© Milena Schlösser
Prof. Dr. Christina von Braun is a cultural studies scholar, author, filmmaker, founder of the Gender Studies Programme at Humboldt University Berlin, since 2008 vice-president of the Goethe-Institut and from 2012 to 2014 founding director of the Zentrum Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg. She experienced 1968 and the immediate consequences in three countries: USA, France and Germany. Her work encompasses around fifty films on cultural-historical topics and numerous publications. Many works deal with gender issues, religious-historical topics as well as the interrelation of media and history of mentalities (e.g. alphabet, money and body history). Recent publications: Blutsbande. Verwandtschaft als Kulturgeschichte (i.e. Blood Ties: Kinship as Cultural History. 2018), National Politics and Sexuality in Transregional Perspective. The Homophobic Argument. (2018).
Awards: Sigmund Freud Culture Prize (2013), Hedwig Dohm Medal of the German Association of Women Journalists (2014).
The upheavals of 1968 were similar on many levels in the three cultures I experienced back then – the USA, Germany and France. This applies above all to the dissolution of traditional sexual morality and the beginning of the new women's movement. The differences, on the other hand, were related to the pressing issues facing each country: in the USA, the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement, in France the break with national heroism as embodied by de Gaulle, and in Germany the rejection of the legacy of National Socialism.
What is left of these upheavals? In all three countries there was a change in the gender order, which
created a new presence of women in the public sphere as well as a broad acceptance of homosexual living arrangements. Other things fell by the wayside: the New Right brought forth a new racism that continues to be directed against African Americans in the USA and against migrants in Europe. The socialist mindset also faded into the background, especially after 1989. Some of this engagement, however, has been directed to sustainability, conservation of natural resources, the energy issue and climate change. Ultimately, two very similar positions are juxtaposed here: thinking from the perspective of the individual versus thinking from the perspective of community responsibility. All aspects of this legacy of 1968 are now part and parcel of the New Right's
enemy stereotypes, especially the changes in the gender order.