We encourage the submission of paper proposals for the Cornell Graduate Student
Conference hosted by the Department of German Studies, February 26-27, 2005, at
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. The conference theme is "Aesthetics of War."

We are proud to announce that Wolf Kittler, newly appointed Professor of German
Studies at Cornell University, will deliver the key note address. Our second
featured speaker is Steven Miller, Visiting Assistant Professor of English, State
University of New York at Buffalo.

German-speaking thinkers have made significant contributions to the attempts of
understanding war and its relation to progress, freedom and aesthetic expression.
This conference aims to investigate the representation and rhetoric of war, to
explore the theorization of war, and to analyze aesthetic means to cope with war
from the Middle Ages to the present.

What is war and who is the enemy one fights in war? What are the "Zweck" and "Ziel"
of war, and can we consciously draw the distinction between the two? What are the
reasons one tries to limit war, and to which end is war promoted? How does the
rhetoric of war seduce, and how does its imagery repel? Which are the perspectives
of the warrior, the victim, and the spectator, and how do we differentiate among
their accounts? How is war brought to text, theatre, film, and art? Can the
experience of war be understood in terms of the sublime? What is the place of war in
the transition from the sacred to the secular? How do the deception and surprise of
military strategy mirror the rhetorical strategies of literary and philosophical
texts? What is the relation of inflicting visible wounds and cruelty, and is
pleasure a criterion for the definition of war crimes? What are the limits of
destruction? Is violence merely an exercise of power or the practice of excess? What
is the aesthetic specificity of war as opposed to violence? Why does the
representation of war evoke social taboos? Do terror and torture transgress the
framework of aesthetics? What is the aesthetic of the dead soldier, and how does
mourning shape that aesthetic? Which academic disciplines take war as their object?

We invite graduate students from German Studies and related fields to submit paper
proposals exploring these and similar question in the German-speaking context.

The primary language of the conference is English. Presentation should not exceed 20
minutes. Please send an abstract of 250-400 words in either English or German as
Word attachment by December 10, 2004, to <[log in to unmask]>. On a separate cover
sheet please list the proposed paper title, author's name, affiliation, and e-mail
address. Please indicate whether you will require technological support (i.e.,
overhead, slide projector, etc.)

Conference participants may choose housing with Cornell graduate students.

Organized by Melanie Steiner with Josh Dittrich.

Melanie Steiner <[log in to unmask]>
Cornell University
Department of German Studies
183 Goldwin Smith Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Meghan McKinstry
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
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