The German Graduate Student Governance Association of the University of Cincinnati and the editors of the graduate student journal Focus on German Studies present the Sixteenth Annual Focus Graduate Student Conference held on October 28 - October 29, 2011 at the University of Cincinnati: http://www.artsci.uc.edu/collegedepts/german/focus/conferences.aspx
Sponsored by the Charles Phelps Taft Research Center, the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, and the Graduate Student Government Association of the University of Cincinnati.
The Scalpel and the Pen: Dissecting the Role of Medicine in the German Tradition
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Veronika Fuechtner, Dartmouth College
[Submitted abstracts for conference consideration MUST BE SUBMITTED by SEPTEMBER 19, 2011 to Wesley Jackson and Vanessa Plumly at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> (ATTN: Focus on GS Conference). Please include your university affiliation in your email when you submit your abstract. See below for more details.]
The interdisciplinary study of medicine and health and the field of literature have always complimented each other, particularly within the German tradition. From the early German classics of Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan to the concerns of the Early Modern Faustus and Paracelsus, German writers have continued to problematize the role of medicine in society. Both physicians and artists have employed medical terminology to diagnose social, political, spiritual and relational problems.
In the nineteenth century, case studies of pathological mental illness were prevalent. With the development of psychoanalysis at the turn of the twentieth century, new styles of literature also came into existence. Inner monologue allowed for identification with the human psyche and medical writings became valid literary texts. German literary production in the twentieth century has been dominated by professionals in the medical field, as literature lends itself as a medium of expressing the intricate relation between the body and mind. Doctors, psychiatrists, pharmacists, and surgeons such as Sigmund Freud, Alfred Döblin, Gottfriend Benn, Georg Trakl, and Arthur Schnitzler are seminal contributors to the field of literature and literary theory, beginning the twentieth-century with detailed medical frameworks as metaphors for life.
More recently, writers such as Ingeborg Bachmann, Helga Schubert, Uwe Tellkamp, and even Alina Bronsky have drawn from their medical training to compliment their literary insights into their respective German-speaking cultures, attracting significant attention from the rest of the European community.
Recent German film directors have also shown a renewed interest in the medical field and its associated sites. Tom Tykwer’s Der Krieger und die Kaiserin, Stefan Ruzowitzky’s thriller Anatomie, Wolfgang Becker’s Goodbye Lenin!, and even Til Schweiger’s romantic comedy Barfuss are just a few examples of contemporary German cinema’s engagement with questions of health and the social implications of medical metaphors for a community.
This conference is an opportunity for graduate students to explore not only how issues of health and medicine have been portrayed in the arts, but also how various medical texts, illustrations, diagrams and models have been interpreted in the past or are currently being interpreted in the larger European cultural context.
This conference encourages an interdisciplinary approach to the topic of medicine and culture in the German tradition. We are interested in hearing papers from graduate students who are not only in German literary studies, but are also from historical, psychological, social, fine arts, and philosophical backgrounds.
Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:
· Traditional portrayals of health and illness from the medieval period through the present
· Revolutionary medical models in literature, art, drama
· Problematizing the definitions of health and illness in art, literature and film
· Gender and medicine
· The various treatments of mental illnesses
· The role of the Kur in German culture, literature, and film
· Genetics research, stem-cell research
· Bulimia and Anorexia
· Medicine and religious portrayals
· Literature and art seen as medicine
· War and Medicine
Revised conference papers can also be submitted for publication in our Focus on German Studies journal. Please send an abstract of 250-300 words in either English or German as a MS Word attachment by SEPTEMBER 19, 2011 to Wesley Jackson and Vanessa Plumly at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> (ATTN: Focus on GS Conference). Please include your university affiliation in your email when you submit your abstract.
Conference participants have the option of housing with UC graduate students.
Wes Jackson, Co-Editor
Vanessa Plumly, Co-Editor
Focus on German Studies
University Of Cincinnati ML 0372
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0372 USA
Phone (513) 556-2752
Fax (513) 556-1991
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
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The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor: Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: http://grs.missouri.edu/resources/gerlistserv.html