Secret Lives and the Lives of Secrets (2012-2015)

Secret Police Narratives

Professor Alison Lewis
ARC Discovery Project DP120101152

Using the Stasi as a case study this project investigated how state secrets are mediated through language and lives are written and policed through the genre of the secret police file. It traced the life of the secret from when it was still a secret in a secret police file, concealed in the archive, through to its afterlife in victim and perpetrator testimonials as well as in fiction. The study was significant for the contribution it made to our understanding of processes of transitional justice in post-communist contexts and our appreciation of the far-reaching power of state and personal secrets.