Born in the USA/Made in the GDR: How Western Popular Music Shaped a Communist Record Market
What did the Cold War sound like? How did political ideologies shape the differing experiences of musicians and consumers in the capitalist versus the communist world? Did the Iron Curtain muffle the raucous sounds of western popular music? Or were consumers in communist countries able to access capitalist pop? All these questions and more find answers in the work of cultural historian, and 2022 Hagley-NEH Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Sven Kube.
Blending archival research with oral history and personal experiences, Kube uncovers the fascinating story of a worldwide youth culture of popular music bisected by the geopolitical divisions of the Cold War period. From the 1960s to the 1980s, the grassroots innovation taking place in western popular music could not be replicated in the centrally-planned economies of the east. Nevertheless, eastern consumers, especially in the German Democratic Republic, got their hands (and ears) on novel music and sonic forms emanating from the west. Kube traces these connection through the mechanisms of technology transfer, cultural transmission, and economic policy.
In support of his scholarship, Sven Kube received the Hagley-NEH postdoctoral fellowship from the Center for the History of Business, Technology, & Society at the Hagley Museum & Library.
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