History
School of Histories, Languages and Cultures

 

John Nicholls

Ich will brennenPhD Research

DARKWAVE GDR

THE EMERGENCE, CULTURE, IMPACT AND REPRESSION OF THE GOTHIC ANTI-MOVEMENT IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (1981-1989)

This research seeks to address the historical background of the Gothic “anti-movement” and its associated subculture in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in the decade of the 1980s. Focussing primarily on the era of social control and political enforcement imposed by the erstwhile GDR through the “Stasi” (Ministerium für Staatssicherheit – Ministry for State Security), the contexts of both state culture and disaffected Gothic or “Grufti” subculture will be examined. The links that abide between the United Kingdom’s original Darkwave Gothic scene and the GDR’s “Grufti” scene will be explored, and the impact of these connections will be examined.

Stasi records held in various regional Stasi offices were largely destroyed in 1989 as the GDR was transformed into a re-unified part of the Federal Republic of Germany. Nevertheless, many records remain, and amongst these documents and artefacts are records of Stasi activities and procedures that may provide a wealth of insight into the “Grufti” scene in the GDR.

Typically, “Gruftis” were perceived as anti-social and anathema to the GDR philosophy of Socialist labour oriented integration into a common society. Perceived as such, they were persecuted, spied on and treated with deep suspicion by the Stasi who appear to have been determined to extract a clear understanding of what sort of threat the “Gruftis” posed.

The Goth scene today is a thriving subculture in Germany, and in many countries around the world. Having originated in the United Kingdom as a disassociated, non-violent, non-political music and fashion subculture, it was adopted, through its primarily melancholy music style and dark/black fashion statements (generating the term “Darkwave”) by many disaffected and frustrated youths in the GDR in lieu of violent or politicised protest. 

Profile

I completed a BA (Hons) degree in Administrative Management at the University of Humberside, graduating in 1995. Further studies have included an HNC in Civil Engineering (Surveying), an Advanced Diploma in Administrative Management, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineering, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Gestalt Psychotherapy.

I am a Fellow of the Institute of Administrative Management, and a member of the UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy).

I chair the University of Hull's Disabled Staff Network, and I am an active NHS Governor with the Humber Foundation Trust.

While working with the Department of History at Hull, where I am currently on the academic staff working as a Researcher, I completed a Research MA in Philosophy of Mind in 2007. I began my PhD in September 2014.

For my University duties and profile, including publications, click here.

To access information about my research, click here.

Publications

Authored Works

Publications

2015

2014

2013

Co-Publications

2011

2008

2007

2006

Older Authored Works

  • CASE© User Online Standalone Database, in conjunction with North Bank Forum, Hull (2005)
  • Xcelera© Cath Lab Management System Engineer's Installation Guide – Philips Medical Systems, Eindhoven (2003)
  • Xcelera© Echo Lab Management System Engineer's Installation Guide – Philips Medical Systems, Eindhoven (2003)
  • Xcelera© Cath Lab Management System Engineer's Training Manual – Philips Medical Systems, Eindhoven (2003)
  • Philips Medical Systems online System Engineers Resource Guide – Philips Medical Systems, Eindhoven (2003)
  • Inturis Suite© Software and Hardware Training Manual – Philips Medical Systems, Eindhoven (2002)
  • Cardiologica© Software Installation Guide – Philips Medical Systems, Eindhoven (2002)
  • Cardiologica© Software and Hardware Training Manual – Philips Medical Systems, Eindhoven (2002)
  • Xcelera© Cath Lab Management Software and Hardware User Manual – Philips Medical Systems, Eindhoven (2002)
  • Xcelera© Echo Lab Management Software and Hardware User Manual – Philips Medical Systems, Eindhoven (2002)
  • Inturis Suite© Hardware System Engineer's Installation Guide – Philips Medical Systems, Eindhoven (2001)
  • Inturis Suite© Software System Engineer's Installation Guide – Philips Medical Systems, Eindhoven (2001)
  • Inturis Suite© Software and Hardware User Manual – Philips Medical Systems, Eindhoven (2000)

 

Conferences and Events

Conference Proceedings

  • Convenor PhD Symposium "Lightning Talk", University of Hull, 4 October 2015

Recent Conferences Papers

  • London: German Historical Institute London (GHIL), Postgraduate Students' Conference, "Darkwave GDR", 7-8 January 2016 
  • "Darkwave GDR", Doctoral Symposium, 5 June 2015, Faculty for Education, University of Hull
  • "The Deuce of Clubs: An existential excursion in Wonderland" ", 14 November 2012, Society for Existential Analysis (SEA) Conference (Challenging contexts – Uncertain landscapes), The Wellcome Collection, London
  • "Alice in Chains: An Existential Gestalt perspective of Awareness", 30 June 2012, United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) Conference, Regents College, London

Forthcoming Conferences Papers

  • Leipzig, Germany: Stasi Museum (BStU Federal Commissioner for Stasi Records), Runde Ecke, Leipzig, "Children of the Dark - Goths under the Stasi", Wave-Gotik-Treffen, 14 May 2016

Contact Details

Email:   j.nicholls@hull.ac.uk
Tel.:   ++44 (0)1482 305115
URL:    http://darkwavegdr.com/
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