The German Graduate Student Governance Association of the 
University of Cincinnati and the editors of the graduate 
student journal Focus on German Studies present the
Tenth Annual Focus Graduate Student Conference held on
October 28-29, 2005 at the University of Cincinnati (Ohio, 

"Questioning Authority: 
Traditions, Transitions and Breaks in German Studies."

This conference aims to explore constructions 
of ‘authorities’ in the German-speaking context throughout 
the centuries. German-speaking thinkers have made significant 
contributions to undermining authoritarian voices, 
questioning traditions and creating transitions and breaks in 
literary and cultural history. The conference investigates 
the representation and rhetoric of authorities and anti-
authoritarian constructions to explore the aesthetic means to 
cope with them from the Middle Ages to the present. For 
instance, the writing of literature has always been connected 
to the notion of being anti-authoritarian, but rebellion 
against master narratives and authoritarian voices can be 
found in many other areas as well. 

What techniques create a sense of an anti-authoritarian voice 
and how can such discourses destabilize or re-appropriate the 
authoritarian order? What does the construction of authority 
reveal about the formation of collective and personal 
identities? In what way do characteristics of a certain 
period determine developments in the above-mentioned 
tendencies? How is ‘questioning authorities’ present in 
German Studies and in interdisciplinary research?
We invite graduate students from all disciplines to submit 
paper proposals responding to these or similar questions 
related to constructs of authorities and questioning 
authorities in modern or pre-modern time periods. 

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
• The role of the author and artist in society
• Generational conflicts throughout the centuries
• Authorities in German Studies and Cultural Studies
• Transitions and breaks in post-war literature
• Continuity/discontinuity between early modern and modern, 
Enlightenment and Romanticism
• Theater as an anti-authoritarian institution    
• Rebellious voices in German literature and history
• Feminist rewritings of literature and history
• Questioning authorities in the visual arts and film
• The relationship between literature, visual arts and 
• Minorities, subcultures and transnational voices in German 
speaking countries 

Information on the keynote speaker will be announced soon. 
Please send an abstract of 250-300 words in either English or 
German as Word attachment by August 31, 2005 to Laura Tráser-
Vas and Julia Baker at [log in to unmask] (ATTN: Focus on 
GS Conference). On a separate cover sheet please list the 
proposed paper title, author’s name, affiliation, and e-mail 
address. Conference participants have the option of housing 
with UC graduate students.

University of Cincinnati, German Studies Department 
733 Old Chemistry Building, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0372 
Phone: 513-556-2752, Fax: 513-556-1991
Julia K. Baker, Editor-in-chief
Laura Tráser-Vas, Book Review Editor
Focus on German Studies
University Of Cincinnati ML 0372
Cincinnati, OH  45221-0372 USA
Phone (513) 556-2752  
Fax (513) 556-1991
[log in to unmask]

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