CALL FOR PAPERS
Northeast Modern Languages Association Conference
March 17th-20th; Harford, CT
Body Culture: Female and male beauty in German literature and movies (Panel)
Sales of a women's clothing fashion house in China have quadrupled after they employed a slender 72-year-old man to model their clothes. Israel institutes a Photoshop-ban to prevent the media from hiding the effects of malnutrition on anorexic models' bodies. These are just two current examples of how consumers and states around the world react to the manipulation of the female body image at the hands of the media.
The power of the media to mold what it considers to be the ideal beauty image, and the public criticism to it seem to be new phenomena. They are not. Beauty concerns, self-image and self-presentation in reaction to media-perpetrated beauty ideals is deeply ingrained in German culture since the beginning of the 20th century. Examples are plentiful, such as the strong influence of the New Woman’s image on women’s literature in the Weimar Republic, or the booming fitness-trend for men in John von Düffel’s novel Ego. This panel seeks to explore representations of beautification and body culture, or critical views of them, in German literature and film from the 20th and 21st century. Possible questions might be: How does the protagonist overcome the discrepancy between the prevailing beauty ideal and his/her own body? Do characters buy into the beauty ideal, or strongly speak up against it? How do authors and directors reflect on this ‘superficial’ topic? Do they approach it with sarcastic self-reflexivity, or does it become a serious problem (as in representations of eating disorders)?
I seek 15- to 20-minute papers, in English or German. Please send an abstract (max. 250 words) and a brief CV that includes institutional affiliation by Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 30th, 2015. Please submit your proposal to https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/15884. And contact to Dr. Julia Feldhaus, Modern Languages and Literatures Department, Saint Anselm College,([log in to unmask]) with questions.
 http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2013/01/09/video-chinas-new-it-girl-72-year-old-grandpa-liu-qianping/?KEYWORDS=china%27s+new+it+girl (accessed 01-10-2013).
 http://news.yahoo.com/israel-tells-underweight-models-gain-weight-off-runway-174051006.html (accessed 01-13-2013)
Julia Feldhaus, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of German
Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures
Saint Anselm College
100 Saint Anselm Drive #1657
Manchester, NH 03102
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