Kolinsky, Eva 1940–2005
Kolinsky, Eva 1940–2005
Born June 29, 1940, in Schmalkalden, Thuringia, Germany; died of ovarian cancer, August, 8, 2005, in England; married first husband (divorced); married second husband, Martin Kolinsky (a lecturer in political science), 1969; children: (first marriage) daughter; (second marriage) two sons. Education: Attended the Free University of Berlin and the University of Frankfurt; University of Birmingham, Ph.D., 1969. Religion: Judaism.
Aston University, Birmingham, England, professor, 1975-90; University of Bath, Bath, England, professor of German, 1990-91; Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire, England, professor of modern German studies, 1990-99; University of Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England, professorial research fellow, beginning 1999. Acted as chair for the Association for the Study of German Politics; joint editor of German Politics; vice president of the University Conference of the Teachers of German; served on the Board of the London Leo Baeck Institute for the History of the Jews of German-Speaking Europe; visiting fellow at Harvard University, the School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC, and the Centre for the Study of Anti-Semitism in Berlin, Germany.
Youth in East and West Germany, Association for Modern German Studies (London, England), 1985.
(With Hans J. Hahn) Germany in the Eighties, Association for Modern German Studies (London, England), 1986.
The Greens in West Germany: Organisation and Policy Making, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1989.
The Federal Republic of Germany: The End of an Era, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1991.
(With John Gaffney) Political Culture in France and Germany, Routledge (New York, NY), 1991.
(With David Horrocks) Turkish Culture in German Society Today, Berghahn Books (Providence, RI), 1996.
(With Wilfried van der Will) The Cambridge Companion to Modern German Culture, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1998.
Social Transformation and the Family in Post-Communist Germany, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Chris Flockton) Recasting East Germany: Social Transformation after the GDR, F. Cass (Portland, OR), 1999.
(With Hildegard Maria Nickel) Reinventing Gender: Women in Eastern Germany since Unification, F. Cass (Portland, OR), 2003.
(With Mike Dennis) United and Divided: Germany since 1990, Berghahn Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Parties, Opposition, and Society in West Germany, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1984.
Women in West Germany: Life, Work, and Politics, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1989, revised edition published as Women in Contemporary Germany: Life, Work, and Politics, Berg (Providence, RI), 1993.
Women in 20th-Century Germany: A Reader, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1995.
The New Germany in the East: Policy Agendas and Social Developments since Unification, F. Cass (Portland, OR), 2000.
Deutsch und Türkisch Leben: Bild und Selbsbild der Türkischen, P. Lang (Oxford, England), 2000.
After the Holocaust: Jewish Survivors in Germany after 1945, Pimlico (London, England), 2004.
Eva Kolinsky was a scholar of modern European social and political trends, with a focus on postwar German history. She was particularly interested in showing how the Germans were able to shed their pre-1945 legacies regarding the challenges of defeat, reconstruction, reform, terrorism, and reunification. Until her death from ovarian cancer in 2005, she worked as a professor and researcher and wrote and edited numerous books pertaining to German culture. Kolinsky is considered by many as one of the most influential figures in her field in Britain.
Kolinsky was born in Germany in 1940 during World War II to Protestant parents (she later converted to Judaism after her second marriage). When Soviet occupation followed shortly after the end of the war, her family fled west to Kehlheim, Bavaria. She later moved with her mother back to Germany, where she attended the University of Frankfurt and the Free University of Berlin. After receiving a Volkswagen Foundation scholarship, she moved to England to attend the University of Birmingham in 1967, where she acquired her Ph.D. At the university she met her future husband, Martin Kolinsky, a lecturer in political science. They were married in 1969. After Martin took on a two-year teaching position the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Eva converted to Judaism, and they were subsequently remarried under Jewish law.
