CFP: Memory traces: 1989 and the question of German cultural identity (5/1/03, essay collection)

The editor invites submissions on topics related to German literature, film and other media after 1989 for a collection of essays that will be published in the book-series of the research group Cultural History and Literary Imagination (University of Cambridge). URL:

This essay collection aims to look at the dynamics of memory organisation and the way they vary among different media and modes of discourse in the post-unification period. German Unification has put the post war period into historical perspective. A rupture like this provokes questions concerning the appropriate commemoration, preservation and reinterpretation of the past. Literature was confronted with the demand to participate in establishing cultural memory. The processes of reorientation after unification influenced the self-conception of literary authors as well as the social role, position and legitimation of German literature. They also affected how writers viewed that competition in which they found themselves pitted against visual media as rival windows on the past. In the context of several debates on German literature during the 1990s the discussion revolved not only around the adequate aesthetic representation of the historical and cultural heritage, but even more so around the role of literature itself in that process.

The contributers are invited to look at different discourses that were and still are concerned with reinterpreting and creating new collective symbols and narrative patterns in dealing with the German past. The volume wishes to examine the competition literature found itself in with visual media like film, but also with an institution like the museum, which combines object, image and text. It focuses on the effects of the characteristic discourses of these media on the depiction and performance of memories.

Please send a one-page abstract in English by May 1, 2003 as attachment or on disk to the editor:

Dr Silke Arnold-de Simine
University of Cambridge
Sidney Sussex College
Cambridge CB2 3HU
Great Britain
Tel.: 01223-3-39045
E-mail: [log in to unmask]

The deadline for completed papers, as it stands, is August 31, 2003.

******************* The German Studies Call for Papers List Editor: Stefani Engelstein Sponsored by the University of Missouri Info available at: