CALL FOR PAPERS:  "Fear of a Pop Planet": Nationalism, Transnationalism, and
Identity in Popular Literature from the Generation Golf (German Studies
Association Annual Conference, San Diego, October 4-7, 2007)

Constructions of identity and difference in modern German literature from
Goethe to Grass have traditionally depended on spatially territorialized
conceptions of culture.  The deterritorialization and displacement
associated with globalization therefore pose significant challenges for
examining German literature and culture qua German.  At the same time,
recent trends in German fiction such as "neue Erzählbarkeit" and the
so-called "Fräuleinwunder" have deprivileged notions of canonicity, generic
stability, disciplinarity, and Literature with a capital L, suggesting the
need for a more nuanced critical vocabulary with which to analyze German
literary production.  Moreover, resurgent nationalism in the wake of
reunification, contrasted with the speedy flow of culture and capital across
borders and throughout cyberspace, obliges us to reexamine our ideas of the
universal and the particular, the global and the local, and ask: How German
is Germany, after all?

The panel aims to investigate new modes of identity formation - national,
transnational, or otherwise - in the literary production of Germany's
"Generation Golf."  We are particularly interested in papers that explore
constructions of national identity (or lack thereof)  in the contexts of
post-communism and the increasing dominance of globalized capitalism.
Questions we'd like to consider include: How do these texts engage with (or
disavow) cultural, national, or gendered identities?  How do we read
identity in texts that (seem to) reject cultural affiliation altogether?
 How are ideas about "what it means to be German" rewritten in popular
literature?   We welcome papers that explore these or related questions in
pop(ular) or so-called Trivialliteratur as well as fiction by
self-identified "Popper" / "Popliteraten" or "Generation Golf"  authors.
 Papers that address the interplay of gender, race, and ethnicity are
especially welcome, as are papers that consider alternative narrative
modalities (e.g. Rainald Goetz' internet diary or German-language examples
of "polymedia" literature).

Given the GSA guidelines limiting graduate student participation (, we regret that this limits our own panel configuration.  We
can therefore only accept abstracts from PhDs for the panel.

Please submit – preferably in .rtf or .pdf format – a brief (300-word)
abstract along with an abbreviated CV to both of the following people by
Sunday, February 11, 2007:

Corinna Kahnke ( [log in to unmask])
Kristin Thomas-Vander Lugt ([log in to unmask])
Kristin T. Vander Lugt
Assistant Professor of German Studies
Iowa State University
Department of World Languages and Cultures
3102 Pearson Hall
Ames, IA 50011

Departmental Website:

Phone:  (515) 294-2759
Fax:  (515) 294-9914
Email:   [log in to unmask]

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