Call for Papers for German Studies Association Conference to be held in St. Paul, MN, 2-5 October 2008. Panel Topic:
Lapsus: Falls, Faults, and Flaws in the 18th Century's New Concept of Man
In pre-modern Christian doctrine, the ?fall? had its very specific meaning and function. The situation changes with the shift from theocentric to anthropocentric modes of explanation in the 18th century. On the one hand, the axiom of the perfectibility of man might seem to diminish the significance of his failures and faults as an anthropological constant. But from Rousseau?s Confessions to Goethe?s Wilhelm Meister, the new ?individual? is notoriously defined through his or her faults and flaws. And in discourses from anthropology and medicine to psychology and jurisprudence, ?case histories? ? literally stories of falls, Fallgeschichten ? show how instances of something ?going wrong? are central to the century?s efforts to define the human animal. What role does the ?fall? play in the new concept of man? How is it related to earlier theocentric concepts? Papers might examine:
- Falls and perfectibility
- Falls and anthropology
- Falls and aesthetics
- Falls and morality
- Linguistic errors and individuality
- Completeness and fragmentation
- ?nothing succeeds like failure?
Please send a 150 ? 200 word abstract to Christiane Frey ([log in to unmask]) and David Martyn ([log in to unmask]) by 11 February 2008. Papers may be given in English or German.
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