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CALL FOR PAPERS - DEADLINE 1 FEBRUARY, 2008

THE ESSAY AS FORM IN GERMAN LITERATURE, CRITICISM AND FILM

19th Annual Graduate Student Conference in Germanic Languages &
Literatures at Yale University

APRIL 4-5, 2008
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

Fifty years after Adorno's claim that "The essay does not permit its
domain to be predefined" the challenge to approach the essay as a
form of expression is still pertinent. Rather than defining itself in
the context of genres, the essay defies categorization. The essay is
open, since it strives to be both - a form and the erosion of a form.
Though the essay has its predecessors in the age of Enlightenment, it
was not seen as an independent form of writing in the German context
until the 20th century. Its emergence is closely related to new forms
of criticism on literature, film, culture (Krauss, Benjamin, Kracauer)
and the advent of "monadic" literatures (Altenberg, Kafka, Walser,
Musil). In contrast to written essays, film essays work on several
discursive levels, using image, sound and word. Essay films as written
essays interrogate genre expectations and go against genre forms. They
resist narration, revise the positioning of the subject in a public
domain and trace a reflexive process of self-observation and
questioning. A number of German filmmakers - Alexander Kluge, Hartmut
Bitomsky, Harun Farocki, Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders have produced
works which are often described as "film essays."

We invite papers which address the status of the essay as a form in
German literature, criticism and/or film.

Keynote Speakers:
Nora Alter (University of Florida)
Ulrich Plass (Weslyan University)

Please email 200 words abstracts in English or German to Nora Gortcheva
and Ansgar Mohnkern, at [log in to unmask] by February 1, 2008.

Or send to:
Nora Gortcheva/ Ansgar Mohnkern
Dept of Germanic Languages & Literatures
Yale University
PO Box 208210
New Haven
CT 06520-8210

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Nora I. Gortcheva

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The German Studies Call for Papers List
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