Kolinsky began her twenty-five-year teaching career in 1975 at Aston University where she taught German studies until 1990. After one year at the University of Bath, she went on to become a professor of modern German studies at Keele University in 1991, where she worked until her retirement in 1999. After this, she continued to write and edit books and work as a professorial research fellow at the University of Wolverhampton. Kolinsky, who was active in her field outside the realm of teaching, was a founding member of the Association for the Study of German Politics, where she acted as its chair as well as the joint editor of its journal, German Politics, for many years. In addition, she was vice president of the University Conference of the Teachers of German, and until her death she served on the Board of the London Leo Baeck Institute for the history of the Jews of German-Speaking Europe.
One of the many books she edited, Turkish Culture in German Society Today, is a collaborative work combining the work of scholars of twentieth-century literature (especially migrant literature), specialists on German society, and sociologists with a special interest in migration and immigration. Kolinsky worked on this book with David Horrocks. "The editors' introduction is a much-needed diachronic antidote to the synchronic (or static) image we tend to have of the migrant worker process of the years 1956-73," observed John Martin in his review of the book for Modern Language Review. He explained that the editors "show that Turkish society in Germany is not homogeneous but variegated … and that the Germans have yet to recognize that the ethnic minorities living among them ‘have developed lifestyles, identities, cultural diversity and a voice or voices of their own.’ The editors rightly acknowledge the nasty jolt dealt by German unification to the never very determined process of the integration of ethnic minorities in Germany."
Kolinsky and Wilfried van der Wil coedited The Cambridge Companion to Modern German Culture. This book, which traces the last two centuries of Ger- man history from different cultural perspectives, consists of fifteen essays, some of them collaborative, by a variety of writers. Fifteen of the contributors are from the United Kingdom, three are from the United States, and one is from Turkey; they write on subjects ranging from German national identity, elites, and class structure to the more cultural areas of art, architecture, and cinema. Paul M. Malone wrote in Germano-Slavica that "the chapters vary relatively little in quality: all of them are good brief overviews of their respective topics, though some are more fluently written than others." Malone believed that overall the book "is a very good source of course readings, some of whose limitations are probably unavoidable. However, both the number of minor errors and its general lack of good material on post-unification Germany make this book already ripe for a revised and, one hopes, slightly expanded edition." In the Journal of European Studies, Paul Bishop noted of the book that "for all the comprehensiveness of the chapters on political and sociological issues in Germany, as well as music, dance, cinema and mass media, there are, one might feel, some gaps. There is relatively little on, say, ecology and the Green movement or, for that matter, psychoanalysis." Osman Durrani noted in Modern Language Review that many of the entries are "competently researched and stimulating to read, but one cannot shake off a strong impression of the proverbial ‘gallon in a pint pot.’ Although it is gratifying to note the attention given to the cultural involvement of Jews, women, and non-German minorities, there are no dedicated chapters on Austria, Switzerland, emigre culture, or even on cultural life in the former GDR."
Deutsch und Türkisch Leben: Bild und Selbsbild der Türkischen, which was written in German by Kolinsky, was published in 2000 as part of a series dealing with German language and culture that is aimed at promoting the study of German in Britain and Ireland. This book investigates the life and general aspirations of the Turkish minority in Germany. Her findings are based on thirty-one interviews she conducted in Germany. Thirteen of these were with migrant workers of the first generation, the other eighteen with second- and third-generation Turks.
Kolinsky plays the role of editor again in 2003's Reinventing Gender: Women in Eastern Germany since Unification, which she coedited with Hildegard Maria Nickel. The book is a collection of twelve essays, including an introduction by the editors, which look at the transformation of the German gender system and of the changes in the lives of Eastern German women since unification. The essays in this book are written primarily by sociologists and specialists in educational research. "The volume contributes to a gender-specific analysis of post-communist transformation and globalization, two processes that are linked but not conflated through the key concept of ‘dual transformation,’" explained Katrin Sieg in German Politics and Society. "Its emphasis on gender thwarts simplistic, western perceptions of unification as modernization and progress. Moreover, its investigation of gender equality first implemented in the GDR and now existing under free-market conditions makes an important contribution to transnational feminist studies." Furthermore, noted Sieg, "by asserting that eastern German women are eminently flexible, mobile, and well-educated, the editors characterize them as ‘trend-setters’ with a more modern agenda than that familiar in the west."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, April 1, 1988, review of Opposition in Western Europe, p. 540.
