German Studies Association, October 2 - 5, 2008 St. Paul, Minnesota
Session sponsored by the Coalition of Women in German (WIG)
“New Conservatism and Nationalism in Germanophone Countries: Realities,
Representations and Responses”
This panel encourages critical, interdisciplinary, and feminist
responses to the Rechtsrutsch (shift towards the right) and new
nationalisms in Germanophone and other European countries in recent
years. The main idea is that political conservativism, along with the
various right wing, anti-Islamic extremisms on the one hand, and the
drastic loss of power of the social democratic parties throughout
Europe on the other hand, have become so prominent that we need to take
this phenomenon more seriously as a transnational phenomenon in German
studies. We invite papers that deal with the realities and
representations of – and critical and artistic responses to -- the
nationalist and xenophobic (anti-semitic and anti-Islamic) ideology and
propaganda of right wing populism since the late 1990s (e.g. Jörg
Haider, Jen-Marie Le Pen, and Christoph Blocher), as well as papers
that deal with the weakness of the left parties and their past and
future strategies to regain votes. We welcome transnational approaches.
Questions to be addressed in papers may include:
• What is the place in European history of the right wing politicians’
tactics and propaganda, e.g. their
- appeal to latent resentments,
- use of abusive language, and conscious breaking of taboos (e.g.
bluntly anti-semitic and xenophobic remarks),
- contrivance of conspiracies (Haider and Blocher) in order to win
sympathy, and their
- scapegoating of immigrants and asylum seekers for complex economic
and social problems
and what kind of theories and vocabulary are best fit to discuss these?
• How do nationalist movements borrow from, and adapt each others’
propaganda strategies? E.g. the Swiss Peoples’ Party’s controversial
sheep poster (that promotes the peoples’ initiative for the expulsion
of criminal foreigners in order to ‘create security’ by showing three
white sheep kick out a black sheep) has been adapted practically
one-to-one by neo-national movements in Spain (democracia national) and
in Germany (the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands in Hessen).
• What kind of counter-representations are created by oppositional
camps and what is the place and impact of new media such as YouTube?
• What are the main characteristics of the ‘good, diligent and decent’
white Christian European people that right wing populist parties are
appealing to? How do national and international media respond?
• How do contemporary writers and directors respond to new
nationalisms? What kind of style and genres do they use?
• How have immigrant writers and filmmakers reacted to new nationalisms
and right wing violence – in their texts and through personal
• What kinds of resistance have popular nationalist leaders, parties
and movements met? What old forms of resistance are still used (e.g.
demonstrations, critical journalism, documentary filmmaking, comedy and
satire, and not least the law) and what new (e.g. computer-based) forms
have emerged (e.g. counter-propaganda on YouTube)?
• How do the leftist parties respond to, and explain their weakness and
lack of unity?
• How has the left’s loss of power been depicted and/or referenced in
film (e.g. documentary film) and literature?
Please send abstracts of 250-500 words by 13 January 2008 to Karin
Baumgartner ([log in to unmask]) and Andrea Reimann
([log in to unmask]).
Andrea Reimann Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor of German
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
University of Miami
P.O. Box 248093
Coral Gables, FL 33124-2074
Phone: 305-284-4858, ext. 8-7255
Email: [log in to unmask]
Cell: 773 319 9012
The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor: Megan McKinstry
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: http://www.missouri.edu/~graswww/resources/gerlistserv.html