Dear Germanic Studies Graduate Students,
The Graduate Students of the Indiana University-Bloomington Germanic Studies
Department would like to invite you to submit abstracts to the 9th Biannual
Germanic Studies Graduate Conference in Bloomington, IN. Our conference
topic is "Explorations of the Unreal," and is open to topics pertaining to
literature and culture as well as linguistics and philology. Please submit
abstracts by Monday, December 3, 2012 to Andrew Hamilton at
[log in to unmask] See below for CFP.
“Explorations of the Unreal”
Indiana University Graduate Student Conference in Germanic Studies
February 22-23, 2013
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Sarah Fagan, University of Iowa
Plenary Speaker: Dr. Jennifer William, Purdue University
What is the “unreal?” The opposite of the real is a concept both of vast scope
– it encloses all possible opposites of “real” (“fake,” “abstract,” “fictional,”
“hypothetical,” and so on) – and of challenging underdetermination. For what is
not real is precisely that which resists direct access.
In this conference we hope to examine the myriad forms the unreal takes in
German literature, history, culture, and language. From debates over
verisimilitude in art to the analysis of unrealized or unattested linguistic forms,
the unreal is something to be grappled with in every branch of Germanic
Studies. But the unreal is more than a burden to be overcome – it can be a
gateway to, as early abstract artists tell us, a higher form of truth than
material reality; or to what Werner Herzog calls the “ecstatic truth” that
transcends facts; or to the unseen structures underlying linguistic or social
To this end, we invite contributions from graduate students who research all
subjects in Germanic languages, literature, and culture from the middle ages to
the present day, in the hopes of a collaborative exploration of the dangers and
potential of the unreal in all its forms. Possible topics for submission include,
but are not limited to:
• The promise of reality through new technology, which often produces
nothing more than a mediated, constructed, irreality.
• Realism and its competitors, various genres’ and movements’ claim to
• Research based on unattested forms, either reconstructions in extinct
languages, or hypothetical underlying forms in modern languages.
• The unreal possibilities of cinema, in particular the innovations of the
Berlin school or experiments in non-mimetic storytelling.
• Phonotactics, the study of unrealized yet plausible forms in Germanic
• The role of non-mimetic art, from medieval allegory to speculative
• Metaphysics in philosophy and theory, especially in the face of the
materialism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
• Study of the morphology, syntax, semantics, or history of unreal
moods, i.e. the subjunctive, the optative, the conditional.
• Narratological approaches – the storyworld as an ontological category;
the inherently unreal nature of fiction.
• The German Konjunktiv I and/or its liminally non-truth-apt status.
• Rhetoric of ellipsis or omission and its defiance of expected narrative
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