We invite articles for an anthology about the work of award-winning Iraqi-German author Abbas Khider.
Abbas Khider, born in Baghdad in 1973, was imprisoned for political activity against the regime of Saddam Hussein at the age of 19. He fled Iraq in 1996 and spent several years as an undocumented refugee in various countries before finally being granted asylum in Germany in 2000. He has published four novels in German: In 2008, he debuted with Der falsche Inder (The Village Indian). In 2011, he published Die Orangen des Präsidenten (The President’s Oranges), followed by Brief in die Auberginenrepublik (Letter to the Aubergine Republic) in 2013 and Ohrfeige (A Slap in the Face) in 2016. During his time as Mainzer Stadtschreiber in 2017, he completed two additional manuscripts: a humorous exploration of the German language and another novel (forthcoming).
Khider’s 2016 novel Ohrfeige (A Slap in the Face) has been celebrated as “the book of the hour” and “a portrayal of refugee life”. Critics unanimously highlight the fact that Khider finally gave the refugees in Germany a literary voice. Yet for Khider, neither is the topic of flight and expulsion new, nor should his novels be reduced to a (naturalistic) depiction of ‘the refugee experience’. In his novels, Khider explores the gendered nature of power systems, the Kafkaesque dynamics of bureaucracy and the Agambian notion of the refugee as the ultimate biopolitical subject, reduced to a condition of bare life. Furthermore, he highlights the role of laughter as a means of (self-)protection and resistance. Khider's texts are highly original in both their content and their form and clearly deserve much more careful attention from scholars in German studies.
Articles focusing on any aspect of Khider’s literary work are welcome. Please send abstracts of 250 words and a short bio-blurb by email to David Coury [log in to unmask] and Karolin Machtans [log in to unmask] by May 31, 2018. Papers of 5,000 words that would like to be considered for the volume should be submitted no later than October 1, 2018.
The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Sean Franzel
Assistant Editor: Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: https://grs.missouri.edu/german/resources