American Political Science Review, September 1, 1988, Charles Lewis Taylor, review of Opposition in Western Europe, p. 1013.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, July 1, 1999, M. Deshmukh, review of The Cambridge Companion to Modern German Culture.
Comparative Politics, January 1, 1993, Matthias Kaelberer, review of The Greens in West Germany: Organisation and Policy Making, p. 229.
Contemporary Review, February 1, 1992, Paul Rose, review of Political Culture in France and Germany, p. 106.
Contemporary Sociology, March 1, 1999, Myra Marx Ferree, review of Social Transformation and the Family in Post-Communist Germany, p. 177.
Europe-Asia Studies, September 1, 2001, Yuliya Potanina, review of Social Transformation and the Family in Post-Communist Germany, p. 965.
Germano-Slavica, January 1, 2002, Paul M. Malone, review of The Cambridge Companion to Modern German Culture, p. 91.
German Politics and Society, June 22, 2004, Katrin Sieg, review of Reinventing Gender: Women in Eastern Germany since Unification, p. 69.
German Quarterly, March 22, 1998, Monika Fischer, review of Turkish Culture in German Society Today, p. 204.
German Studies Review, May 1, 2001, Rolf J. Goebel, review of The Cambridge Companion to Modern German Culture, p. 377; February 1, 2003, Hiltrud Arens, review of Deutsch und Türkisch Leben: Bild und Selbsbild der Türkischen, p. 230.
International Affairs, March 22, 1988, David Hanley, review of Opposition in Western Europe, p. 296; January 1, 1992, Barbara Marshall, review of Political Culture in France and Germany, p. 175; April 1, 1992, Rosalind Stevens-Strohmann, review of The Federal Republic of Germany: The End of an Era, p. 364.
Journal of Common Market Studies, December 1, 1991, Gordon Smith, review of Political Culture in France and Germany, p. 662.
Journal of Economic Literature, December 1, 1990, review of Women in West Germany: Life, Work, and Politics, p. 1863.
Journal of European Studies, September 1, 1991, Philip Thody, review of Political Culture in France and Germany, p. 222; September 1, 1999, Paul Bishop, review of The Cambridge Companion to Modern German Culture, p. 327.
Modern Language Review, October 1, 1997, Ingrid Sharp, review of Women in 20th-Century Germany: A Reader, p. 1035; April 1, 1999, John Martin, review of Turkish Culture in German Society Today, p. 598; January 1, 2001, Osman Durrani, review of The Cambridge Companion to Modern German Culture, p. 280; July 1, 2003, Sigrid B. Martin, review of Deutsch und Türkisch Leben, p. 797.
NWSA Journal, June 22, 1994, Sabine Wilke, review of Women in Contemporary Germany: Life, Work, and Politics, p. 335.
Political Studies, March 1, 1989, Peter H. Merkl, review of Opposition in Western Europe, p. 149; August 1, 2002, Rebecca Harding, review of The New Germany in the East: Policy Agendas and Social Developments since Unification, p. 622.
Reference & Research Book News, November 1, 1998, review of Social Transformation and the Family in Post-Communist Germany, p. 119; May 1, 2003, review of Reinventing Gender, p. 139; August 1, 2004, review of United and Divided: Germany since 1990, p. 43.
Times Higher Education Supplement, February 26, 1993, "German Politics: Journal of the Association for the Study of German Politics," p. 28.
West European Politics, January 1, 1992, Peter H. Merkl, review of Political Culture in France and Germany, p. 237.
Random House Web site,http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/ (June 25, 2008), biographical information about author.
Times (London, England), August 29, 2005.
Guardian (London, England), August 29, 2005.