Call for Papers for the 2010 GSA in Oakland, CA (October 7-10, 2010)
Zionism and Narrative in German and German-Jewish Thought
Theodor Herzl famously proposed to establish a Jewish state not only in his political pamphlet of 1896, but in his utopian novel of 1902, Altneuland. Prose fiction was an apt form for the expression of Zionist ideals, so many of which lent themselves to narrative form and literary figuration: travel to the promised land, the process of linguistic and cultural amalgamation, the realization of agricultural and technological utopias, and the formation of religious communities. Zionism entered the literary imagination at a moment, in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries, when the possibilities of literary narrative were being thoroughly undermined and reformulated. This panel seeks to explore this undertheorized juncture of (modernist) literary narrative and Zionist thought. Possible authors to be considered include, but are not limited to, Max Brod, Robert Jaffé, Franz Kafka, Soma Morgenstern, Max Nordau, Joseph Roth, Arthur Schnitzler, Max Viola and Arnold Zweig. Possible questions for reflection on this topic include:
- Is Zionism based on stories? Can Zionism be thought or realized without narrative structures?
- What can narrative forms offer to the Zionist project?
- What can Zionism—as an idea, a reality, a fantasy, a political program, a cultural opportunity—offer to literary narrative? Might it have a special relationship to modernist literature?
- Does Zionism invoke or reflect the reliance of other nationalist projects, whether earlier or contemporaneous, on narrative forms?
- To what extent does narrative play a part in non-literary Zionist writings?
- How does literature reflect the relationship between Zionism and modernity/modernism?
- What, if anything, is specifically “German” about this juncture of Zionism and modernism?
Please send paper proposals of about 200 words to [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> by January 30, 2010.
The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Acting Assistant Editor: Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: http://www.missouri.edu/~graswww/resources/gerlistserv.html