Call for Papers – 'Childhood in German Film after 1989'
Edited by Alexandra Lloyd and Ute Wölfel
The editors invite proposals for a planned themed issue of Oxford German Studies on children and childhood in German-language film since 1989. Post-unification public discourse has been dominated by the complex and often contentious issue of establishing a new pan-German identity. The boom in film productions for children reflects a fresh commitment to a generation who are to be educated in and for a unified Germany and prepared for the challenges ahead. Features such as the ARD ‘Märchenfilme’ series aim to bring viewers together on the grounds of the undisputable icon of ‘German-ness’, the Grimms’ fairytale. Elsewhere, children feature in a variety of genres, including adventure and detective films, historical films, and ‘Alltagsfilme’. Such productions comprise a range of formats from cinematic feature films to TV serials.
The link between childhood and film has seen a renewed interest in recent years as works by Christian Exner and Bettina Maibauer, Vicky Lebeau, Karen Lury, and Andrew Musgrave testify. Within the German context, overview studies of the topic such as Horst Schäfer’s and Claudia Wegener’s have instigated a debate about the role of childhood in German filmmaking. The proposed volume seeks to focus in depth on the post-unification period, and to consider in particular the child’s function in the construction of a unified German identity in film. We invite papers which address one or more of the following research questions:
● How are children’s perspectives/perspectives on children constructed and how are they used to comment on post-unification social and political processes and values?
● How are children used in film to mediate the newly-won national with the particular/local identity on the one hand, and the increasingly global on the other?
● Do post-1989 films take up older traditions of filmmaking for or with children, and to what purpose?
● To what extent are films for/featuring children restricted to young audiences, or marketed as ‘Familienfilme’? How does this offer new and/or productive opportunities to instigate an intergenerational and pan-German dialogue?
● Are specific genres, formats, or literary adaptations particularly successful with audiences and/or critics, and how can one account for this?
Papers which consider production, funding and distribution aspects of films/series are particularly welcome.
Please send an abstract of 300-500 words and a current CV to both Alex Lloyd ([log in to unmask]) and Ute Wölfel ([log in to unmask]) by 31 December 2013. Notification will be made by 31 January 2014, with draft papers of c. 6000 words due by 1 July 2014. Contributions may be written in English or German.
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