We invite proposals for an edited anthology that will examine the German literature industry (“Literaturbetrieb”) since 1990 to explore how lesser known German-language writers (regardless of country of origin) negotiate the current literary landscape. Successfully publishing and selling literature in 21st-century Germany is a complex enterprise that involves numerous players, extending far beyond the romanticized image of a solitary author at the computer finishing a manuscript. Grants, writer-in-residence programs, literary agents, editors, and publishing houses play key roles in transforming final manuscripts into published books available for purchase online or from a bricks-and-mortar bookstore. Literary prizes, book fairs, festivals, book sales, bestseller lists, and market prognostications in turn dictate the literary industry by informing the decisions editors make to publish a new author or to continue publishing work by an author who has yet to write a bestseller that produces jaw-dropping market sales. This infinite loop of objective and subjective forces constitutes the competitive literature market and is composed of institutions that determine which authors rise to prominence. In so doing, it essentially regulates the literary texts available to the reading public. Although bestsellers line the coffers of publishing houses, most books sell only modestly and therefore garner limited attention from the press and from scholars and critics. By examining the ways publishing houses, literary agents, critics, sponsorships, festivals, and prizes influence which books are published, contributions to this volume explore how the literary canon is changing and whether a dynamic literary market has the ability to open that canon to new voices.
Proposals for contributions may be case studies or more theoretical studies within the following broad thematic topics:
• Depictions of the Literaturbetrieb in works of fiction
• The formal study of creative writing and success as a writer
• Literary agents as client advocates
• Literary prizes as career makers and/or breakers
• Industry trends and selections for publication
• Literary critics and the power of the Feuilleton
• Success outside of the German-speaking world: Translating German literature for an international market
• German literature beyond the bestseller list
• The making of and marketing of bestsellers
• Making prose and poetry visible
• Inclusivity and marginalized voices (women, LGBTQ+, immigrants, writers of color)
• Expanding the canon
Potential contributors should submit a 500-word abstract and 150-word bio to both editors: [log in to unmask] and [log in to unmask] by December 15, 2019.
The editors plan to submit a seminar proposal or a series of panels for the 2020 GSA in Washington, DC, in order for contributors to meet and workshop their anthology contribution. Expected date of publication is late 2021 or early 2022.
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