Die journalistische Form der Theorie
Die Zeitschrift ›alternative‹ 1958–1982
[Journalistic Forms of Theory. The journal “alternative” 1958–1982]

Wallstein, Göttingen 2021, 415 pages
ISBN 978-3-8353-5010-6

Its contents were supposed to have “consequences”: With this claim, a small literary magazine developed into a widely and highly regarded medium for theory discussions in humanities around ’68.’ Published in West Berlin by literary scholar Hildegard Brenner, alternative became a place for intellectual discoveries and rediscoveries: The red-and-black “Arbeitshefte” brought to light aesthetic traditions from the period of the Weimar Republic and the time of exile, introduced their readers to theories of Western Marxism as well as French structuralism and feminist psychoanalysis, documented literary-political debates in East and West, and observed the social movements of their time.

The journal’s editors understood themselves as part of a “revolt within the superstructure”—until, during the left-wing decade of crisis in the 1970s, the failure to meet the hopes and demands of ‘68 increasingly became the alternative’s main subject of discussion. The study reconstructs and compares the work of these editors in the context of New Left media and ideas, and it retraces the way in which the “journalistic form” of publishing in periodicals became an important factor in the education and self-formation of a political-intellectual generation.


Bücher im Gespräch

Episode 7: Kulturwissenschaftliche Zeitschriftenforschung

For our podcast, Moritz Neuffer talked to Barbara Picht about his book.
(in German)


Media Response

02 Nov 2023
Die journalistische Form der Theorie. Die Zeitschrift ›alternative‹ 1958–1982

Review by Regine Strätling, in: Komparatistik. Jahrbuch der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft. Bielefeld: Aisthesis 2023

23 Jan 2023
Die journalistische Form der Theorie. Die Zeitschrift ›alternative‹ 1958–1982

Collective review by Jürgen-Wasem Gutensohn, in: Arbeit – Bewegung – Geschichte. Zeitschrift für historische Studien 22.1 (2023), 133–136

06 Jan 2023
Zeitschriften und akademischer Marxismus in der Bundesrepublik

Collective review by Paweł Zajas, in: H-Soz-Kult, 6 Jan 2023

24 Oct 2022
Die Theorie der Neuen Linken im Spiegelbild ihrer Zeitschriften

Review by Allyn Maxwell Heath, in: KULT_online 66 (2022)

06 Sep 2022
Die journalistische Form der Theorie. Die Zeitschrift alternative 1958–1982

Review by Hermann Haarmann, in: Jahrbuch für Kommunikationsgeschichte 24 (2022), 168–169

16 Mar 2022
Mit Voltaire zu den Seeräubern von heute

Collective review by Erhard Schütz, in: Der Freitag 11 (2022)

05 Feb 2022
Raus aus der Klasse, zurück in die Klasse

Review by Tanja Röckemann, in: Neues Deutschland, 5 Feb 2022, 19

22 Dec 2021
Kampf und Klasse

Review by Ulrike Baureithel, in: Tagesspiegel, 22 Dec 2021, 23

03 Dec 2021
Auf dem Weg zum Markt für Marx

Collective review by Jörg Später, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 282 (3 Dec 2021), 12