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GERMAN-CFP-L  January 2015

GERMAN-CFP-L January 2015

Subject:

CfP: German Travel Writing from the 18th to the 21st Century (GSA, Oct. 1-4, 2015, Washington DC)

From:

Karin Baumgartner <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

German Studies CFP Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:32:06 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (167 lines)

Call for Participants

German Studies Association Seminar: German Travel Writing from the 18th 
to the 21st Century

October 1-4, 2015 Washington, DC

The deadline for applications is *January 30, 2014.* For directions on 
enrolling in this seminar (you must be a current GSA member), visit the 
GSA webpage and the following link that details the submission process: 
https://www.thegsa.org/news/index.html#Seminars2015

As per the GSA seminar selection committee: "Participation in a seminar 
involves intellectual work akin to preparing a paper and will thus count 
as such. All seminar participants will be listed by name in the program. 
If you are accepted to be an active participant in a seminar, you are 
not allowed to give a paper in panel sessions. However, you may moderate 
or comment on a panel.

Some individuals may choose to be a silent auditor to a seminar. Slots 
for auditors are limited; the enrollment process for interested auditors 
will only take place after the entire GSA program is set.
When enrolling seminar applicants will be asked to submit a mini vita 
(no more than 1000 characters) and a statement of purpose (no more than 
1000 characters) indicating why they intend to participate in this 
seminar, how their past or current research connects to the topic and 
what their focus will be in this seminar."

German Travel Writing from the 18th to the 21st Century

Seminar Description
The acts of traveling and narrating have been intertwined from the 
beginning. Travel narratives have ranged from mythical tales, going back 
as far as Homer¡¯s Odyssey, adventure stories, travel memoirs, expedition 
reports, and guidebooks (Baedeker) to travel blogs. These texts have 
served an equally wide array of purposes, from providing entertainment 
and inspiring Abenteuerlust and Fernweh to shaping popular conceptions 
of far-away regions and civilizations.
Travel narratives thus provide a rich tapestry of exchanges in terms of 
modalities of travel and sightseeing. As travel texts became a staple on 
the literary market, travel experiences can be seen to increasingly 
build on pre-formed notions of what there is to see and in turn shape 
and influence what others are to see. Travel narratives, more than other 
forms of literature, are marked by intertextuality particularly in the 
way the experience of the journey is filtered through pre-existing 
textual traditions. In addition, travel writing, as well as other media 
forms such as the blog, travel reports in newspapers, the public 
presentation of pictures, geographic almanachs, and reports to 
geographic societies allow for an engagement with the travel experience 
without actually having to travel at all (armchair travel).
Even though scholarly interest in travel texts is currently very strong, 
there is as yet no unified discourse nor are there established 
theoretical underpinnings to the various discussions. In fact, travel 
texts are still difficult to classify since they straddle various areas 
such a geography, history and fiction, as well as a whole host of 
different textual genres. Issues of gender, colonial power, 
multiculturalism, but also notions of aesthetics and narratology can be 
traced through recent scholarly discussions of travel texts.
This seminar therefore situates itself at the nexus of casting a wide 
and inclusive glance at the topic of travel narratives while at the same 
time emphasizing commonalities in both the way that scholars go about 
analyzing these texts and the results which these analyses yield. The 
central feature of travel narratives is the positioning of the narrator 
vis-¨¢-vis the country and culture encountered while traveling. 
Therefore, some of the discussion threads concern the construction of 
the modern self through travel, especially the various ways in which 
real and imaginary travel liberate the individual to construct new 
social conventions. Other questions include the issue of gender and how 
it impacts the author¡¯s experience and narrative, and the modern 
construction of nation and national border through travel. Focusing on 
the particular travel destinations can yield insights into how travel 
writing traditions get established and also change over time. Another 
set of questions relates to the influence of technology and social media 
inventions on the process of traveling as well as the reception of 
travel. Ultimately the seminar will address the question what German 
Studies can contribute to the history of travel as a cultural phenomenon 
in the German-speaking countries.

Seminar Format
The conveners are interested in organizing this seminar in order to 
bring together a core group of scholars to work collaboratively on the 
topic. At last year¡¯s GSA we received an overwhelming number of 
proposals for our call for papers on the topic. We noticed that the 
topic is of great interest across history, literature, and art history, 
and that there are many scholars working on travel literature. As a 
result, the conveners were invited to guest-edit a special issue of the 
journal Colloquia Germanica. This seminar would be the next step to 
develop a ¡°network¡± among scholars to continue the academic exploration 
of travel literature especially from a theoretical perspective in a 
second journal issue or edited volume, and to offer younger scholars an 
academic platform in which to present their ideas.
Participants will have written and submitted short 2500-3000 word essays 
on a topic related to travel literature.  These essays will be 
distributed in advance and will form the basis of each day's discussion. 
  Because the essays will have been distributed before the seminar, we 
will not have formal paper presentations during the seminar itself; 
rather, the conveners will use the day's essays to structure and 
moderate each morning's conversation. Each participant is expected to 
highlight the main points of his/her paper, sketch the trajectory of 
his/her work, and summarize his/her theoretical frame.

The three days of the seminar will be structured thematically along 
lines described above:


¡ñ       Day One: Descriptions of travel taken. These narratives include 
non-fictional travel essays and travel handbooks, reports to geographic 
societies, letters home from the foreign destination, etc.

¡ñ       Day Two: Travel in literature. These narratives are imaginary 
journeys the literary protagonist undertake. This group will include 
travel memoirs such as Goethe¡¯s Italienische Reise where the actual 
travel is subordinated to the literary goals or excentric travel 
narratives, which use textual conventions of travel literature in 
innovative ways.

¡ñ       Day Three: Theoretical and narrative concerns. How can travel be 
narrated? What kind of theoretical models are useful? Can literature 
profit from discourse in geography, history, art history, museum studies 
etc. to understand travel narratives?

The conveners, Daniela Richter and Karin Baumgartner, will be 
responsible for collecting essays ahead of the conference and 
distributing them to participants, and they will share the duties of 
moderating each day's discussion.  On the basis of their reading of the 
day's essays, they will formulate a short set of discussion questions to 
focus the morning's conversation.  These can be distributed to 
participants (who will have already read the papers) in advance of the 
conference and will then serve to structure the daily conversations.

Feel free to contact the conveners with any questions:
Daniela Richter (richt2dm(at)cmich.edu)
Karin Baumgartner (karin.baumgartner(at)utah.edu)



Daniela Richter, Ph. D.
Associate Professor of German
Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Pearce 317
Central Michigan University
Mt.Pleasant, MI 48859





________________________________






*******************
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

*******************
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

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