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German Studies Association (Minneapolis, October 2008)

“Nostalgia for Belonging – Re-definitions of Heimat?”

On October 27, 2007, German President Köhler declared that thanks to 
Günter Grass and his work, Germans could use the term Heimat again. 
Given the (politically) controversial reception of Grass’ Beim Häuten 
der Zwiebel as well as the latest debates about the resurgence of 
national pride and the threat of right-wing nationalism in Europe, this 
statement seems rather surprising. In addition to such a re-claiming of 
the term Heimat by the political mainstream, various minority groups in 
Germany have recently accentuated their entitlement to Germany as their 
Heimat. In the context of this revived desire to belong to a 
geographical, political, and/or national space, it is crucial to ask 
what concepts of Heimat are (re)created in these imaginaries.

We welcome proposals for papers that investigate concepts of Heimat 
and/or the desire for belonging as they become visible in contemporary 
German literature, film, museums, monuments, music, and politics.

Please send 200-250 word abstracts and a short bio (approx. 100 words, 
please no CVs) by Feb 1, 2008 to both
Barbara Kosta at [log in to unmask]
and
Sonja Klocke at [log in to unmask]

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