McGill University
Fourth Graduate Student Conference of the German Studies Department
Call for Papers
Representations of North America in German Literature, Film and Culture
April 28 - 30, 2006, at McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Professor Gerd Gemünden of Dartmouth College, will deliver the Keynote Address: 
Gained in Translation: The Accented Cinema of Billy Wilder"

 "Amerika, du hast es besser / Als unser Kontinent, das alteŠ:"  thus expressed Johann Wolfgang von Goethe the idyllic view of the New World that has been continuously reproduced and contested on both sides of the Atlantic.
        German thinkers, writers, film makers, and artists-from Kant, Thomas Mann, Adorno, and Brecht to Handke, Wenders, and Karl May, to name just a few-have both raved about and raged against America. It is the goal of the Fourth Graduate Student Conference of McGill's German Studies Department to explore the interpretations, perceptions, and stereotypes of North America in German literature, film, and culture. How are utopian representations of the New World as a land of opportunity and freedom negotiated in contemporary depictions of North America? How do the cultural productions of German-speaking authors, film makers, and artists reiterate, undermine, and challenge utopian and nostalgic visions of the New World?  In which ways have the German colonial imagination and the fascination with the exoticized Other influenced transatlantic perceptions and relations? How does the lived experience of German exiles and expatriates shape the view of North America? What is the impact of their cultural criticism? How have North American self-definitions in fiction, film, and art influenced German representations? These are some of the questions the conference wants to address.

We invite scholars (faculty members and graduate students) to submit abstracts for papers engaging this topic from various approaches. We welcome contributions from all disciplines and encourage interdisciplinary approaches. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

      -   Fascination with First Nations in German-speaking literature, film and culture
      -   Philosophical reflections on North America
      -   Hollywood and German cinema
      -   German exile literature and film
      -   Cultural interactions between German and North America
      -   Reception of North American literature in Germany
      -   The role of North America in popular culture
      -   Questions of German/European vs. North American Identity
      -   Transatlantic movement of ideas and cultural practices

We welcome interdisciplinary projects in various fields, such as (but not limited to):
Film and Media Studies/ Cultural Studies/ Native Studies/ Anthropology/ History
Please submit your abstract (with title and description but without your name, max. 1 page, in German, English or French) and a separate sheet with your name, address and the title of your project before January 31st, 2006
By mail:                                                                By email:
McGill University                                              [log in to unmask]
German Studies Department                                   
Nicole Perry
688 Sherbrooke St. West, Suite 425
Montreal, P.Q. H3A 3R1, Canada

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