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>
>From: "Katharina Gerstenberger" <[log in to unmask]>
>
>Subject:  Aesthetics and Politics/MLA Division on 20th-Cent German  Lit
>
>Call for Proposals
>
>The Division on Twentieth-Century German Literature invites proposals for
>three sessions on
>
>Aesthetics and Politics
>
>for the MLA Convention 2006, December 27-30 in Philadelphia
>
>Aesthetic ambition and political commitment in literature tend to be viewed
>in opposition to one another.  The emergence of new trends in literary
>culture together with generational change is often accompanied by the
>privileging of one over the other.  The declared death of bourgeois
>literature in 1968, for instance, grew out of the student movement and its
>demands for politically engaged literature. Starting in the late 1980s,
>writers as well as critics sought to reverse this trend by reclaiming
>aesthetics in favor of politically committed literature.  Most recently, we
>seem to witness a return to political engagement in literary texts.  The
>three sessions seek to address these issues from a variety of
>perspectives.  How do we assess the relationship between politics and
>aesthetics in the literary text?  Is this debate pertinent to areas of
>expression other than literature, such as film?  How do these debates
>intersect with the divide between modernism and post-modernism?  What is
>the impact of/on literary criticism? Which role does the diminishing divide
>between high culture and mass culture play?
>
>The division welcomes submissions in all areas of 20th and 21st-century
>German, Austrian, and Swiss literature and culture that address one of the
>following three areas of inquiry:
>
>
>1.  Theory:  -this panel invites reflections on the tensions between
>politically engaged literature and the commitment to aesthetics.  What are
>the political implications of the shifts?  How does it influence our
>understanding of aesthetics? Can the current emphasis on aesthetics be
>attributed to a postmodern "demise of the master narrative"?  Is the divide
>a productive one or do we need new ways of theorizing the relationship
>between a text's political contents and its aesthetic qualities?
>
>2.  Historical Perspectives:  -this panel invites papers that address the
>issues from a historical perspective.  What are the important predecessors
>to the current debates and how, if at all, do they influence contemporary
>literary culture?  Possible areas of investigation include the cultural
>debates of the Weimar Republic, the cultural politics of the Nazis, and the
>post-war literatures in East and West Germany.
>
>3.  Contemporary Trends:  -German literature of the 1990s is in many ways
>characterized by a rejection of the political engagement of post-war
>literature. Most recent texts, however, seem to return to political issues.
>This session invites papers that critically assess contemporary literature
>and film in light of the debates that accompany it and suggest innovative
>ways of looking at the tensions between politics and aesthetics.
>
>
>Please send 200-250 word abstracts to Katharina Gerstenberger
>(<mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]) by March 17, 2006.

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