accomplished analysis of representations of revolutionary Cuba in German cultural production from the 1960s to the present… An important contribution to the literature on the connections between the island and the Eurasian bloc.’Joao Felipe Goncalves, New West Indian Guide vol 88:2014
‘The monograph is an excellent example of cultural critique that combines historical depth with analyses of a breadth of cultural artifacts to make a sophisticated and complex argument.’Maria Stehle, Seminar, A Journal of Germanic Studies vol 51:01:2015
‘Filling a great lack in serious work on an important and exciting topic, Sun, Sex, and Socialism provides a compelling discussion of what Cuba has meant to the Germans both during the Cold War and post-unification. Jennifer Ruth Hosek, a consummate expert in post-war German cultural and political history and theory, has left no stone unturned in this deep, nuanced analysis. Through outstanding interdisciplinary scholarship, Hosek provides original readings and highly satisfying new insights that will appeal to audiences in cultural studies and beyond.’ Helen Cafferty, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of German and the Humanities, Bowdoin College